South front of Carriden House
|Built for||John Hamilton of Letterick|
|Designated||25 November 1980|
Carriden House is a 14,041 square feet (1,304.5 m2) mansion in the parish of Bo'ness and Carriden, in the Falkirk council area, east central Scotland. It is located 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) east of Bo'ness, and 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north-east of Linlithgow, in the former county of West Lothian. The earliest part of the house is an early 17th-century tower house, which was extended in the 17th and 19th centuries. Carriden House is protected as a category A listed building.
Etymology of name
Carriden is etymologically a Cumbric name. The first element is agreed to be *kair 'fortification'. The second element is more doubtful, but seems fairly likely to be the same regional name Eidyn that also appears in Edinburgh.
Carriden House is located within a 2nd-century Roman fort, which formed the eastern end of the Antonine Wall. A tower probably stood on this site in the 16th century, and this was rebuilt or replaced in 1602 by John Hamilton of Lettrick. The tower was purchased later in the 17th century by the Mylne family, a prominent dynasty of masons and architects, and a west wing was added by Alexander Mylne. During the 18th century the house had many owners, and landscaping works were carried out in the grounds.
In 1814, the house was bought by Admiral Sir George Johnstone Hope (1767–1818), a veteran naval officer. His son Sir James Hope (1808–1881) made further alterations to the building, and also established the estate village of Muirhouses. The estate changed hands several more times, and by the 1970s was owned by the South of Scotland Electricity Board. Demolition was contemplated, to allow the building of a new power station on the site. This proposal was rejected and the house fell into disrepair. It the latter part of the 20th century the house was purchased from the SSEB by the Barkhouse family and restored as a private residence. The house is currently owned by the Blackbourn family and now operates as a guest house.
The house is on an L-plan, and comprises the original tower house and the 17th-century wing. The tower house, dated 1602, is of three storeys and was remodelled in the 19th century. The two-storey wing added by Alexander Mylne is to the west, and bears a 1682 date stone. The study on the first floor has a 17th-century plaster ceiling described as "particularly exceptional". The porch in the angle of the L is also a 19th-century addition.
- "Carriden House: Listed Building Report". Historic Scotland.
- Bethany Fox, 'The P-Celtic Place-Names of North-East England and South-East Scotland', The Heroic Age, 10 (2007), http://www.heroicage.org/issues/10/fox.html (appendix at http://www.heroicage.org/issues/10/fox-appendix.html).