Brown and Wardrop (completed as Wardrop and Reid) 1869-77. Present external form being Francois Ier remodelling of earlier house of several dates with total Frontage of 300', viz:- NW angle of main block small tower house probably late 14th century; extended to L-plan by wing running eastwards 54' linked at S gable, extended a further 88' mid 17th century and then by a further 40' to produce an approx symmetrical 3-storey house of 182' frontage with single pile centre and double pile ends, centre of north front being recessed with octagonal stair turrets; low 2-storey L-plan wings added at ends late in 17th century to bring total frontage to 300'; Internal alterations proposed (?if executed) James Craig 1785 Internal alterations David Hamilton 1827, scheme for further additions 1830, not executed. Remodelled 1869-77, original harled surfaces and openings retained but much embellished with French architectural features carried out in coursers or ashlar, principally twin bay windows corbelled to square at 2nd floor with high French roofs, double staircase and 1st floor balcony south front, large triple stairhall block with high pavilion roof and angle turrets, single-storey entrance hall and porch with balconied platform roof north front tourelles added angles of main block, high French roofs added over end sections of main block and wings chimneys rebuilt with diamond panels.
INTERIOR: various dates, old staircase much renewed early in present century after fire damage, fine baroque painted ceiling, neo Greek pilastered and barrel vaulted library, small drawing room David Hamilton 1827, remainder modified or remodelled by Wardrop.
Statement of Special Interest
A-Group comprises 'Callendar House' (HB 31236), and the associated 'Glenbrae Lodge and Gates' (HB 31235), 'Callendar House, Small Bridge on South Axis of House' (HB 31237), 'Callendar House Sundial' (HB 31238), 'Stable Court, Including Cobbled Yard' (HB 31239), 'Stable Block Including Dovecot, Cobbled Yard, Implement Shed, Boundary Walls and Gates' (HB 46544), 'Factor's House' (HB 46545), 'Dry Bridge' (HB 31240), 'Mausoleum' (HB 31241), 'Atrium House (Former Gardener's Cottage), Including Gatepiers' (HB 50224), 'Kennels' (HB 50894), 'Policy Walls' (HB 50896) and 'Wellhead' (HB 50897), see separate entries.
Empty and in poor condition (1972). The fountain on the south axis has been removed; a College of Education occupies the site of the walled garden but the walls partly remain with ball-capped gatepiers at the gateway towards the house (1972).
Callendar House and its associated buildings are the grandest and most prominent group of buildings in Falkirk. The Lands of Callendar were granted to the Livingston family in the mid-14th century, and they retained possession of the estate for nearly 400 years. The estate was forfeited to the Government after the Jacobite rising in 1715, who in turn sold on the estate. Callendar came to be bought by William Forbes in the late 18th century, a copper merchant from London, who continued to develop the mansion and the estate. It was the Forbes family who brought the celebrated architect David Hamilton to work on Callendar, and they were also instrumental benefactors to the development of Falkirk as a modern 19th century town. The estate remained in the possession of the Forbes family until 1963, when it was sold to the now defunct Falkirk Burgh Council. The Burgh Council were responsible for planning the high-rise housing within Callendar Park, and also the development of the walled garden as a College of Education (now the Callendar Business Park). However they did no work on the House, which remained derelict and boarded-up until 1997, when it was restored by the present Council.