33 Shore Road, Skelmorlie – Demolished 2005

Photo Source: 1. Chaseley House postcard – Circa 1960s 2. Chaseley House. Facebook: Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay in their Heyday.

Build commissioned by Hugh Walker1867Architect John Honeyman. Cost £4,512.
Mr & Mrs David Laidlaw and the Misses Laidlaw1876 – Unknown
Unknown Unknown – 1939Possibly a hotel during this period.
Lanarkshire Coalmaster’s Association 1939 – Unknown Used as a convalescent home for women of mining families.
Beechwood Nursery Unknown
Miglia Property Development 2005Chaseley House demolished and 33 flats erected forming Chaseley Gardens.

*Source: Dictionary of Scottish Architects design report. scottisharchitects.org.uk/.


  • Chaseley was commissioned by Hugh Walker, designed by the architect, John Honeyman and built in 1867 at a cost of £4,512. Note: According to the notes of special interest relating to Stroove, Chaseley on Shore Road was the first house that Honeyman built in Skelmorlie, although he had worked on alterations for Skelmorlie Bank the year before. Source: Dictionary of Scottish Architects design report. scottisharchitects.org.uk.
  • The Post Office County Directories for 1868 and 1872 listed neither Chaseley or a Hugh Walker in Skelmorlie, so we don’t know how long he owned the house. We do know however, that the Laidlaws came to Skelmorlie in 1876 (see below) and that the Misses Laidlaws continued to live there after their father’s death in 1891. This is supported by the ensuing directories:
    Directory Year                        House Name                                     Owner/Resident
    1878                                             Chaseley                                        No Name
    1882                                             Chaseley                                        David Laidlaw
    1886                                             Chaseley                                        David Laidlaw
    1893                                             Chaseley                                        Miss Laidlaw
    1901                                             Chaseley                                        Miss Laidlaw
    Source: Post Office County Directories 1868, 1872, 1878, 1882, 1886, 1893, 1901.
  • “In the Kirk Session minutes of 10 March 1876, it is noted that disjunction certificates had been handed in by Mr. David Laidlaw, Mrs Laidlaw and the Misses Laidlaw. With the arrival of the Laidlaw family in their new home at Chaseley House, there started a long period of service and outstanding generosity to the community. David Laidlaw was early to establish himself as a very pillar of the church.” He was made an elder and manager of what was to become the “North Church” in 1876 until his death in 1891. During this time, he not only worked tirelessly for the good of the church, he was a great benefactor; giving the funds to build the Church Hall at the North Church in 1886. In 1892 a stained-glass window was placed in the North church by the Misses Laidlaw in memory of their father. Source: The North Church Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay – One Hundred Years 1871-1971.
  • Largs Horticultural Society Annual Show 1877. The judges were Messrs Robinson of Robinson & Galloway, Glasgow; Kyd. Chaseley, Skelmorlie, etc. Source: Largs & Millport Weekly News – 01 Sept 1877. Note: With the Laidlaws clearly in residence in 1877, the Mr Kyd referred to as a judge at the Largs Show, is most likely to be their gardener.
  • It is not clear how the long the Misses Laidlaws stayed at Chaseley but Walter Smart in his book on “Skelmorlie” talks about Chaseley previously being a hotel before being bought as a convalescent home for women of mining families in 1939/40. Source: Skelmorlie, Walter Smart, 1968.
  • “Following the foundation of a home at Saltcoats for convalescent miners, the chairman of the Lanarkshire Coalmasters’ Association, Mr Ritchie, this week, opened a convalescent home at Skelmorlie, which is intended for the women drawn from mining families in Lanarkshire and other coal-producing areas in Scotland. It will be known as Chaseley Home, and there will be accommodation for 40 patients.  Ritchie said that Miners’ Welfare in its many phases had now an established place in the country’s social system. He was pleased to reflect that whatever differences of opinion might emerge on mining matters, there was at all events complete concord in regard to the necessity for such a home. That was borne out by the fact that the miners themselves had agreed to contribute one penny per week from their wages towards the maintenance of the homes at Saltcoats and Skelmorlie. Together with the interest from the endowment that revenue would be sufficient to meet all running costs. Source: The Science and Art of Mining, 15th June 1940, Page: 387, Column: 2. Scottish Welfare Home for Women.
  •  Chaseley, remained a convalescent home for women of mining families, until at least 1968, having been taken over by the NCB (National Coal Board) after nationalisation of the mines by the post-war labour government. Source: Skelmorlie, Walter Smart, 1968.
  • At some point over the next 20 – 30 years, Chaseley became a preschool nursery, called Beechwood Nursery.
  • In Sept 1997, an application was approved by North Ayrshire Council to “Change the use of stables to three apartment flats and change of use of two storey house to form extension to preschool nursery”. Source: north-ayrshire.gov.uk. Note: It is not clear whether this approved application proceeded.
  • In April 2000, a further application was approved by North Ayrshire Council by Beechwood Nurseries to “Change of use of existing school nursery to a dwelling house and formation of a pre-school nursery at existing flat and former stables/storage area’’. Source: eplanning.north-ayrshire.gov.uk. Note: Again, it is not clear whether this application proceeded.
  • The final application was approved in October 2004.  Proposal: Demolition of existing house and nursery and erection of 33 flats. Source: eplanning.north-ayrshire.gov.uk. Note: This application was executed and Chaseley demolished and replaced by flats.  

Location Map:

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