Listed Building

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Status: Designated


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Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
East Dunbartonshire
Planning Authority
East Dunbartonshire
NS 60583 72691
260583, 672691


Sir Archibald Stirling, dated 1624. 3-storey, 8-bay, L-plan former laird's house with extensive alterations and additions in classical style by David Hamilton, 1813-15, including 2-storey wings to E and W (side elevations); further additions to N (rear) (currently Cawder Golf Club). Roughly coursed, squared and tooled, heavily pointed rubble; long and short rubble quoins; polished strip quoins to wings. Raised, polished rubble margins to openings (mostly 19th century); base course and projecting eaves and blocking courses added in 19th century. Raised stone plaque to 1st floor centre of SW jamb, bearing Stirling of Keir and Cawder crest, dated 1624.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 8 bays (arranged 2-5-1). Central Doric portico, plain columns with vermiculated central sections, corresponding Doric pilasters, deep cornice over plain entablature; flanking square windows; timber door to penultimate bay right; wide segmental-arched window to far right in slightly advanced bay; tall tripartite windows with consoled cornice above. Later door to left re-entrant angle, blank 1st and 2nd floor windows (with faded painted glazing) above; 2 small windows to advanced SW jamb. Tall windows to 1st floor (piano nobile). Wide, single bay, 2-storey wing to far left with central timber door and large corniced tripartite, segemental-arched window above; wide 3-bay, 2 storey service wing to far right.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-storey, 4-bay service wing to foreground with tall, remodelled 3-bay main house set behind. Advanced, piended-roofed bay to far right of service wing; segmental-arched window to ground floor with lugged raised surround, large window to 1st floor with lugged surround and thin raised margin, projecting cill on console brackets. Doorway to ground floor penultimate left bay; blind window to far left. Single windows to 1st floor bays. 3 windows to 3rd storey of main house; left and central bays blind; piended service wing roof returns at cill level.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 19th century, 3-storey advanced and recessed extension to 17th century house (eaves of original house visible set back to upper rear); irregular fenestration with raised margins, tall segmental-arched stair window roughly to centre, large round-arched window to right return (to far right). Various 20th century, single storey service extensions to foreground. 20th century, flat-roofed, 2-storey extension to rear of W wing. Plain elevation of E service wing advanced to far left; 19th and 20th century, 2-storey extensions in re-entrant angle linking linking main house to E service wing.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-storey, 3-bay W wing with plain, mid to late 20th century 2-storey service extension recessed to left; original 17th century crowstepped twin gable of main house set behind W wing. 2 windows to left and right bays at ground floor (left window blind); 3 tall, central windows set close together at 1st floor; continuous cill course and raised moulded architraves.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows, some plate glass replacements. 20th century double storm doors to outer main entrance; to inner, early 20th century, panelled wooden door with stained glass to upper. Pitched roof, piended at outshots and wings; grey slates. Corniced ashlar gablehead and ridge stacks, round based, octagonal shafted, capped clay cans.

INTERIOR: Remodelled 1813-15 by David Hamilton in classical style. Principal rooms to 1st floor. Entrance Hall: entry through portico into low, elliptically-arched hallway; panelled plasterwork ceiling in returning to classical string course on wall; segmental archway to N leading into elliptical reception area with round arched pedimented doorways to left and right (rooms beyond these doors converted for golf club use); classical cornice with engaged classical pilasters to walls, those to N framing 19th century curved cantilevered stone staircase, decorative cast-iron balusters, mahogany handrail. Stairwell with timber panelled, splayed window surround; plasterwork groin vault to ceiling with large plaster roundel to centre. 1st floor corridor: doorway from stairwell leading into long, barrel-vaulted corridor along N side of house, divided into bays by engaged columns supporting classically moulded plaster arches, single panel to each ceiling bay; classical architraves with projecting cornices to principal doorways. Corridor terminated to E by 2 square bays; ribbed, plasterwork ceiling to 1st bay with floriated boss to centre; half-domed niches to N and S sides. 2nd bay with doorway to E (leading into E wing) and tall archways to N (to rear service accommodation) and S (to dining room). Corridor terminated to W by groin-vaulted section with elaborately carved acanthus ceiling rose and large round-arched window; additional vault to left return with large elliptical roundel on pendentives, acanthus ceiling rose, classical mouldings, engaged pilasters. Doorways from corridor leading to ante room in the SW jamb with coombed ceiling (possibly 17th century) and 19th century drawing room in W wing. Drawing Room: large drawing room to 1st floor floor of W wing; timber panelled dado with rail; classical cornice to upper section of wall with coombed cornice above. Plasterwork ceiling with coffered border with Greek key detailing, large sunken rectangular section to centre, bead-and-reel detailed cornice to reveals, foliated frieze detailing, elaborate acanthus ceiling rose to centre. White marble chimneypiece to E wall of drawing room, caryatids to ends, supporting entablature with cornucopia and a classical scene to centre, fleurons to advanced end sections, thin projecting mantel. Dining Room: large dining room to remodelled E end of 17th century house; dado rail, corniced eaves; simple coffered ceiling with foliated plasterwork detailing. Doorway to NE corner; tall, blind segmental-archway with moulded, pedimented architrave inset. Chimneypiece to E wall. Large window to S wall with wood panelled, splayed surround. Large timber framed opening to W wall, leading to a long barrel-vaulted room running the full length of S side of the main 17th century house, result of remodelling 3 original 17th century rooms; coffered plasterwork vault, divided into 3 bays by Greek key detailing. Windows on S wall corresponding to vaulted bays with splayed, timber panelled surrounds; mid to late 20th century mahogany bar to W end with passage to SW jamb to left.

