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History of Crossbasket Castle

Original Owner:
James Hamilton, 1st Laird Hamilton – Born in 1415 in Scotland and Died in 1479 in Scotland

Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran – Born in 1453 in Stirling Castle, Scotland and Died in 1488

Additional Owners:
Alexander Lindsay, 1st Laird of Crossbasket – Died in 1503 in Scotland
Archibald Steward of Blackhall – Born in 1635 in Blackhall, Scotland and Died in 1722 in Blackhall, Scotland
James Ballie of Park – Born about 1590 and Died in 1661- Married Catherine Hamilton in 1619
Thomas Peter of Crossbasket – Born in 1703 and Died in 1773
Charles Macintosh – Born in 1776 in Glasgow, Scotland

The Story of Crossbasket Castle

Now an opulent and sensitively renovated hotel, this 17th century castle in High Blantyre is located amongst the rolling landscape of Ayrshire. With a rich history spanning seven centuries, the land where the castle stands first appeared on official records in the 14th century, when it was owned by Scottish nobility, the Hamiltons of Cadzow – a family with a chequered past. In fact, it is understood that three of the Hamilton brothers were imprisoned in the Tower of London due to violations of the truce between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland.


In 1440, the land was acquired by Alexander Lindsay, who was responsible for the construction of Crossbasket castle. Later in the 16th century, the Lindsays also built a tower house on top of a rocky crag in the 16th century, which was used by the family as a dower house. Unfortunately, Alexander Lindsay of Mains and Dunrod, who was in possession of the castle during the 17th century, fell for the charms and delights of a debaucherous and extravagant lifestyle, which resulted in him having to sell his property to pay the large debts he had foolishly accumulated.


Over the following decades, Crossbasket was owned by a number of Scottish landowners, including the Dean of the Guild of Glasgow, Thomas Peter, in 1709 and Charles Macintosh in 1818 – the acclaimed inventor of waterproof fabrics, whose name has since become synonymous with the raincoat. Between 1818 and 1945, this impressive castle was owned by a string of wealthy businessmen, landowners, agents, and members of the East India Company, before James Little transferred ownership to the J. Little Trust in order to use the castle as a children’s home.


For the next six decades, Crossbasket castle was used as a welcoming space offering support and guidance to those in the local community; first as a children’s home, then as a further education centre, and finally as a religious centre. With a varied and eclectic history at its core, this impressive property has since opened its doors to the public, and is most certainly one of Scotland’s most luxurious and welcoming hotels.