Curling house

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For other uses, see Curling House (disambiguation).
The old Curling House at Craigie in South Ayrshire.

A Curling House was used to store curling stones, brushes and other equipment used to maintain a curling pond and play the game of curling in Scotland and elsewhere.

Introduction[edit]

The houses were often purely functional in character, being relatively small and often located in quite isolated places. Some Curling Houses were built as part of country estates and were much grander in appearance. A fireplace was sometimes present and this ensured some welcome heat for players, night watchmen, etc.[1] The construction was of stone, brick or wood as shown by paintings or surviving examples.

Purpose[edit]

Curling stones are heavy objects, and in the days of horse transport and poor quality roads it would be easier to store stones at the site of the curling pond. Additionally the ponds needed a certain degree of maintenance to the water supply, dam, weed control, etc. Tools could be stored in the house. Sometimes a watchman was employed during the season to make sure that all was well with the pond, its ice and the curling equipment. Refreshments would be provided, such as the seemingly traditional pies and porter mentioned as being served at the Eglinton flushes.[2]

Scottish curling houses[edit]

Decline[edit]

Easier transport, establishment of ice rinks, and other factors have in general resulted in the demise of the Curling House. Due to their generally small size, most have been allowed to become ruins or have been demolished.

Sites of curling houses[edit]

  • Beith, North Ayrshire. In 1888 Mr Patrick of Grangehill both overhauled the Curling Pond on his estate and built a large Curling House for the players.[3]
  • Craigie village, South Ayrshire. A small rectangular brick built house with one fireplace, now roofless. The house lies in a meadow beneath the old manse; the pond is now just a wet pasture (2009).[4]
  • Dollar, Clackmannanshire. One Septimus Leishman made a handsome donation to the club in 1885 to enable a "modern" pond and clubhouse to be built in the town in Murray Place.
  • Fochabers, Moray. An ornate Curling house still survives, built with wood, some of it unworked, serving as 'tree trunk' supports to the roof.[6]
  • Newfarm Loch, East Ayrshire. The loch was situated in a low lying area between the farms of Holehouse and Newfarm in the Parish of Kilmarnock. The loch was mostly artificial and had stone built Curling Houses as well as wooden pavilions.
  • Partick, Glasgow - The Partick Curling Club was established in 1842 and in 1900 they acquired a long lease on the site in the new Victoria Park where they constructed a clubhouse and ponds.

References[edit]

Notes
Sources
  1. Reid, Donald (2001). In the Valley of the Garnock (Beith, Dalry & Kilbirnie). Beith : DoE. ISBN 0-9522720-5-9.
  2. Service, John (1890). Thir Notandums, being the literary recreations of the Laird Canticarl of Mongrynen. Edinburgh : Y. J. Pentland.
  3. Walls, William (1926). Life, Love, and Light. Edinburgh : Privately Published.

External links[edit]