Would you buy Milkbank house?
We love to walk and over the past few months as we`ve been in Lockdown, the only way to keep sane is to go out and about walking, after hundreds of miles you can pretty much say we have covered quite a lot of Moffat and the surrounding areas.
But the best part about exploring our wonderful countryside is stumbling across old dilapidated houses, derelict, unloved and left to Mother Nature to nurture them to the way she wants too.
This is Milkbank in Kettleholm, Lockerbie. You`ll find this historical landmark along the Water of the Milk, hence the name Milkbank, it was built in around the 1890`s by the architects Frank James Chambers Carruthers, it was a Grand House with a carriage porch which led into the main hallway. On entering through this grand building the floor still has the original mosaic floor tiles, designed in a thistle, with a bit of elbow grease and hot soapy water, they would probably come up looking amazing. It really is a shame this house has been left to ruin.
The main hall has no flooring so it`s a bit difficult to clamber around, but the fireplace shows how important this wonderful building must have been in it`s glory days. This two storey building was built in Scots Baronial style with crowsteps and turrets with candle snuffer roof, which was removed in around the 1940`s after the last known residents left, apparently the roof was removed because it was either made from very flammable material therefore less likely it catch fire then all history would be removed and destroyed, or to dodge the roof tax which obviously something you`d not want to pay, even so all the internal items were removed and the house was left to Mother Nature to deteriorate.
William Ogle bought the house in 1895 from his cousin, after returning from India, (Henry Ogle Bell-Irving or H.O. as he was known, he was born at Milkbank, he trained as a civil engineer and moved to Canada in 1882 to become a surveyor engineer on the Canadian Pacific Railway).
It`s led to believe William retired here in 1897 and the original plans outlines a L shaped building but the second addition is larger and it`s unclear as whether William extended or replaced the building with what is current today.
Even though the building has deteriorated, some of the stone is still in good condition and with an eye to detail it`s truly remarkable, you can feel the love that must have gone into this amazing home.
It`s now categorized as a ruin and great caution should be taken when visiting, there are signs with "beware falling debris". However I was so pleased I visited and I`ll certainly take another peak around, a few yards from Milkbank you`ll find Milkbank Kennels, but that`s for another day.
Susan, 50, Love discovering new and exciting adventures in Moffat.