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Calderbank House

After visiting Glasgow Zoo, I thought it might be an idea to try the neighbouring site, Calderbank House. I've passed this a few times when out walking, but never really noticed it. A few years ago, the entrance was clear, but is now barred to vehicles, if not walkers. Not apparent from the picture below, the barrier has been hit by at least two cars, counting the spoilers and bits lying in the grass behind it.

Calderbank House Hospital is listed by the NHS records thus: Calderbank House Hospital near Baillieston was opened in 1919 and functioned as an annexe of Bellshill Maternity Hospital until 1964. When it joined the National Health Service in 1948, Calderbank was placed under the Board of Management for Coatbridge, Airdrie and District Hospitals.

Latterly, it was a Talbot Association Residential Home, their aim being "To provide care and solace for all destitute men and women in the form of accommodation including homes of rehabilitation to help individuals gain a useful place in society". There are no details on their web site, other than the address and phone number, which is the same as that on the sign pictured later.

So, no concluding dates relating to its existence. However, the building has been completely demolished and all evidence of the building removed.

The stair window (stained glass) was preserved by the Talbot Association, when they moved from Calderbank to their new building: htttp://www.verrier-scotland.demon.co.uk/restor/Talbot.htm

An undated quote from the now lost baillieston.net site: "There has been a settlement on this site for 500 years. Calderbank House was a fine 150 year old building which had 24 x 7 security but it 'mysteriously' burned down. Demolition took place within days and the land was sold to a builder quickly after that. You can draw your own conclusions". There is an album labelled "Blackyairds or Calderbank" http://groups.msn.com/Bailliestonnet/thesavecalderbankalbum.msnw?albumlist=2 Although this has recent pictures (1994) taken prior to the demolition, it is an MSN album, rather than a proper web site, so info is limited to the comments associated with the images. Well worth the effort of working through the images to glean the associated info.

These two early images were listed as being public domain:

The entrance to the site in January 2005.

One assumes with a title like Clyde Valley Community Forest, you're unlikely to be hassled for wandering around. In fact, once you go in, it becomes clear that the sign refers to the area immediately behind it. This is an area of recently planted and managed forest, to the side of the access road, and surrounded by fences with stiles for access.

Cameras are promised, but not found. They'd be busy if they were there, since the locals walk their dogs here. You have to wonder at what clientele the Rowan Tree Nursery (further along the same road) is fishing for, placing their sign for locals, addicts (see last pic below) and neds. Maybe the drivers of the cars that hit the barrier were trying to read it.

After climbing the usual pile of earth blocking the road, an open gate and sign are found.

House management knew the area better than the nursery owners, as shown by the wire guards fitted to the access road lighting.

The long single track road, complete with lighting along its entire length, leading to the house.

The loop at the end of the road, so vehicles could get back out. Calderbank House would have appeared across the far end of this feature.

Though they didn't all make it.

This would have been the forecourt of the Calderbank House, which would have been just to the right of this area. The wall in the distance marks the area of an enclosed garden.

Presumably from the interior. Possibly the only recognisable remains of the interior.

The only substantial visible exterior evidence, the walled garden area. The gap has there has a stone path leading through it. The small stacks of broken slabs in the foreground are used by local neds to support various cans being used as airgun targets, and others can be found around the area.

The area inside the wall is overgrown, and it is clear that earth had been piled over some of the area, possibly the aftermath of exploratory drilling that has taken place in connection with development. There had been a garden and greenhouse towards the rear of the area, and the boundary wall has a large hole smashed through the brickwork.

A final reminder of the exclusiveness of this area was found on leaving, with the pictured items lying in the grass verge of Muirhead Road.

Past the area where the car park had been, a clearly worn path can be found, and this comes out some 30 m above the River Clyde. It carries on towards the area of the former Glasgow Zoo, but following further would have to be an adventure for another day. Although not particularly hazardous (for the careful), it's not a trek for a wet day as much of the ground is slimy, and occasionally runs close to the edge of a drop down to the river, so care is required.