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Chapelhall

Chapelhall, the biggest village in the Monklands,  lies on the opposite side of the North Calder Water from Calderbank and has very similar history. Iron working and coal mining were once prominent - with three blast furnaces working in the early 1830's.  The old village also had a quarry, a brickworks and a bakery.   The first curator of Kew Gardens, William Aiton,  began work as a gardener in Woodhall House near Chapelhall.   The population of Chapelhall was in the region of 4600 in the 1980's

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Main Street, Chapelhall around the early 1900's

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Built in the 1600's Monkland House was destined to burn down a few times.  Originally built by James Cleland  but later occupied by John Aitken one of the ironmasters who set up a foundry and forge in Calderbank. From the 1790's the house was used by as a residence by the various managers of the Calderbank works. In the mid 1900's it was turned into an Hotel but was burned down again.  The building was demolished and the site is now occupied by a very modern housing estate.

South of Airdrie, 1 mile north of Chapelhall, on minor roads west of A73, just west of Monkland Bridge, above ravine on north bank of Calder Water.
Monkland House has been demolished, though had been an impressive L-Plan house of the late 16th or early 17th century. The house was built against a slope, so that the main entrance at ground level on the north actually entered at the first floor proper. A later porch had been added at the entrance. There was no entrance at ground floor level.

 

The building consisted of a long main block, running east to west, with round towers at both of its southern corners. On the north side against the slope, a square wing was joined by half its length at the western corner. In the re-entrant, a round stair tower accessed a turnpike stair from the door. This led downwards to the basement of the main block, and upwards to third floor level.
The main block rose to three storeys and an attic for two thirds of its eastern end. However an additional storey rose at the western third. The wing had three storeys, and supported a wide chimney flue on its northern wall. All of the gables were corbie stepped and topped by chimney stacks. The windows on each floor had been enlarged in the 18th & 19th centuries, and dormers provided for the attic rooms of the lower section of the main block. There were many gun loops around the building.

All of the ground floor rooms were vaulted and protected by external walls reaching 5ft thick. The kitchen occupied the basement of the wing, and through the stair tower, a door accessed the three chambers of the main block.
Each floor of the wing appears to have had a single room. On the first floor of the main block was a drawing room, a dining room, and a smaller connecting room between the two. The rooms of the round towers were continuous with those to which they were connected. Access to the room in the wing was via a door in the northern connecting wall, behind the stair tower. The private chambers would have occupied the floors above.

Originally part of the extensive Monklands, Church property under the superiority of Newbattle Abbey, the estate passed to the Kerrs of Ferniehirst at the Reformation. The Hamiltons then obtained them before being acquired by Sir James Cleland of Monkland, who built the house.
Several fires in the 20th century caused the building to be demolished.

Monkland House details with thanks to Scottish Castles forum of Castle Duncan

 

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