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Mains Road, Mains Castle

A Category A Listed Building in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire

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Latitude: 55.7782 / 55°46'41"N

Longitude: -4.1892 / 4°11'21"W

OS Eastings: 262788

OS Northings: 656041

OS Grid: NS627560

Mapcode National: GBR 3V.8W8Z

Mapcode Global: WH4QT.M1B6

Entry Name: Mains Road, Mains Castle

Listing Date: 15 March 1963

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 363282

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB26626

Building Class: Cultural

Location: East Kilbride

County: South Lanarkshire

Electoral Ward: East Kilbride West

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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East Kilbride


Circa 1450; 1970s restoration. 4-storey and caphouse; rectangular-plan tower house. Square stair tower at SE corner giving access to corbelled out parapet; rainwater goods outshoot from parapet wall.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 5-stage square stair tower to left with slit windows at 2nd, 3rd and 4th stages; round-arched entrance door to left; tiny slit window to right; single window to right at 3rd and 4th floors. Roof of caphouse visible over parapet with 2 attic dormer windows.

E ELEVATION: blank stair tower; slit windows at 1st, 2nd and 4th floors; crowstepped gable of caphouse visible over parapet.

N ELEVATION: square window at ground to right; square window at 3rd floor to left; window at 4th floor at right. Roof of caphouse visible over parapet.

W ELEVATION: single window at 2nd and 4th floors; crowstepped gable of caphouse visible over parapet.

INTERIOR: restored 1970s in a baronial style. Atmospheric barrel-vaulted dining hall at the ground; spacious hall at 1st floor with Aga and scullery; small stone WC also at 1st floor; bedrooms above - modern painted timber ceiling to principal bedroom; bedroom, small kitchen, office and bathroom with copper bath in attic.

Statement of Interest

The lands of Kilbride were originally the property of the Norman family of de Valonis. The nearby farms of East and West Rogerton are named after Roger de Valonis. In the 13th century Isabella de Valonis married David Comyn; the estate along with Kilbride Castle formed part of her dowry. A descent of Isabella and David was 'Red Comyn' who was assassinated by Robert Bruce and his followers. As a forfeit for their relative's treachery, Bruce stripped the Comyns of their lands. The Kilbride lands then passed into the hands of Walter Stewart, who had married Princess Marjorie, Bruce's daughter. In 1382 Robert II granted the lands to John Lindsay of Dunrod, as reward for the loyalty a Lindsay ancestor had shown to Robert I. The Lindsay family moved from their ancestral home to Kilbride Castle. The current castle, Mains Castle, dates from the 15th century and was erected by the Lindsays. The castle remained in the possession of the family until 1619 when Alexander Lindsay, a tyrannical lord who through his misdemeanours was reduced to penury, sold the castle to the Stuarts of Castlemilk. In 1723, the Stuarts removed the roof so that the slates could be used for building work at Torrance House. Twenty years later, a stone bearing the Royal Arms, which had sat above the drawbridge gate at Mains Castle, was taken to Torrance House and set above the entrance door. The castle remained roofless and gradually deteriorated until the 1880s, when it was 'judiciously repaired'. However, it once more fell into disrepair after the roof collapsed during a fierce storm and was not restored until 1976. The restoration of the house won two Saltire awards: one for the best project in restoration and the other for excellence in reconstruction. It is now a private dwelling house. During the 1990s, the surrounding land was transformed into the James Hamilton Heritage Park and the loch, which had been drained as part of agricultural improvements, was reinstated. According to local legend, Mary Queen of Scots may have spent a night at Mains Castle on route to the battle of Langside.

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