22 Shore Road, Skelmorlie

Photo Source: 1. N Dunsmore – July 2020. 2. 1910 Ordinance Survey.

Mr Thomas & Mrs Francis Donald 1868 – 1889 Build commissioned by Thomas Donald.
Architect John Honeyman.
Unknown 1889 -1895
Miss Jane Wilson 1895 – Circa 1922
Mrs Margaret Watson Stuart Circa 1922 – Unknown
Craigdhu Nursing Home Unknown
Unknown Circa 1986 – Present

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


  • Craigdhu was commissioned by Thomas Donald in 1868. The architect for the house was John Honeyman, who was building his own house in Skelmorlie, Stroove, that same year. Source: Dictionary of Scottish Architects Design Report – Scottisharchitects.org.uk.
  • Although the house was commissioned in 1868, the first entry in the county directory (issued every 5 years) for Thomas Donald at Craigdhu isn’t until 1878. However, in the 1872 directory, a T Donald is listed at Craigmore, the house next door which was regularly “Let” at the time. Was it possible that Thomas and his wife lived at Craigmore until Craigdhu was ready or did they perhaps rent it for a relative? Source: 1868, 1872, 1878, Post Office County Directories.
  • In total, Thomas Donald (1813 – 1887) and his wife Francis Maxwell Donald (1815 -1889) lived in the house for a circa 30 years until their deaths in 1887 and 1889 respectively. Source: 1872, 1878, 1882, 1886 Post Office County Directories and www.geni.com.
  • The house was put on the market late in the same year, 1889 and the advert tells us more about the property. “For Sale, by Private Bargain. Craigdhu, Skelmorlie, situated between the High Road and the Sea, containing Dining Room, Drawing-Room, six bedrooms, two dressing rooms, laundry and servant’s accommodation, with lawn tennis ground, Stable and Coach House. The grounds go down to the sea. Apply to McGrigor, Donald & Co, Glasgow”. Source: Glasgow Herald, 13 Dec 1889, Fri.
  • Craigdhu Sale in November 1891

    We don’t know whether the house was sold and the new owners only stayed a short time or whether the house was taken off the market. Whichever, a new advert appeared in 1891 and again in 1893. The advert is much the same except one of the bedrooms has become a smoking room and the “whole drainage system was recently overhauled and put in order”. Source: Glasgow Herald Nov 1891 and Feb 1893.

  • Again, we don’t know if the house sold but the month after the 1893 “For Sale” ad, there is an advert in the Glasgow Herald offering Craigdhu for Let and again in 1896, 97 and 99. Source: Glasgow Herald, Mar 1893, Aug 1896, Aug 1897 and Aug 1899.
  • By 1895, the county valuation roll tells us that the property is owned by Misses Jane and Margaret Wilson and in 1905, 1915 and 1920 solely by Miss Jane Wilson. Interestingly although 1905 and 1915 valuation roll tells us that Jane Wilson is both owner and occupier, when we look at the census for 1911, there are 14 people listed as staying in the house; Mr William and Mrs Adshead, 6 nieces and nephews of the couple aged between 9 and 20, 3 visitors aged 14 -18, 2 servants and 1 coachman. A Jane Wilson is listed at the post office a few doors along, as sister to the postmistress, Mrs Raphael. Source: Ayrshire Valuation rolls for the period and 1911 census.
  • By 1925, the owner according to the valuation roll is Mrs Margaret Watson Stuart. She is also cited as owner in the 1930 and 1935 rolls, after which the trail goes cold. Note: The 1921 census and 1945 valuation rolls are still locked. Source: Ayrshire valuation rolls.
  • The next public records for Craigdhu don’t appear until 1953 by which time the house has become a nursing home. We know that it stayed as a Nursing Home until at least 1986 probably longer and we understand that now it has reverted to being a private residence once again. Source: Tom’s Wills record.

Location Map:

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