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Glasgow, Castlemilk House

House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Glasgow, Castlemilk House

Classification House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Castle Milk

Canmore ID 44894

Site Number NS65NW 1

NGR NS 60935 59530

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Glasgow, City Of
  • Parish Carmunnock (City Of Glasgow)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District City Of Glasgow
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Recording Your Heritage Online


Castlemilk estate was the biggest property in the parish of Carmunnock. The estate, which was in the Stuart family from the 13th century, was sold to the City in 1938 for one of the huge peripheral housing estates built after 1954. Castlemilk House, which dated back to the late medieval period but had been greatly altered and extended in simple Baronial style from the 18th century, was then demolished.

Stables for demolished Castlemilk House, 59 Machrie Road, c.1800

Converted 2006, Elder & Cannon, to offices for Housing Association. Four one-and-a-half-storey ranges around a courtyard, with octagonal Gothic tower over pend at north; currently under Lottery-funded restoration. Gothic single-arch bridge with crenellated ashlar parapets, remodelled 1833, probably David Hamilton. The Burn, known downstream in 19th-century Burnside as the Citiford, fed the reservoir of the Burnside Weaving Factory, then became the West Burn before merging with Molls Myre Burn to discharge into the Clyde as the Polmadie Burn.

Taken from "Greater Glasgow: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Sam Small, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NS65NW 1.00 60935 59530

(NS 6093 5953) Castlemilk House (NAT) and remains of Tower (NR)

OS 6" map, (1957).

NS65NW 1.01 60936 59437 Bridge

NS65NW 1.02 6088 5933 Laundry Cottage

NS65NW 1.03 60862 59417 Stables

NS65NW 1.04 6135 5996 North Lodge

NS65NW 1.05 6086 5934 Cottage

NS65NW 1.06 6093 5953 Lake, Landing

NS65NW 1.07 cancelled

NS66SW 902 61312 60171 Gate Piers

Castlemilk, formerly a mansion house of a branch of the Stewart family, is now used for institutional purposes. Its nucleus is a massive tower dating probably from the late 15th century. The thick, roughcast walls rise from a basement course three main storeys to a parapet, with a modernised garret above. Windows have been enlarged, and a high arched doorway inserted in the W wall (See Tranter 1962-70).

N Tranter 19662-70.

Castlemilk House (Information from Matron, Children's Home) is generally as described. The remaining external features are modern, but portions within date from the 17th century. The building is in use as a Children's Home run by Glasgow Corporation.

Visited by OS (J L D) 31 March 1954.

This building has been demolished.

Information in letter from T C Welsh to OS 14 September 1973.

A small trial excavation was undertaken to investigate the remains of the tower house and to look for a barmkin or any courtyard structures in the surrounding area in advance of the redevelopment of the site into an adventure playground. The depth of the trenches was limited by the architects requirements for the project. The excavation was carried out by Archaeology Projects Glasgow in close collaboration with the Castlemilk Local History Group.

Castlemeilk House dates to the 15th century when it was built as a tower house for the Stewart family. During the 18th and 19th centuries the house was extensively rebuilt and renovated and became a large manor house with landscaped grounds and gardens. It was in this final state that the house was bought by Glasgow City Council in 1936. It was then used as a children's home until the early 1960's, after which it fell into disrepair. The main house was then demolished in 1969 leaving the centre stump of the tower house which still survives today.

The initial trench situated outside the south-west corner of the tower failed to uncover any material associated with the earlier phase of the house. It appears that this whole area was severely truncated when the main house was demolished in 1969. A second small trench excavated round the north-west corner uncovered the wall of the 1851 extension but the presence here of a sub-basement rendered further investigation unnecessary within the terms of the remit.

Two small trial trenches were then excavated in the interior of the toweer. These showed that any occupation levels had been bulldozed and that the surviving ground level is in fact the bottom of the original foundations. These were later strengthened after the demolition of the main tower house by a concrete apron which two sides of the tower.

A further two trial trenches were excavated to the west of the tower beside the existing asphalt playground. Both of these picked up a defensive ditch, as might be expected given that the eastern approach is the least naturally defended. In the southernmost trench the ditch appears to curve round to the east. Due to lack of time and for safety reasons the ditch was not bottomed but would appear to be excess of 2.00m deep. In the northern trench the ditch had been filled with midden material which produced pottery, bone, bottle glass and a clay pipe bowl that would date the deposit to the 18th century if not earlier. A mortared stone stone structure with a dressed stone face was also uncovered running EW across the line of the ditch and has been interpreted as a possible bridge.

The southern trial trench which has the ditch turning to the east, also contained a stone built drain and a possible stone wall. These features run parallel to one another and do not respect the line of the ditch. While their function remains unclear they do confirm that activity was taking place beyond the ditch in the area currently occupied by the children's playground and that any buildings in this area were demolished in or by 1851 when the house was extensively remodelled and this area landscaped. Two more trial trenches were excavated but only uncovered re-deposited natural and were abandoned at a depth of 1.20m. Sponsor: Glasgow City Council

R Will 1991.

NS 609 596 The survey area comprised the portion of the undeveloped grounds of the former Castlemilk House, including the remains of Castlemilk Tower and a possible motte. A desk-based study and field survey traced the development of the designed landscape, identifying and describing the surviving elements, and relating them to their historical context. A surprising number of minor elements have survived, including bridges, paths and drives, dams and plantations, enabling the landscape phases to be reconstructed. The survey findings were also placed within the context of the archaeology of the immediate area.

Sponsor: City of Glasgow Council Parks & Recreation.

D Topen 1997

Architecture Notes


'Glasgow Country Houses' - text and photograph - missing at time of upgrade, 28.6.2000

Newliston House. James Stevenson n.d - watercolour of house - location uncertain at time of upgrade, 28.6.2000

Demolished between 1965 and 1974


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