Galloway House

Galloway House
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Galloway House

Set in a fine parkland landscape overlooking Wigtown Bay, Galloway House is an immense classical pile located a half-mile (1 km) south of Garlieston. The five-bay main block, of three storeys with a basement, is connected by sweeping curves to grand three-storey wings to the north and south. The rough walls are detailed in red sandstone and the central section of the main block is defined by Corinthian pilasters and a pediment sporting a coat-of-arms. Begun 1740-42, it was the work of John Baxter for Alexander Stewart, Lord Garlies, later the 6th Earl of Galloway (c.1694 - 1773), but has been multiply extended and remodelled by successive Earls. Robert Mylne worked on the house in 1764 and William Burn and David Bryce in 1842-9. Perhaps its greatest feature is the magnificent two-storey entrance hall, constructed in 1909 by Robert Lorimer (1864 - 1929).

A fine garden was developed. The policies were planted with thousands of trees and surrounded by a wall built by French prisoners at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

Lavish spending on the house and estate depleted the Galloway family's wealth and they were forced to sell in 1908. The next owner, Sir Malcolm McEacharn (1852 - 1910), further developed the garden with his son Neil, who went on to create the remarkable garden at Villa Taranto in Italy. The property was bought by Lady Forteviot of Dupplin in 1930 and, after she died in 1940, it served for a short time as a convalescent hospital for servicemen injured during World War II. Her step-grandson, Edward Strutt, added to the garden and created a trust to ensure its future. The house was sold to Glasgow Corporation and, between 1947 and 1976, served as a residential school providing young children with the chance of an education in the countryside. Subsequently the house returned to private hands with a succession of overseas owners, while the surrounding estate is now an organic cattle farm, comprising 242 ha (600 acres) and run from the home farm.

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