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Cranley House, Including Cranley Cottage and Stable Courtyard, Cleghorn

A Category C Listed Building in Carstairs, South Lanarkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.701 / 55°42'3"N

Longitude: -3.717 / 3°43'1"W

OS Eastings: 292191

OS Northings: 646621

OS Grid: NS921466

Mapcode National: GBR 22HJ.25

Mapcode Global: WH5SC.WY6X

Entry Name: Cranley House, Including Cranley Cottage and Stable Courtyard, Cleghorn

Listing Date: 7 March 2002

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395954

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48529

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Carstairs

County: South Lanarkshire

Electoral Ward: Clydesdale North

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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Carstairs

Description

Mid 19th century; additions and alterations circa 1900; with fine interior decorative scheme to parts circa 1928 by Robert Thompson of Yorkshire. Large 2-storey and attic, irregular-plan and multi-gabled small country house with substantial later additions (incorporating integral section known as Cranley Cottage), and later L-plan stable wing to W, all set within own parkland grounds. Harled with margined sandstone quoins and window surrounds with projecting cills. Gabled dormers and decorative bargeboards to main gables. Predominantly tripartite mullioned plate glass windows in timber sash and case and some canted bays to ground floor; single windows to rear and to later additions. Tripartite stone entrance porch with engaged pilasters to south. Grey slated roofs with corniced stacks, some with octagonal cans.

Interior was seen 2013. There is a good interior decorative scheme throughout with contemporary detailing to the mid-19th century part of house and circa 1900 extensions. Wide square open stair hall with decorative timber balustrade and decorative cornicing. There are various original fireplaces throughout including cast-iron and tiled inserts. Plain timber detailing to rear service quarters. In 1928, Yorkshire-based furniture maker, Robert Thompson, added a fine panelled dining room (used as a second dining room) and some other wood carved detailing to hall (formerly carved birds to newel posts, now removed). The 1928 dining room has characteristic adzed-carved (wide tooling marks) timber panelling, vertically framed oak panelling with inverted dentilled cornice, and integral mantelpiece with dated emblazoned decorative crest and fitted seat with curb extending around hearth. Carved inscription over door with decorative hinges to second dining room reads 'meat feeds, claith cleads, but manners mak the man' taken from Robert Burns. There is significant loss to interior fabric to the north-west section of the house (first floor removed) which has been closed off from main part of the house (and is known separately as Cranley Cottage).

Roughly square-plan stable block courtyard with double pitch range adjoining house to east; principal south elevation with two storey central bay and gabled segmental arched pend with circular window to apex.

Statement of Interest

Cranley House is a standard example of a small scale 19th century country house with incremental additions but it is unusual because it has a rare and extremely fine interior decorative scheme to the dining hall dating to 1928 by Yorkshire furniture maker Robert Thompson (known as the 'Mouseman'). Domestic interior schemes by Thompson are rare: the interior schemes he did execute were normally ecclesiastical or for office boardrooms, usually in England and latterly in North America. Thompson is more commonly known for furniture design and the owners of Cranley House and their extended family were patrons of Thompson's work and were known to collect his furniture in the early part of the 20th century.

Cranley House was first built in the mid 19th century as a T-plan as shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1859. By the 1908 map the building is shown to have been extended to create a new piended roofed single storey dining room addition and 2 storey, L-plan cottage addition infill section to the south west corner. This phase of works also enlarged and linked the stable block to the main house creating an archway pend entrance to the south of the courtyard. A new stone porch was added to the south gable and the north side of the former T-plan became an L-plan rear entrance and service court.

Robert Thompson (1876-1955) of Kilburn, Yorkshire was a renowned furniture maker and woodcarver whose moniker was "The Mouseman" because of the signature carved mouse found on all his work. Examples of Thompson's signature mouse can be found on the carving at Cranley House. Thompson began his career in 1919 and the Cranley scheme is a relatively early example of his work. His company made furniture for Ampleforth School, Yorkshire and for catholic churches and private houses throughout Yorkshire and further afield. The company later marketed its self as 'makers of ecclesiastical and boardroom furniture' carrying out complete contracts for panelling and furniture design specifically for these building types. While Thomson is known for domestic furniture design, the use of panelling in domestic situations is less well known and the Cranley work is therefore a rare example of his work linking the two areas of his business.

The signature adzed oak panelling work (showing wide tooling marks) to the dining hall was completed in 1928 for Major B J Montieth. The Montieth family children attended Ampleforth School in Yorkshire which houses one of the best examples of Thompson's panelling work and it is therefore likely this is how the family came to commission his work in their own home in Scotland. The contract was to design the entire decorative scheme for the dining hall as the original invoice shows. In addition to the fitted panelling and fireplace there was a dining table set with 8 chairs and 2 carvers and a wrought iron candelabra. The cost of the commission was £310.18.4. Thompson supplied 5 further commissions of furniture to Cranley House over the years until 1950 which may have included a pair of chests also in the dining hall. In 1963 there is a further commission by a member of Montieth family who by then was living in New Brunswick, Canada.

Robert Thompson only carried out a small number of contracts in Scotland, often through family members attending Ampleforth School. Several commissions were for private chapels in the north including on the Isle of Ensay, Moniac Castle in Beauly and Marischal College in Aberdeen. It is not clear whether any of these commissions were for panelling or furniture for which he is better known. He provided two memorial wall plaques for Scotstoun Shipyard in Glasgow, although these are now removed to Birmingham and New Zealand.

There is significant loss to the interior fabric to the north-west section of the house (first floor is removed) which has been closed off from main part of the house (2013). This section is also known as 'Cranley Cottage'.

Change to statutory address and list description updated (2013). Previous statutory address was 'Cranley House, Cleghorn, Lanark'.

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