Caldwell House is an abandoned mansion and castle in in East Renfrewshire, Scotland. It was built in 1771 and designed by famous Scottish architect, Robert Adam.
The Caldwell House was built for William Mure of Caldwell, former MP for Renfrewshire, Baron of the Exchequer and factor for the Earl of Bute’s Scottish estates. The Mure family owned estate until 1909 when Col Mure decided that the running costs were too high and moved the family to the extended and improved Hall of Caldwell, leasing the mansion house
History of Caldwell House
In 1923 the estate with 280 acres, offices, walled garden and mansion house were sold to the Govan District Board of control for £7,500. In 1927 Govan District Health Board converted the building into a hospital for the mentally insane and later a children’s home which operated until 1985. The continued use of the building as a care home in the 20th century has resulted in the gradual erosion of the original interior.
From 1948, Caldwell House was managed by the Board of Management for Lennox Castle and Associated Hospitals. In 1948 the separate building known as the Manual Block was converted to provide classrooms and dining accommodation to give better facilities for occupational training. In 1974 the hospital passed to the administrative control of the Renfrew District of Argyll and Clyde Health Board.
In 1987 Caldwell House was bought by a private owner who intended on turning the house and other buildings on the estate into a nursing home – this never really got off the ground. In 1995 a serious fire caused the greater part of the roof to collapse and further interior fabric was lost.
As a result, the council stepped in and undertook works to make the house safe. A lot of the building had to be demolished or reinforced to prevent it from collapsing. The building has been on the Scottish Civic Trust’s Buildings at Risk register for some years. In 2006 attempts to secure restoration of the building through a Council led restoration project were initiated.
The Caldwell House sits in what must originally have been a designed landscape. There are specimen trees and areas of obvious planting. Historical maps illustrate avenues and areas of parkland and there remain overgrown paths with rustic stone bridges weaving through heavily wooded areas.
The entrance front overlooks an area of open parkland with small clusters of trees in the picturesque manner. In terms of its design, Caldwell is austere and perhaps even bleak. Graffiti covers the walls and local wildlife now shelters in the building.