Sunday, 29 August 2010

Lennox Castle & Kirk O' Shotts Combined for a Spooky Image

I've been creating some halloween designs for invitations, candy bags etc., and was concentrating on cute cartoonish designs for kids. But, I wanted to promote some more spooky designs on another blog and really couldn't find all that many. Someone mentioned something that got me thinking about a couple of images that I photoshopped together a long time ago, just for fun. I went back and made it into an invitation, but thinking about the image and describing it got me riled up. Here's the invitation:

Nothing to get riled up about right? Well, the building in the image is Lennox Castle, Lennoxtown, by Glasgow, Scotland, overlooking the Campsie Hills. It was built in 1843 for John Lennox Kincaid, the sixth Laird of Balcorrach and would-be  Earl of Lennox (financial difficulties prevented him attaining the latter).

In 1927 the castle was purchased by the Glasgow Corporation and converted into a mental assylum, ultimately run by the NHS. At various times it was used as an emergency war hospital and also had a maternity ward. During the 1970s, the hospital had over 1600 patients in residence.

Between the 1990s and 2002, Greater Glasgow Health Board closed down the hospital in phases. The land was to be used to build housing (Celtic Football Club's training ground is also on the site) and the castle left to decay. The catsle was given 'Listed' status (Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest) requiring that it may not be demolishe, extended or altered without  special permission from the local planning authority. In May 2008 a fire ripped through the castle, requiring 13 Fire Service vehicles to attend in an attempt to get the blaze under control. According to Buildings at Risk the castle is currently owned by a development company based in Northern Ireland and as of 2009 they were in talks with the Local Planning Authority regarding restoration works. At present, the castle sits with it's two front towers demolished, carved through into the main building.

The 'ghost' in the invitation image comes from the graveyard at the Kirk O' Shotts Parish Church, Salsburgh. Kirk O' Shott's was once known as St. Catherines Chapel but following the reformation in 1560 it became a Protestant Church. Around 2005 the Church was in danger of being closed due to it's state of dis-repair. For a long time, a banner could be seen from the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, hung from the side of the landmark building and reading "Save our Church". Over half a million pounds was needed to bring the building back up to required standards with funding coming from Church of Scotland, Historic Scotland, and members of the community. The church was re-dedicated in 2007. One of the many intersesting gravestones at the Kirk O'Shotts reads: Here lyes the bones of William Smith, who lived at Moremellon, who with others appeared in arms at Pentland Hills in defence of Scotland’s Covenanted Word of God in opposition to popery, prelacy, and perjury, and was murdered on his return home near this place.

It's sad to think how easily our heritage can be lost, so many wonderful building in Scotland lie in ruin. Thankfully the Kirk was saved, but what of the others?

Scarecrow Jack Halloween Party Invitation invitation

Scarecrow Jack Halloween
Party Invitation

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