Chatelherault Hunting Lodge

©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


Located within Chatelherault Country Park, 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Hamilton, the Chatelherault Hunting Lodge was built in 1734 by the architect William Adam (1689 - 1748) to provide estate buildings, stables and kennels for the 5th Duke of Hamilton within the policies of Hamilton Palace. The Palace was demolished, but the Hunting Lodge remains. Intended largely as a 'folly' to be viewed from the palace, the wide facade of the building comprises four shallow pavilions which are connected by walls. The two western pavilions, which included the Duke's apartments and banqueting rooms, feature fine Georgian plasterwork and woodcarving.

Chatelherault suffered subsidence due to mining, such that even today the West Lodge slopes. In addition, much of the building was gutted by fire in the 1940s and subsequently suffered from vandalism. It lay in ruins until the 1970s when it was given to the nation, along with a section of the High Parks, in lieu of taxes following the death of Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the 14th Duke of Hamilton (1903-73). It was restored to its former glory by Historic Scotland (1978-87), with the plasterwork faithfully reproduced, a museum and visitor centre has been discreetly created at the rear and a parterre planted outside. The building, together with the surrounding Chatelherault Country Park, is run by South Lanarkshire Council and attracts approximately 100,000 visitors per year.

The name Chatelherault derives from a French title bestowed in 1548 upon James Hamilton, the 2nd Earl of Arran (1516-75), and subsequently passed down through the family.

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