The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
Bedlay Castle Chryston
An Architectural visit to this 17th Century Mansion
SECOND FLOOR Second Floor Plan and Attic Three large rooms are found on the 2nd floor with the two small turret rooms opening off the room to the West. There is also a room situated at the top of the square Eastern tower. This room is located at a higher level than the main 2nd floor and is reached by means of a narrow wooden circular stair. North Elevation It is possible to discover where the main additions have been made when one sees the original thick walls which contain the 2 main apartments at the Western end of the Castle. One of the most interesting features of this old Castle is a secret room which reflects the tumultuous character of the times in that such a place of concealment should be incorporated in this building. The Southern turret of the West room on the 2nd floor houses this secret room which is located under the floor and is large enough to accommodate 9 - 10 people if necessary, being about 3 feet in height. It is entered by a trap door which is found in front of the West window and is hidden by a wooden window seat which has been magnificently fitted and defies detection. The window seat is in 2 parts which slide apart on grooves which are absolutely invisible to the observer. A contemporary feature of the times is to be found in the North wall to the passage on this floor in the form of a garde-robe which is built into the thickness of the wall. The only feature worthy of interest to be found in the centre room, and one characteristic of Scottish houses of the times, is an old 16th Century fireplace which has a heavy lintol supported by plain round columns topped with filletted square caps. It looks as if this fireplace has very old connections probably with the earliest part of the Castle. The tower room which is reached by a short, sharp flight of steps is reputed to be the most haunted room in the Castle and seems to date from the earliest period of the building. This tower room has the unique distinction of having a window facing each of the compass cardinal points. Old fashioned "Thistle" type hinges on the door to the tower room indicate further the great age of this part of the Castle. It is believed that this tower room was used as a watch tower or 'look-out' when, at that time, sheep stealers and marauding parties came from the Highlands and Border districts, the need for some kind of watch being kept over one's property being essential. As a look-out tower this room no doubt served to announce the approach of enemy searchers and allow the abundant covenanting conspirators time to gain safety in the afore-mentioned secret room before quitting the district. West Elevation The recently formed attic room located above the Western room of the 2nd floor was instituted by the father of the present owners and he intended it as a schoolroom. It is really difficult to reconcile this move because, with all respect to individual taste, it is fairly obvious that the dormer window which lights the attic room on the South side would prove troublesome in the otherwise harmonious elevation. This room is reached by a narrow passage from a steep wooden spiral stair from the 2nd floor. The author feels that the South elevation would have benefited by the absence of this window and the substitution of a plain flat roof light or, better still, no light on that side and more glass area incorporated in the window to the North which is hidden.