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Stonebyres was the residence of  General Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas (1788 - 1868).

Thomas Weir of Kirktoun, who was one of those who, in 1572, found caution to answer an indictment charging them with being accessory to the murders of Darnley and the two Regents, is thought to have lived at Stonebyres, though not in these buildings.


Stonebyres was an estate and country house in Lanarkshire, Scotland, belonging to the Weir, or de Vere, family from earliest recorded history. The Weir-de Veres were a cadet branch of the Weir family of Blackwood but were a powerful and sometimes rival branch of the laird of Blackwood, head of Clan Weir. The laird of Stonebyres was often styled Baron Stonebyres.

Stonebyres Castle stood by the Linn Burn, a tributary of the River Clyde, around 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) west of Lanark. The keep, which was extant in the 15th century, measured 10 by 8.8 metres (33 by 29 ft). It was later extended to more than twice this size, and in 1850 it was remodelled as a Scots Baronial-style mansion. It was demolished in 1934, though some ruined walls survive. The coach house and a walled garden also remain nearby. Thomas de Vere is said to have been the laird of Stonebyres Castle in the 13th century.


From a fortified castle in the 14th century, Stonebyres House was gradually modified over the centuries to a large mansion. In the 1840s, the profligate lifestyle of the owner led to the sale of the house which was then greatly modified and was surrounded by a designed landscape with four entrance lodges, drives, avenues, parkland with specimen and woodland. The estate had a walled garden, smithy, coach house, laundry, ice house, gasworks, man-made loch used for curling in the winter, quarry and its own water supply.


When the De Vere family put Stonebyres of the market in 1841, it extended to 832 acres, after considerable disposals had already been made. It was purchased in 1842 by James Monteath for £25,600.  He extended the house, spending additional £25,999 to do so.


The purchase price had come from money inherited from Major Archibald James Douglas Monteath, who reputedly had made his fortune in India with treasure looted from a Maharaja's treasure elephant.


James later succeed to the Douglas family's Douglas Support estate when he assumed the surname of Douglas.  James Monteath Douglas died unmarried in 1850 and was succeeded by his cousin, General Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas, who died at Stonebyres in 1868.


Stonebyres was then leased out for the remainder of the century as James's only surviving daughter Amelia, having married Sir William Monteath Scott of Ancrum made that her home.

There was another major renovation of the house in 1906. Dame Amelia's daughter, Constance had acquired the estate from her mother who in turn sold it to James Noble Graham, of Carfin, in 1906. However, having spent £60,000 on Stonebyres, he became bankrupt and Constance regained ownership in 1924.


Demolished: 1934

When the owner, Constance Emily Monteath Scott, died in 1933, the estate was sold to Messrs. Kennoway & Fraser, Estate Agents, 9 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, who then resold it to the Department of Agriculture reserving the house for demolition in 1934


The Department of Agriculture created small holdings for unemployed men from Auchenheath.


Elements of the old estate and the designed landscape exist today



Sources for this article include:
  • Canmore
  • Lost Houses of Lanarkshire; Dan Sweeney

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    Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024