Statement of Special Interest

A-Group including the related estate buildings of Cawder Dovecote, Cawder Stables, Cawder Icehouse, Cawder Gatelodge, Cawder Bridge and the lodge at 2 Cadder Road, Bishopbriggs. Cawder House has at its core a good example of an early 17th century laird's house, and following its 19th century remodelling, also boasts fine interiors by Glasgow architect, David Hamilton. Hamilton was one of Scotland's most prolific and popular architects of the time, his major works including the Royal Exchange in Glasgow (1827-1832), Hamilton Palace (now demolished) and Hutcheson's Hospital (1802-1805). The house and estate is the seat of the Stirling family, of Keir and Cawder, the lands having been in the possession of a Stirling since the 13th century.

The exact location of earlier houses in the grounds are unknown, although two possibilities may be on the site of an old tower that sat opposite the front of the present house (demolished around the time of the Hamilton remodelling), and to the SE of the house, where there is a landascape feature known as the Cadder Tumulus. This was an oblong-shaped raised mound, surrounded by a wide ditch, which uncovered medieval pottery on excavation. It was unfortunately destroyed during the opening of a sand quarry on the site.

The remodelling of the house by David Hamilton in the early 19th century, overseen by Charles Stirling, a partner in the West Indies merchant firm of Stirling, Gordon and Co, was also accompanied by large scale landscaping work and estate building. The Kelvin River was re-routed from its original course to the W of the house, and a boating lake was formed in its place (now water traps on the golf course). Walled Gardens were also built in this area, the last part of which were removed in the 1960s during an expansion of the golf course, and an Ice House constructed near the newly formed riverbank. Other additions to the estate included a dovecot, a lodge on the main driveway to the village of Cadder, and a new bridge on this driveway over the Bishopbriggs Burn.

Charles Stirling was a valuable patron to David Hamilton, and prior to taking ownership of Cawder, Stirling had commissioned Hamilton to build his previous dwelling, Kenmure House (now demolished), on the site of Bishopbriggs Golf Course. The Stirlings of Keir and Cawder were also major heritors to Cadder Parish Church (see separate listing), and around a decade after his work on Cawder House, Hamilton returned to build the present church in Cadder.

The completed mansion continued to be used as a dwelling until the early 1930s, when it was long-term leased to the founders of Cawder Golf Club and has since been used as their clubhouse. Cawder Golf Club began in 1933 and the two couses were laid out by the renowned golf course designer, James Braid.

There was another wing to the NE of the house, known as the John Knox room, which was removed in 1971. This name was derived from the fact that Knox once gave sermon at Cawder. The only other major 20th century alteration was the removal of a shallow, classical balcony from the remodelled far right bay of the principal elevation. The only trace of this is an advanced course of ashlar below the 1st floor tripartite window (which was originally a doorway onto this balcony).

The Antonine Wall passes across the main driveway, just to the south of the Bishopbriggs Burn, although it is mostly lost to the landscaping that took place in the 19th century, and later the golf course. A legionary stone from the wall, believed to have been found pre-1600, is still to be found housed in the clubhouse. The stone was previously built into the 19th century E wing, but was removed for preservation purposes and moved inside. It reads: LEC / II / AUG / FEC . This translates as 'The Second Legion Augustus built this'.

The mixed usage of the name Cawder and Cadder to describe the house, village and estate can be a source of some confusion. In the ancient maps of Richardson and Forrest, the parish is marked as 'Cadder' (the parish being one of the original 365 designated parishes), whilst the House and estate are marked as 'Calder'. The use of 'Calder' has since disappeared, and until the early 20th century the estate, village and parish were all refered to as Cadder. The use of the name Cawder was adopted by the golf club and this has since become the most common name for the House and its related estate, whilst the village and parish have continued to be called Cadder. These changes in name and spelling have been put down to gradual changes in dialect and pronunciation through time.

Cawder House lies within the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site Buffer Zone.

Notes updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).



T Pont, Map Of Glasgow And The County Of Lanark (circa. 1583-1596). T Richardson, Map Of The Town Of Glasgow & Country Seven Miles Around (1795). W Forrest, The County Of Lanark From Actual Survey (1816). 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1858). J Cubbage, The Cawder Story; Cawder Golf Club (1984). J Gifford and F A Walker, Buildings Of Scotland: Stirling And Central Scotland (2002), pp321-323.

About Listed Buildings

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Printed: 06/06/2020 08:57