Glorious Gardens: Dalserf

Hamiltons in the Clyde and Avon Valley

Filed under History & Archaeology

- Sue Hewer, Scotland’s Gardens and Designed Landscape Heritage volunteer

Dalserf was originally part of the much larger Cadzow estate but became an individual unit in around 1400 and has descended through the Hamilton family until today. There has been a house on site from since at least the final years of the 16th century as indicated on Blaeu’s map from 1654.

This house was replaced by another in the early 1700s close to Dalserf church and village. The house was demolished in 1963 after the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland recorded the site. Although little remains of the gardens and pleasure grounds of Dalserf, it is fortunate that the painting that Francis C B Cadell painted of his sister in the grounds of Dalserf House survives, giving us insight to what the grounds looked like in 1912.

  • Blaeu's 1654 Glottiana Praefectura Inferior, cum Baronia Glascuensi, [vulgo], The nether ward of Clyds-dail and Glasco, based on surveys by Timothy Pont in the 1590s

    Blaeu's 1654 Glottiana Praefectura Inferior, cum Baronia Glascuensi, [vulgo], The nether ward of Clyds-dail and Glasco, based on surveys by Timothy Pont in the 1590s

  • Roy's Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-55, ©British Library

    Roy's Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-55, ©British Library

  • Forrest's 1816 The County of Lanark, from Actual Survey

    Forrest's 1816 The County of Lanark, from Actual Survey

  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (1st edition), Lanark XVIII.15 (Dalserf.)  Surveyed 1859, published 1864

    Ordnance Survey 25-inch (1st edition), Lanark XVIII.15 (Dalserf.) Surveyed 1859, published 1864

  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (2nd edition), Lanarkshire

    Ordnance Survey 25-inch (2nd edition), Lanarkshire

  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (3rd edition), Lanarkshire 018.15.  Revised 1910, published 1912

    Ordnance Survey 25-inch (3rd edition), Lanarkshire 018.15. Revised 1910, published 1912

  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (4th edition), Lanarkshire 018.15 (includes Cambusnethan, Dalserf). Revised 1939, published 1946

    Ordnance Survey 25-inch (4th edition), Lanarkshire 018.15 (includes Cambusnethan, Dalserf). Revised 1939, published 1946

  • Blaeu's 1654 Glottiana Praefectura Inferior, cum Baronia Glascuensi, [vulgo], The nether ward of Clyds-dail and Glasco, based on surveys by Timothy Pont in the 1590s
  • Roy's Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-55, ©British Library
  • Forrest's 1816 The County of Lanark, from Actual Survey
  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (1st edition), Lanark XVIII.15 (Dalserf.)  Surveyed 1859, published 1864
  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (2nd edition), Lanarkshire
  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (3rd edition), Lanarkshire 018.15.  Revised 1910, published 1912
  • Ordnance Survey 25-inch (4th edition), Lanarkshire 018.15 (includes Cambusnethan, Dalserf). Revised 1939, published 1946

The most interesting remaining feature in the setting of the house is the Lime Avenue which appears to have probably been in existence since at least the mid-seventeenth century according to Roy's map, but features of the designed landscape still remain. The estate is now on a life-long lease to tenants who live in the converted coach house and stable block.

  • View of Dalserf House from SE, 1962, copyright RCAHMS

    View of Dalserf House from SE, 1962, copyright RCAHMS

  • Joan Cadell at Dalserf, by Francis C B Cadell (1883-1937), 1912, copyright www.francis-campbell-boileau-cadell.org

    Joan Cadell at Dalserf, by Francis C B Cadell (1883-1937), 1912, copyright www.francis-campbell-boileau-cadell.org

  • The remaining Pleasure Gardens with ornamental box hedges and yew tree, with Mauldslie parkland to the rear

    The remaining Pleasure Gardens with ornamental box hedges and yew tree, with Mauldslie parkland to the rear

  • The terraced kitchen garden at the south edge of Pleasure Gardens, with surviving fruit trees and remnant fruit bushes

    The terraced kitchen garden at the south edge of Pleasure Gardens, with surviving fruit trees and remnant fruit bushes

  • East Park today, overlooking the curling pond area from the south-west

    East Park today, overlooking the curling pond area from the south-west

  • The doorway relocated from Dalserf House to a 20th-century extension to the Coach House & Stables, view from the south

    The doorway relocated from Dalserf House to a 20th-century extension to the Coach House & Stables, view from the south

  • View of Dalserf House from SE, 1962, copyright RCAHMS
  • Joan Cadell at Dalserf, by Francis C B Cadell (1883-1937), 1912, copyright www.francis-campbell-boileau-cadell.org
  • The remaining Pleasure Gardens with ornamental box hedges and yew tree, with Mauldslie parkland to the rear
  • The terraced kitchen garden at the south edge of Pleasure Gardens, with surviving fruit trees and remnant fruit bushes
  • East Park today, overlooking the curling pond area from the south-west
  • The doorway relocated from Dalserf House to a 20th-century extension to the Coach House & Stables, view from the south

Read more by clicking the Glorious Gardens: Dalserf report on Canmore link under 'Find out more'.

This research was carried out as part of the Glorious Gardens volunteer project, which is managed by Scotland's Garden & Landscape Heritage and delivered by Northlight Heritage, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and from Historic Environment Scotland.  To find out more about the project, explore the other museum items below.


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