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Hamilton Palace

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

Site Name Hamilton Palace

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

Canmore ID 45657

Site Number NS75NW 16

NGR NS 72641 55927

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Hamilton (South Lanarkshire)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Hamilton
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Archaeology Notes

(NS 7275 5596) Hamilton Palace (NAT)

OS 6" map (1914)

(NS 7264 5592) Hamilton Palace (NR) (site of)

OS 1/1250 map (1961)

NS75NW 16.01 NS 726 559 Garden

NS75NW 16.02 NS 72540 55885 Stable Court

Hamilton Palace, originally a tower about 20ft x 16ft, was almost entirely rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century, and added to extensively in 1822. The earliest reference to a castle at Hamilton is in a charter of 1445, when James Hamilton was created first Lord Hamilton. His residence was then called 'The Orchard", and he either fortified it or erected a castle nearby in 1455. In the 16th century the house or castle was reconstructed and called the "Palace" Towards the end of the same century Hamilton Castle, as it was then named, was burnt down. In 1591 a new house was built, probably on the site of the older one. During the 17th and 18th centuries, when considerable reconstruction was carried out, it was called Hamilton House. About 1825, when extensive improvements were made, it again took the name of "Palace".

It was demolished in 1927.

H A Tipping 1919; Hamilton official guide

No trace of the original tower remains. The site of the Palace is now occupied by a refuse tip.

Visited by OS (JLD) 4 September 1953.

Architecture Notes


William Burn - (stables) 1830

William Burn - alts & adds 1857

Robert Burn - design for new papace 1800 (not executed)

Alexander Edward - alts to garden 1708

William Murray - (advised by Sir Wm Bruce) 1692

David Hamilton - adds & stable court. terracing & gateway 1822 - 38

Charles Percier - schemes of decoration for principal rooms 1828 - 29

Francesco Saponier - design for an addition 1819

Robert Hume, London - designs for grates 1841

David Bryce - gas works 1854

NE Goodrich - (projected alts & adds) 1842

Augustina Facielate - sculptor before 1733

Cicognari - gallery door etc c.1830

James Gillespie Graham 18/3/1914

Inventory to Hamilton Papers references to new palace - typescript (R6(P31)).


National Archives of Scotland

Surveys and plans for Hamilton 1727 - 1742. An account included in report of claims made by John Adam, architect on behalf of himself and his father, William against the Duke of Hamilton claims an annual sum of 30 guineas - total #472.10.

1770 Fea of Clestrain GD31/554

Letters. Muniment Room Lennoxlove.

575. Pictures for 'the new finished rooms at the Palace of Hamilton'.

232. 1742/3. 21 February Hamilton.

Hossack employed in Garden nurseries. Mr Chassell very near done with the top story of the east jam and in such time as the dry weather comes he can proceed further; wants to know if Your Grace has decided on the stories below stairs. The plan will be sent down.

Diary of John Waldie, Hendersyde Park, Kelso


May 11th 1826 - May 24th 1827

Feb 28th Edinr

I called at the Kinnears & Mr Buchanan's & saw a fine Holy family by Titian a portrait of Titian & his daughter by him a beautiful female playing the guitar by P Veronese - and a grand landscape & Bacchante by N Poussin - 4 Very noble pictures from Lord Radstocks.

(Desc of pictures at Hamilton Palace p.197 too long to transcribe)


Hamilton Papers references to new palace - HL 8147, 7325, 7327, 7526


Elizabeth Duchess of Northumberland transcript, ref no 1121/157 - after 1760


here is a Palace and Park belonging to D. Hamilton The park is 7m in Circumference. The House is built ye Form of an H. The Body of ye Front is very handsome being adorn'd with Columns & Pilasters of ye Corinthian Order. The Wings are 150 long. The offices joyn the town which is neat and well pav'd the House built of freestone.


Stands at the end of the Town it is a large pile of Building in the shape of a half H but the body appears disproportionate to the depth of the wings which is very great the Gallery which is 120 Feet long is the whole length of the body of the House is furnish'd with pictures some of them very fine At the end by which you enter is the Treaty of Peace between England and Spain in the reign of James I by lande pantoxa which is a very fine historical picture. There are 6 Envoys on the part of the Spaniards and 5 on the English with their names inscribed over each. About the Centre of the Gallery is a very large Picture by Rubens of Daniel in the Lyons Den this picture by Rubens esteem'd but it is not in my opinion a very pleasing one, no more than the marriage Feast of Paul Veronese in the foreground who seem to be quarreling with each other there is an immense number of figures in this picture but the colouring is not so gay as that of this Master usually is a Portrait of an Earl of Denbigh with Grey Hair a Gun in his Hand attended by an Indian Boy himself being in an Indian Dress It is a very good Portrait and painted with great spirit a whole length picture of James Duke of Hamilton who was beheaded and another of the Marquess of Hamilton who was steward of the Household painted by Van Somer these/

GLASGOW MUSEUMS/ART GALLERIES: Dept of Prints and Drawings

Sketch of Palace during demolition c.1930


Annan, vol. (2-58), Nos 23 and 24

Country Life, 14th June 1919

Glasgow & Lanarkshire Illustrated


1915 - 20/11

1919 - 13/6, 14/7, 1, 5, 6, 7,8, 11, 13, 14, 15/11, 19/12

1920 - 23/2, 11/3, 13/5

1921 - 10, 19/1, 17/2, 9, 19, 26/3

1929 - 19/2, 10/10

HAMILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY : Reference Department


Library No. 140765/18 Ground floor. G Paterson 1897. Est


Photographic Record (1865 - 1867)

Photograph album with photos compiled and photographed by J McGhie, Hamilton.


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