The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
Bedlay  House The   manor   of   Bedlay ,   locally   known   as   Bedlay   Castle    because   of   its   baronial style,   is   at   the   eastern   end   of   Chryston,   surrounded   on   three   sides   by   trees.   It towers   above   the   Bothlin   Burn   and   the   Well   Brae   path,   standing   on   the   abrupt termination   of   a   trap   dyke   and   occupying   the   whole   breadth   of   its   summit.   Before the   existing   terraces   at   the   south   and   west   ends   were   made,   the   ground   on   both these   sides   sloped   up   to   its   walls   as   steeply   as   it   does   on   the   north   side.   This steepness   is   clearly   visible   from   the   Well   Brae   path,   which   passes   below   to   the east.    The    lower    part    of    the    south    terrace    wall    is    old    but    the    buttress    and balustrade   are   of   more   recent   date,   the   stones   having   come   from   the   former village of Grahamston, on the site of which Glasgow Central Station now stands. The   house   is   of   two   periods.   The   eastern   end   with   its   square   tower   at   the   north- east   corner   is   the   oldest   portion.   Built   in   1175   for   the   Bishop   of   Glasgow   it contains   the   only   entrance,   a   broad   moulded   doorway.   An   early   well,   chapel   site   and   confessional   were   found   in   this   section-such   features are   consistent   with   the   transitional   style   of   architecture   of   pre-1200.   In   the   period   1572-81   the   lands   of   Bedlay   and   the   Mollins   were   feued out   to   Robert,   Fourth   Lord   Boyd   of   Kilmarnock   by   his   kinsman   Archbishop   Boyd   of   Glasgow.   Lord   Boyd   is   also   credited   with   building   the older   section. The   other   part   of   the   building   was   built   during   the   ownership   by   the   Roberton   family   and   gradually   modernised   and   improved by successive owners. The   house   contains   a   trip   step   on   the   stairs   leading   to   the   main   living   quarters,   and   a   moveable   panel   at   one   of   the   windows   allows   access to   a   secret   hiding   place   between   floors.   There   was   said   to   be   a   passage   between   the   castle   and   Badenheath   Tower   at   Mollinsburn   (now demolished) and certain local gentlemen have claimed to have entered it. There is no evidence when and why it was constructed. The   estate   remained   with   the   Boyd   family   until   1641   when   the   Eighth   Lord   Boyd,   who   was   a   steady   supporter   of   Royalty   in   the   Civil   War, was   fined   £15,000   by   Cromwell.   This   caused   some   financial   difficulty   and   embarrassment,   so   he   mortgaged   various   properties   and   sold the   property   of   Bedlay   House   to   James   Roberton,   an   advocate,   while   retaining   the   superiority   of   the   estate.   James   Roberton   was   raised   to the Judicial Bench in 1661, adopting the name of Lord Bedlay. The   superiority   of   the   estate   was   acquired   in   1740   from   the   Fourth   and   last   Earl   of   Kilmarnock   by   James   Roberton,   a   great   grandson   of Lord   Bedlay,   who   possessed   it   for   about   46   years.   There   are   reasons   to   believe   that   it   was   he   who   built   the   more   modern   section   bearing the   turrets.   It   is   recorded   that   when   he   died   in   1770   the   notice   of   his   death   appeared   in   the   Scots   Magazine,   Vol.   32,   p.   168:   "Died   30th March   1770   at   Bedlay,   in   advanced   age,   James   Roberton   Esq.   of   Bedlay.   He   is   succeeded   in   his   estate   by   his   only   son   Archibald   Roberton, Advocate."   The   house   and   the   estate   of   Bedlay   and   the   Mollins   continued   in   the   hands   of   the   Robertons   until   10th   February   1786,   a   total   of 144 years, and were then sold to James Dunlop, who owned the nearby Garnkirk House and estate. James   Dunlop   was   the   son   of   Colin   Dunlop,   Lord   Provost   of   Glasgow   in   1770.   He   was   one   of   the   "Virginia   Lords",   importers   of   tobacco.   He owned   other   estates   including   Barrowfield,   on   which   Bridgeton   and   Calton   have   since   been   built.   He   was   also   a   leading   partner   in   the   "Old Greenock    Bank".    However    in    1793    he    was    one    of    the    many    persons    who    were    ruined    when    the    tobacco    trade    collapsed,    and    in consequence   sold   the   estates   of   Bedlay   and   Garnkirk   for   £50,000   to   John   McKenzie,   who   was   originally   one   of   his   valets.   McKenzie   only retained   these   properties   for   11   years   before   selling   them   to   James   Campbell,   a   tanner   at   Thornhill,   Perthshire,   and   in   the   Glasgow Gallowgate   at   Dovehill.   Among   other   properties   he   also   owned   Petershill   House   and   the   small   estates   of   Shirva   and   St   Flannan   in   the Parish   of   Kirkintilloch.   Campbell   Street   in   the   Gallowgate   was   opened   by   him   in   1784   and   named   after   him.   