The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
THOUGHTS IN CONCLUSION The considerations which governed the choice of site back in the early days when the site of Bedlay was chosen by Robert Boyd were, clearly, those of a vastly different character and nature from those considered in modern times. One can also see something of the way of life adopted by our ancestors in the additions and alterations carried out at Bedlay and, indeed, in Bedlay itself from the 16th Century onwards. Sketch of Birdbath The main consideration was that the House or Castle should be a stronghold which could be well defended in times of strife. The look-out tower was practically a necessity (as has already been mentioned) for obvious reasons. A source of fresh water was of course essential and Bedlay has a fine well nearby, being sprang sometime in the 15th Century according to historians. The then small village of Chryston was supplied at that time with water from the well at Bedlay but is no longer now in use in that connection. Early prints show outbuildings clustered round the flank of the house towards the Eastern approach. History shows that the laird and his followers had to be close to each other and there was no exception at Bedlay. Conditions changed gradually in Scotland and social changes became apparent. Personal and domestic servants only were housed in the Castle. Grooms and other outdoor retainers had their quarters moved away from the immediate surroundings of the Castle and we find in the case of Bedlay that there is a largish house for this purpose hidden away behind Rhododendrons and trees 15 yards from the Castle. The Roberton additions brought the character from a Castle to that of a Mansion House. The 19th Century saw Bedlay in the role of a Country House for business men in Glasgow. Nowadays the proprietors take an active interest in the activities of the neighbourhood. Fuel House Wall Interiors were gradually undergoing changes to keep in line with modern trends and the simple and dignified white lime-washed walls and ceilings became flambuoyant in wood panelling embellishing the walls whilst the ceilings became elaborately carved and coved. (one strange feature about Bedlay is that the Eastern and, for a long time, the only staircase is stopped at the first floor level. It is a great pity that this stair was not carried up to the 2nd floor and, indeed, right up to the tower room located at the top of the square Eastern tower, which would have obviated the need for the somewhat perilous wooden stair now existing to the tower room. As it is, one has to traverse the whole length of the building twice in order to gain the East end of the 2nd floor from immediately below. Too much attention is paid to the Germanic influence of Corbusier, Gropius, etc., whilst we have in our midst a grand traditional architecture here in Scotland. One must believe that our buildings shall, to a degree, suit climatic conditions and so we find small windows, gables, etc. We have a heritage here in our native country that should be developed instead of seeking inspiration in foreign lands.
Bedlay Castle Chryston
An Architectural visit to this 17th Century Mansion