Careston Castle (Angus)
|Careston Castle, c.1890. Image: Living Memory Association|
Stracathro House (Angus)
|Stracathro House in an engraving of 1850.|
|Stracathro House, 2012. Image: cisco via Geograph. Licenced for reuse under a Creative Commons licenc|
The main block has slightly projecting two bay ends with balustraded parapets and in between a screen of giant Corinthian columns in front of the recessed centre; from this in turn projects a three-bay pedimented porte-cochere of giant Corinthian columns.
|Stracathro House in 2012: rear elevation. Image: cisco via Geograph. Licenced under a Creative Commons licence|
Inside, the entrance leads through a plain vestibule to a double height inner hall with yellow scagliola decoration. It is oblong but the east and west walls are divided off by Corinthian-columned screens. and the square space between them has a shallow dome on pendentives, the centre of which is glazed to admit some light to what would otherwise be a very dark space. Three state rooms – drawing room, ante room and dining room – fill the whole length of the garden front, and all have coffered and painted ceilings with rosettes at the intersections of the beams and almost identical plasterwork to the coffers. The drawing room opens at the west end to a conservatory added c.1850, with a cast iron hammerbeam roof. The boudoir, off the south side of the drawing room, has a coffered quadripartite vault painted with birds and stylised foliage. West of the inner hall is the library, with painted decoration on the ceiling and above the bookcases. Between the library and boudoir is the main staircase, with painted decoration on the walls (panels of birds and flowers) and a wrought iron balustrade. The first floor landing has a trabeated ceiling rising as a glass-walled rectangular lantern. The main first-floor corridor has quadripartite vaulting. The stables and walled garden are also of c.1830. The house now stands on the edge of a hospital complex (of which it was part until c.2000) developed from 1939 onwards, and by the south drive, which leads through this, is a three-span cast iron footbridge, again of c.1830. The house itself is now in private ownership and was restored in 2003. The Adamson family retains the Stracathro estate.
The Adamson family of Careston Castle
Adamson, John (1813-93) of Careston Castle. Son of Capt. William Adamson of Dundee, born 1813. Owner of the Erichtside linen works at Blairgowrie. DL and JP for Angus. He married 9 April 1848 Susan Miller (d. 1851), daughter of Capt. William Shaw of Newhall and had issue:
(1) William Shaw Adamson (1851-1936) (q.v.).
In 1871 he purchased the Careston Castle estate. He made additions to the rear of the castle after 1880.
He died 28 February 1893 and was buried at Careston.
Adamson, William Shaw (1851-1936), of Careston Castle. Only son of John Adamson (1813-93) and his wife Susan Miller, daughter of Capt. Shaw of Newhall; born 20 November 1851. Educated at Cheltenham College and Edinburgh University. DL and JP for Angus; vice-convener of Angus County Council. He matriculated a coat of arms at the office of Lord Lyon King of Arms, 1900. He married 20 June 1883 Nora Jane (d. 1932), daughter of Rt. Hon. James Alexander Campbell of Stracathro and had issue:
(1) John Alexander Shaw Adamson (b. & d. 1885), died in infancy;
(2) Capt. William Campbell Adamson RFC (1886-1915) (q.v.);
(3) Annie Peto Adamson (1890-1963), born 24 April 1890; m. 1915 Brig-Gen. John Harold Whitworth Becke CMG DSO (d. 1949), son of James Henry Becke of Beckingham (Lincs) and had issue; died 4 November 1963.
He inherited Careston Castle from his father in 1893.
He died 12 March 1936 and was buried at Careston.
Adamson, Capt. William Campbell (1886-1915). Only surviving son of William Shaw Adamson (1851-1936) and his wife Nora Jane, daughter of Rt. Hon. James Alexander Campbell of Stracathro, born 5 November 1886. Educated at Fettes College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He married 28 May 1913 Margaret Stancombe, daughter of William John Mann JP of Highfield, Trowbridge (Wilts) and had issue:
(1) Lt-Col. William John Campbell Adamson (1914-91) (q.v.).
He was killed in action near Zandvoorde, 5 September 1915, in the lifetime of his father; buried at Harlebeke War Cemetery, Belgium.
Adamson, Lt-Col. William John Campbell TD (1914-91) of Careston Castle and Stracathro House. Only son of Capt. William Campbell Adamson (1886-1915) and his wife Margaret Stancombe, daughter of William John Mann, born 13 March 1914. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford (MA 1945). Commissioned in the army (Black Watch), 1935; served in WW2 with 51st Highland Division (wounded in Sicily); commanded 4th/5th Battalion, Black Watch, 1953-56. Fellow of Chartered Land Agents Society. JP (from 1949) and County Councillor (from 1951) for Angus. Member of the Royal Company of Archers. He married 10 June 1947 Margaret Josephine (1923-96), youngest daughter of James Helme of Halton (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) James Shaw Adamson (b. 1948), born 14 March 1948; educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond and Westminster Hotel School; now of Careston Castle, born 1948; m. 6 June 1986 Carol Louise Marion (1950-2002), daughter of Col. E.F.H. Key of Yorkshire and has issue two daughters;
(2) Flora Margaret Campbell Adamson (b. 1949), born 16 August 1949; m. 5 March 1977 Hugh Ramsey Rose (b. 1946), son of Lt-Col. David McNeil Campbell Rose (1912-2010);
(3) Ruth Anne Campbell Adamson (b. 1952), born 14 May 1952; m. 1980 Bryan E.G. Oates and had issue;
(4) Hugh Alexander Campbell Adamson (b. 1954); born 9 July 1954; now of Stracathro; married, 1985, Hon. Alison Mary Elliott, daughter of Robert William Elliott, Baron Elliott of Morpeth, and has issue one son and two daughters;
(5) Mary Janet Campbell Adamson (b. 1957), born 21 September 1957; m. 1980 Archibald John Miller-Bakewell and had issue two sons and one daughter.
He inherited the Stracathro estate in 1934 from his first cousin, once removed and the Careston Castle estate from his grandfather in 1936; at his death they passed to his elder son. Stracathro House and some land was leased and later sold to the Government as a hospital in 1938 but the estate was retained.
He died in November 1991.
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1925, p.5; N. Tranter, The fortified house in Scotland: vol. 4, 1986, pp. 102-03; J. Gifford, The buildings of Scotland: Dundee and Angus, 2012, pp. 409-14, 671-74
Where are their papers?
Adamson of Careston Castle & Stracathro: no significant archive is known to be in public custody.
This account was first published 9 May 2013 and was revised 27 March 2015 and 21 April 2017.