He   moved   eventually   to   Bedlay, residing   there   until   he   died,   on   13th   June   1829,   aged   88.   During   his   years   at   Bedlay   he   restored   the   interior   of   the   mansion   built   by   the Robertons   but   did   not   alter   the   exterior.   The   antiquated   section   built   by   the   Lord   Boyds   had   been   dovetailed   into   the   newer   section,   but   it remained in a dilapidated state. James   Campbell   was   succeeded   by   his   second   son   Alexander,   a   lawyer,   commonly   known   as   "Sandy",   a   man   of   "fascinating   manners   and   a great   favourite".   He   removed   the   greater   part   of   the   antiquated   section   of   the   house   and   effected   further   improvements   to   the   living quarters.   He   apparently   took   offence   at   the   old   mill   and   had   it   demolished   together   with   an   ancient   tomb   or   mausoleum   which   stood   in   the field   immediately   behind   the   present   lodge   house   and   bordering   the   Cumbernauld   Road.   This   tomb   had   been   built   by   the   Lord   Boyds   and was   described   as   being   of   considerable   size,   with   a   steep   pitched   roof   covered   with   massive   flagstones.   It   had   slits   at   each   end   for   light and   it   had   a   massive   door. The   stones   for   this   structure   came   from   Lochwood,   the   seat   of   the   Bishops   of   Glasgow,   which   was   located   near to   the   Bishop's   Loch   at   Gartloch.   It   is   said   that   the   stones   were   transported   over   the   loch,   when   it   was   completely   frozen   over,   and   brought to   the   site.   Its   position   is   marked   by   a   round   pillar,   one   of   the   gateposts   of   the   tomb,   and   this   is   clearly   visible   from   the   Cumbernauld   Road. The   stones   of   the   building   were   used   to   form   the   plinth   of   the   present   lodge   house.   The   original   lodge,   dated   1763,   stood   in   Avenuehead Road   opposite   the   farm   of   that   name.   It   was   demolished   in   the   1960s,   being   then   in   ruins.   The   avenue   was   reduced   in   length   when   the turnpike   road   was   built,   around   1790,   and   Bedlay   Cemetery   stands   on   its   line.   Sandy   Campbell   also   attempted   in   1849,   as   his   father   had done   before   him   in   1809,   to   close   the   Well   Brae   path   and   deprive   the   villagers   of   the   use   of   Bedlay   Well.   This   was   successfully   resisted,   as had   been   the   earlier   attempt,   by   submission   of   a   document   to   the   Justices   of   the   Peace   for   the   County   of   Lanark   by   the   feuers   of   Chryston and   Moodiesburn,   and   farmers   and   residenters   in   the   surrounding   district.   It   refers   in   clear   detail   to   the   use   of   the   path   between   the   two villages,   and   also   refers   to   the   "excellent   Spring   Well   which   is   daily   almost   hourly   used   by   the   inhabitants   of   Chryston   .   .   .   which   forms   the only constant supply of good water on which they can depend". Sandy   Campbell,   who   was   unmarried,   died   in   1852,   aged   66.   He   was   succeeded   by   his   niece   Catherine,   who   died   two   years   later,   when   her husband   Thomas   Craig   Christie   became   owner.   He   made   further   improvements   to   the   house   and   also   laid   out   an   extensive   walled   garden. He   granted   the   site   for   Bedlay   Cemetery   when   it   was   found   that   the   cemetery   next   to   the   Parish   Church   could   not   be   extended.   The dedication   of   the   burial   ground   took   place   in   July   1861   by   the   Rt.   Rev.   D.   Wilson,   Bishop   of   Glasgow   and   Galloway,   assisted   by   other Episcopal   clergy.   In   this   area   was   a   large   dovecot,   which   in   those   days   was   a   sign   of   great   prosperity.   It   stood   on   the   site   of   the   Christie tomb. Thomas   Christie   remarried   and   had   issue   of   two   sons   and   four   daughters.   He   died   in   1910,   his   elder   son   Bernard,   a   doctor,   in   1911   and   his wife   the   following   year.   His   younger   son   Walter   C.   B.   Christie   then   became   owner   and   remained   so   until   his   own   death   in   1941,   aged   78. None   of   his   sisters   married   and   they   died   between   the   years   1947-58   in   the   exact   order   of   their   birthKatherine,   Eveline,   Anna   and   Jean. The ladies were unobtrusive in their work in the district, but took a great interest in young ladies' organisations and several charities. Following   the   death   of   the   Miss   Jean   Christie   in   1958   the   house   became   the   property   of   Captain   J.   McAdam   who   carried   out   some modernisation,   both   inside   the   house   and   within   the   grounds.   The   former   gardener's   house,   offices   and   gardens   are   now   used   by   Bedlay Kennels.
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd
Bedlay mansion