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Airdrie House

The exact date of construction of Airdrie House is unclear but it is thought that one of its original owners, a member of the Cleland family, was brother-in-law to William Wallace. It is believed Wallace and his troops camped in the baronial-style mansion before his disastrous defeat at Falkirk in 1298, which forced him to flee to France until 1303.



By 1490 the mansion was owned by the Torrance family, who were involved in many historic conflicts. One member of the family, John Hamilton, was killed at the Battle of Flodden in Northumberland in 1513, along with James IV, who had broken his alliance with Henry VIII and invaded.
John's descendent, Gavin Hamilton, took part in the attempted capture of James VI at Stirling Castle in 1571.
Robert Hamilton, born in 1650, supported the victorious Covenanters at Drumclog in 1679 against John 'Claverhouse' Graham, Viscount Dundee, who later became the Jacobite commander, 'Bonnie Dundee'.
But Claverhouse, in retaliation, captured Airdrie House and used it to garrison his troops.
Robert went into exile but towards the end of the century , c1687, returned as Laird and generously supported the farms his land was feued to. He also set up a weaving industry in the town. He was credited with being the real founder of the modern Airdrie. He was the owner of most of the land around Airdrie and was the "Laird" of Airdrie House. He led Airdrie's transition from being a "Ferm Toon" to the more prestigious country village. After obtaining the Act in 1695 he continued to foster and encourage the development of his native place until he died in 1705 at the age of 55.
"He truly lived for others"

After John Aitchison of Rochsolloch acquired the Airdrie Estate in 1769. Airdrie House was principally occupied by two of his daughters, Misses Isobel and Margaret.

Isobel was born in 1730 and died in 1818.

Margaret was born in 1739 and died in 1824. During their occupancy of the manor house the Misses Atchison were closely; identified with Airdrie, and in many ways showed their deep interest in the community. The various charitable organisations of the town were liberally supported by them. They were exceedingly kind to the deserving poor and their memory was cherished for many years after their death.

Miss Margaret Aitchison, who lived to see the Burgh formed, made a large contribution towards the expenses of obtaining the Burgh Act in 1821. She also gave up the right to the Burgh Customs, which were held
by the Estate under the Act of 1695, to the 'I'own Council. This gift was equal to an annual revenue to the Burgh something like £40.

In 1887 Sir John Wilson Bt JP - a late 19th century businessman and local politician- bought the Airdrie House estate.  He was the son of a local coal master but is now remembered as the benefactor who ensured that Airdrie has West End Park, an imposing Town Hall and Centenary Park stands on estate land.

Upon his death in 1918, he bequeathed the land to the people of Airdrie and it became the local maternity hospital (Airdrie House Maternity Home Hospital) in 1919. This closed in 1962 and was demolished in 1964 to make way for the current Monklands District General Hospital.

Monklands was the first new hospital, that is, one which did not provide new accommodation for an existing hospital to be built in Scotland in the post World War II era. Planned to be known as 'Airdrie District General Hospital' it was renamed with the introduction of local council reorganisation, to Monklands District General Hospital.

The first patients were admitted in 1977, however, some hospital departments were open in 1974 including the College of Nursing.

The Hospital is now known as Monklands Hospital

Monklands General Hospital

 

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