The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
INTRODUCTION Bedlay   Castle   is   situated   6-1/2   miles   North-East   from   the   centre   of   the   City   of   Glasgow   on   the   main   North Road   in   the   Parish   of   Cadder.   The   position   of   the   Building   is   low   and   secluded   overlooking   a   charming winding   glen   through   the   middle   of   which   flows   the   Bothlin   Burn   on   its   tortuous   way   to   Luggie   Water   some miles to the North-West. View on S.E.Elevation Bedlay    (or    Ballayn)    Manor    belonged    to    the    Bishopric    of Glasgow    before    the    reign    of    David    I    and    continued    in    the possession   of   the   Bishops   of   Glasgow   until   1580   when   James   Boyd,   the   titular   Protestant   Archbishop   of   Glasgow,   leased   the   lands of   Bedlay   Estate   to   his   brother   Robert   Boyd   who   was   then   the   4th   Earl   of   Kilmarnock   who   is   credited   with   building   the   oldest   part   of Bedlay   Castle   still   in   existence.   Many   alterations   and   additions,   both   internal   and   external,   have   been   carried   out   but   a   great   deal   of the   original   character   still   remains.   In   1642,   James,   the   8th   Lord   Boyd,   sold   the   Estate   of   Bedlay   to   James   Roberton,   an   advocate   who was   raised   to   the   bench   under   the   title   Lord   Bedlay. The   Roberton   family   carried   out   many   alterations   to   the   Castle   including   the   West end with the two round western towers and probably the West stair. East Tower The   Castle   is   located   on   the   termination   of   a   trap   dyke   which runs   through   the   countryside   for   quite   a   considerable   distance. The   breadth   of   the   dyke   is   taken   up   by   the   building   and,   even before   the   existing   pebbled   terraces   to   the   South   and   West   of the   Castle   were   fashioned,   it   is   believed   that   the   ground   sloped up   to   the   walls   just   as   steeply   as   it   now   does   on   the   North   side.   The   South   terrace   wall   is   of   old   vintage   by   inspection   but   the balustrade was brought out from the Glasgow Central Station as a gift to the then owner, Mr. Christie, in 1870. The   cleverly   concealed   hiding   place   in   the   southernmost   West   tower   which   is   described   at   a   later   stage   suggests   that   Bedlay   Castle was   being   built   during   the   troublesome   times   of   the   late   17th   Century   when   the   Covenanting   Lairds   around   Chryston   were   apparently often in need of shelter. East Elevation The   family   of   Earnock   occupied   the   house   right   up   until   the beginning   of   the   19th   Century   when   it   was   bought   by   James Campbell   of   Petershill.   It   then   passed   on   to   the   son,   Alexander Campbell.   Under   the   ownership   of   Alexander   Campbell   the walls    were    white-washed,    and    as    far    as    the    author    can discover   the   upper   rooms   were   unused   except   perhaps   as granaries,   which   statement   appears   to   have   confirmation   in   a recent discovery of chaff beneath the floor boards of the upper rooms. Subsequent   owners   had   many   alterations   carried   out   but   it   is   extremely   difficult   to   trace   actual   alterations   until   1850   when   the   father of the present proprietors, Mr. Christie, came to Bedlay inheriting the Castle through his wife whose father was Alexander Campbell. One   of   the   many   alterations   carried   out   by   Mr.   Christie   during   his   lifetime   was   the   work   done   on   the   South-Eastern   turret   thus   making a   very   marked   change   in   the   oldest   part   of   the   building.   The   turret   which   originally   had   a   sloping   slated   roof   was   built   up   in   a   semi- circle being moulded and fashioned to frame the Christie family Coat of Arms. In   the   Statistical   Account,   a   minister   of   the   Parish   of   Cadder   writes   a   chapter   on   Bedlay   in   the   following   style:   "I   mourn   the   current neglect   of   tree   planting   and   the   spoiling   of   some   parts   by   mining.   The   Roberton   family   seem   to   have   planted   plenty   of   trees   but   only have 20 acres under wood." Tower on West Elevation Old   prints   of   Bedlay   Castle   depict   the   turret   as   it   then   was   in   a much   more   suitable   setting   and   certainly   more   harmonious architecturally.   The   new   turret   unfortunately   lacks   the   modest simple character of the adjoining square tower and gable. Internally,   the   biggest   change   seems   to   have   been   from   the white-washed    treatment    of    the    first    floor    hall    to    wall    and ceiling    wood    panelling    which    was    carried    out    by    a    local tradesman.   This   panelling   matches   up   well   with   the   existing furniture of the first floor rooms. Further   alterations   were   carried   out   at   the   beginning   of   the   present   Century   comprising   a   second   door   and   two   bathrooms   on   the North side. These alterations are scarcely visible from either approach. The   main   drive   is   from   the   South   where   the   Lodge   House   is   situated   on   the   main   road,   and   the   great   old   trees   which   grow   close   to the   building   to   the   North   and   West   overshadow   the   addition   and   screen   it   quite   well. This   is   a   fortunate   circumstance   since   the   North additions   do   not   relate   successfully   to   the   main   building.   In   the   central   first   floor   room   the   fireplace   was   replaced   by   Mr.   Christie   with one of carved white marble taken from the old Western Club in Glasgow round about 1850. An   attic   was   constructed   during   the   Roberton   addition   with   a   dormer   window   built   on   the   East   and   West   slopes   of   the   main   roof lighting   a   small   room.   The   view   from   the   window   to   the   North   is   delightful   and   much   more   charming   than   that   to   the   South.   It   would have   been   happier   had   the   window   to   the   South   been   omitted   as   the   purpose   of   the   classroom   would   have   been   served   by   the window   to   the   North,   and   the   roof   slope   to   the   South   would   thereby   have   benefited   by   the   omission   of   the   ungainly   dormer   to   the classroom. The   Entrance   Lodge   at   Bedlay   situated   some   200   yards   from   the   Castle   on   the   Stirling   Road   is   built   of   stone   taken   from   an   ancient mausoleum   which   had   once   stood   in   a   clump   of   trees   on   the   main   lawn.   Except   for   the   entrance   portico   it   was   removed   at   the   same time as the oldest divisions of the house in 1838.
Bedlay Castle Chryston
An Architectural visit to this 17th Century Mansion