TULLICHEWAN CASTLE, Tullichewan, Alexandria.
This castle may no longer exist and has left scant signs, but it is nevertheless an important part of the history of the Vale of Leven. Although the castle may be long gone, signs of its existence do remain in the form of its stables building and a lodge house.
The Tullichewan estate was bought from the Colquhouns of Luss by John Stirling of Cordale in 1792. It is thought that the castle was built about this time, well at least begun to be built as it was not completed until about 1808 - due to "business misfortunes" according to John Neill in his Records and Reminiscences of Bonhill Parish. [WDC].
The castle was designed by the architect Robert Lugar, the same person who designed Balloch Castle. The grounds of the house were laid out by Alexander Naysmith, landscape gardener, architect and, most famously, artist, principally remembered for his portrait of Robert Burns. [WDC].
John Horrocks purchased the castle in 1817 and lived there until the death of his wife. He then sold it in 1843 to William Campbell of J & W Campbell, Glasgow merchants who pioneered the modern department store. The last owner of the castle was J Scott Anderson, who lived there from about 1930. Mr Anderson vacated the castle when it was requisitioned early on in the Second World War for use by the W.R.N.S. and Naval personnel. Latterly the castle was used as accommodation for workers at the Torpedo factory. After that it lay unused for years and it was eventually demolished by being blown up in 1954. [WDC].
Old photographs show that it was large and heavily castellated. The main section was rectangular, but the section overlooking the Vale was dominated by a large drum of a tower. A porte cochere greeted visitors. A high stone retaining wall supported the driveway. This had a pointed arch underpass for the burn. Old photographs show it all set within magnificent rhododendron.
This is one of the photos used as a postcard.
In this map of 1860/4 we can see both the castle and the stables very slightly south of it. The stables remain up on the high embankment above the A82. While some remnants of the castle remain too in the trees, a great deal of it would have been affected by the road construction. NLS ©
Dumbartonshire, Sheet XVIII
Survey date: 1860, Publication date: 1864
The extent of the estate and some idea of its grandeur can be seen from the two remaining buildings, TULLICHEWAN ESTATE STABLES COTTAGE index.asp?pageid=716384 above the A82, and TULLICHEWAN SOUTH LODGE index.asp?pageid=716383 between Christie Park and the VALE CENTRE FOR HEALTHCARE index.asp?pageid=716549 in Main Street, Alexandria, and the Tullichewan North Lodge now GLEN ALWYN LODGE index.asp?pageid=716487 each discussed separately.
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND maps : Extract from map of Dumbartonshire, Sheet XVIII, Survey date: 1860, Publication date: 1864
VALE OF LEVEN PROJECT website : http://www.valeofleven.org.uk/tullichewan.html This discusses the Tullichewan Camp in on the estate between 1942 and 1953.
WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL website : https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/leisure-parks-events/museums-and-galleries/collections/buildings/castles-and-country-houses/castles-and-country-houses-vale-of-leven/tullichewan-castle/