Hidden Mauldslie Graveyard Revealed
CCI volunteers reveal hidden gem
Nestled on a large mound within the former grounds of the old Mauldslie Castle estate, sits a tiny burial ground. Possibly chosen for its superlative views across the estate grounds, now obscured by mature trees, this was the final resting place of members of the Hozier family, the owners of the estate from 1860. The history of the site, however, may go much further back.
The Castle itself was built in 1792, remodelled in the 1860s and finally demolished in 1957. It is known that the grounds were a Royal Hunting Forest as long ago as the 13th century, and there is known to have been an earlier castle, which is mentioned in relation to the transfer of land in 1587. William Roy also recorded the mound during his military survey in the 18th century, depicting it on the fringes of the designed landscape. Brigadier-General James Carmichael, 2nd Earl of Hydford is believed to be buried there, and The Old Statistical Account of Scotland (1790s) suggests that the mound is man made, and is an ancient burial ground, where bones and carved stones have been found.
The site had since become forgotten and overgrown, hidden at the back of a private property. Rhododendron in particular had eneveloped the site, preventing access and threatening damage to the stones. CAVLP, through Clydesdale Community Initiatives set out to tackle this and make the site accessibly once again. CCI volunteers venture into the greenery, while Duncan attacks the Rhododendron head on.
Armed with small tools, gloves and determination (and a chainsaw) the volunteers make fanastic progress, gradually uncovering the graveyard once again. By the end of the second day the site had been completely revealed and we can get an impression of the symmetrical design, hinting at the grand designed landscape it was once a part of.
With the site now safe and accessible the current owner can keep up regular maintenance, and the site itself will be conserved for the future. Please note that the graveyard is private, and is not normally accessible to the public outside of organised events. However, you can still get in touch with us for more information. This work was part of the CAVLP Historic Graveyards project, which includes several historic kirkyards and cemeteries in North and South Lanarkshire. A related project, Glorious Gardens, is exploring the designed landscapes of South Lanarkshire, including Mauldslie, with the longer-term aim of conserving and enhancing these historic places.