THIS picturesque little estate is in the parish of Strathblane and county of Stirling, close to the Allander burn, which here separates Stirlingshire from Dumbartonshire. It is situated in the upper or hill part of the parish, and the views, from many parts of it, of the beautiful Valley of the Blane and the Highland hills, are particularly fine.
In ancient times the lands of Carbeth formed part of the barony of Mugdock, which was granted to Patrick de Grame, the ancestor of the noble family of Montrose, by one of the old Earls of Lennox. Mugdock was the first property the "Gallant Grahams" held in this part of the country. James Graham, the "Great Marquis" of Montrose, and after him his son, the second Marquis, feued off a considerable part of the barony, and Carbeth and a number of small properties in the neighbourhood were thus formed.
At the close of last century, this estate was in the hands of a family of the name of Macindoe, who had held it for many years. Early in the present century, it was bought from James Macindoe by John Guthrie, West India merchant in Glasgow. (1) John Guthrie had spent the early part of his life in the West Indies, and when he came home and settled in Glasgow, he joined the firm of Leitch & Smith. He subsequently was a Magistrate and Dean of Guild in 1814.
Mr. Guthrie at once began to improve his new acquisition, and to form the garden ornamental water and pleasure grounds which now add so much to the beauty of the place. Mr. Macindoe, with a view to building ultimately, had previously planted very judiciously, and formed great part of the fine woods till recently on the property. On the site of the present house there formerly stood old farm buildings, and there in 1810 Mr. Guthrie built what now forms a great part of the present house. He died unmarried at Edgecumbe Cottage, Devonshire, in 1834, and was succeeded by his cousin William Smith.
William Smith was the second son of the late Archibald Smith of Jordanhill, and grandson of James Smith of Craigend in this parish. He was formerly a West India merchant in Glasgow, and in his day one of its most prominent and popular citizens. He was Dean of Guild in 1821, and Lord Provost in 1822. (2) He altered the name of the property from "Carbeth" to "Carbeth Guthrie," and in 1835 made a considerable addition to the house from plans furnished by the late John Baird, architect, Glasgow.
In 1861 Carbeth Guthrie was sold to the late Rev. John C. C. Brown, minister of the parish of Ceres, and a son of the late Hugh Brown of Broadstone, Ayrshire, who disposed of it a few years afterwards to Mr. Robert H. Fraser of Glasgow. Mr. Fraser has considerably altered the house both within and without. He has covered the fine old whinstone work of the walls with a coating of white paint, and made other changes in front, and at the back he has added a most singular erection of iron and glass containing some bedrooms and a billiard room.
(1) Mr. Guthrie's mother was Elizabeth Smith, daughter of James Smith of Craigend in this parish (see Craigend).
(2) Mr. Smith died in 1871, aged 85 years. He was born in 1787, in his father's house in Dunlop Street, a handsome specimen of the good taste of our forefathers in street architecture, and only recently removed. Mr. Smith married, in 1810, Jane, daughter of Alexander Cuningham and grand-daughter of Sir William Cuningham of Robertland, Bart., by whom he had Archibald, advocate, now deceased, late Sheriff-substitute of Lanarkshire, and Cuningham, merchant in Glasgow. He married secondly, in 1829, Sarah, daughter of Henry Wallis of Marysborough, and grand-daughter of Henry Wallis of Drishane, Co. Cork. By her, who died in 1877, aged 80, he had Henry Wallis, minister of Kirknewton and East Calder, John Guthrie of the Royal Exchange, Glasgow, William, a major in the Royal Artillery, and James George of Bombay and Liverpool, and two daughters, Jane Cuningham, wife of John Macredie of the Perceton family, and who died in 1862, and Helen Catherine, unmarried.
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