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Mauldsley or Mauldslie Castle, Lanarkshire: designs for a castle-style house and stables for Thomas Carmichael, 5th Earl of Hyndford, 1791-96, as executed (15)


Thomas Carmichael, 5th Earl of Hyndford (1750-1811), was the son of Daniel Carmichael and great-grandson of John Carmichael, 1st Earl of Hyndford. Little is known of Carmichael. He inherited the Mauldsley estate from his brother in 1778 and inherited the title of the 5th Earl of Hyndford in 1787. He remained a bachelor and was succeeded by his brother in 1811 who was also a bachelor.

It is probable that Robert was approached to make designs for a new castle-style house at Mauldsley early in 1791 as he made two visits to the site that year, in July and September and signed the building contract with Lord Hyndford in December. It is not clear if the stables were part of the initial proposal or a later add-on. The designs for the stables have been attributed to William Adam as the only known surviving drawings are signed with the date 1795, after the death of Robert and James. In addition, some of the drawings for the house are dated after Robert Adam’s death in March 1792.

Andrew Cairns, one of Adam's assistants, was sent to carry out the business preliminaries at Mauldsley for Robert in October and December. Sanderson and Rowan both suggest that Cairns superintended the construction of the castle after Adam's death. However, Rowan later states that it was built under the supervision of Hugh Cairncross, a clerk of works for the Adam office, who also supervised Culzean and Dalquharran castles. The design for the principal floor, and a drainage plan dating from 1796 are signed by 'Mr Cairns'.

It would appear that the castle was executed to Adam’s designs. An 1808 engraving by the artist Robert Scott shows the west front of the castle, with a single-storey range to the south, as designed, and the principal front to the stables. King suggests that only the principal range of the stables was executed, however, the engraving appears to show more than one range and an 1835 estate map shows the footprint of the stables similar to Adam’s plans, although these could be a later addition. Nonetheless, the stables have been so extensively altered, having been converted into dwelling houses, that the only visible remains of Adam’s stables appear to be a semi-ruin of the principal archway and flanking niches.

The house was also subject to several alterations including the addition of lateral wings and a porte-cochere to designs by David Bryce in 1860. The house was demolished in 1935.

Literature: A.T. Bolton, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index, pp. 22, 76; D. King, The Complete Works of Robert & James Adam and Unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume 1, pp. 156, 175, 344; A. Rowan, ‘Robert Adam’s Last Castles’, Country Life, vol. 156, August 1974, p. 497; A. Rowan, ‘The Adam Castle Style’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, September 1974, pp. 679-694; M. Sanderson, 'Robert Adam's Last Visit to Scotland', Architectural History, Vol. 25, 1982, p. 35-46; A. Rowan, Designs for Castles and Country Villas by Robert & James Adam, 1985, pp. 146-149; C. Mosley (ed.), Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 2003, p. 695

Louisa Catt, 2023



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Contents of Mauldsley or Mauldslie Castle, Lanarkshire: designs for a castle-style house and stables for Thomas Carmichael, 5th Earl of Hyndford, 1791-96, as executed (15)