11 Montgomerie Terrace, Skelmorlie

Source of Photos: 1. West Park pre 1946 – Facebook: Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay in their Heyday. 2.  1910 Ordnance Survey. Note: West Park sits between Montgomerie Terrace and Eglinton Drive, facing west to the sea, Craigallion and Oakhill. 3. & 4. Craig War Memorial Home post 1946 – Facebook: Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay in their Heyday. 5. Rightmove sales brochure– July 2020 6. Zoopla sales brochure – July 2018.


Mr R Hunter Craig MP and family Circa 1880 – circa 19161904 Alterations – Salmon, Son & Gillespie*

1906 Additions – John Fryers & Penman*

Sir Michael Hugh Shaw Stewart & John Wilkinson and family Circa 1916 – mid 1940s
The Craig War Memorial Home endowed by Sir John and Lady Craig1946 – 1986Converted to a convalescent home for steelworkers. The single storey extensions to north and south were probably added at this time.
Rossview Nursing Home
owned by Caledonian Nursing Homes Ltd.
Unknown – circa 2001 1994 Planning permission granted for a single storey extension providing 8 additional rooms with ensuite facilities.
McIntosh Homes – renamed Rossview Circa 2001 – 2003/4Conversion of nursing home to 4 flats and 1 detached dwelling house in the garden.

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

Main house:

  • West Park appears to have been built circa 1880 but the exact date and architect are unknown. The main house, which is “B listed”, is described by historic Scotland as a large asymmetrical villa with Scottish Baronial features. The house has two storeys and attic as well as a basement raised at the west. Interior alterations were undertaken by Salmon, Son & Gillespie in circa 1904 and more substantial alterations and additions were made by Fryers and Penman of Largs, in 1906. Source: Historic Scotland & Dictionary of Scottish Architects
  • According to Historic Scotland, there is good plasterwork and panelling throughout the interior of the building. The North ground floor room has Corinthian pilasters, slender Corinthian columns flanking the door and chimney, a foliate patterned frieze and cornice, a shallow depressed arch spanning the room, spandrels decorated with knights on horseback and a ribbed ceiling. Source: Historic Scotland
  • The extensions to the north and south were probably added when the house was converted to the Craig War Memorial Nursing home. Source: photos and 1910 OS map.


  • Our first public record of West Park, Skelmorlie is the 1885 valuation roll where Robert Hunter Craig is listed as owner, his main address is given as 12 Waterloo Street, Glasgow and he and a Robert Simpson (father-in-law?) are joint tenants. Source: 1885 Valuation Roll
  • Robert Hunter Craig was born in Partick, Glasgow in 1839 to James Craig, woollen miller and Margaret (Brown) Craig. He was educated at Partick Academy, Glasgow Academy and privately. Source: Glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1909_ Glasgow_Men
  • Robert married his cousin Jessie Hunter Simpson, daughter of Robert Simpson and Eliza (Craig) Simpson, in 1864 at Elmbank Place in Glasgow, her family home, when he was 25 and she was 24. Children followed; James in 1864, Eliza in 1870, Margaret in 1871, Helen in 1876, Stanley in 1879 and Adeline in 1880. Source: Marriage certificate and 1891 census when the family were at West Park.
  • In 1873, when Robert was 34, he founded the mercantile business of R. Hunter Craig & Co., Ltd., agents to flour millers, at 67 Hope Street in Glasgow. Later he expanded his business to Liverpool and London. Source: Glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1909_ Glasgow_Men.
  • Sadly, in late December 1880, not long after the birth of Adeline, Jessie died, leaving Robert with six children aged between 0 and 16 years of age. Source: Death certificate
  • Two years later, Robert remarried. His second wife was Sarah Elizabeth (Foster) Craig whose parents were William Foster, landed proprietor and Rachel (Swaib) Foster. Sarah was 27 at the time and the wedding took place in Cheshire. Source: Birth and death certificates.
  • We believe that Robert and Sarah only had one child together, Hilda Mabel Craig who was born at West Park in June 1885. Source: Birth certificate.
  • In 1900, Robert, a liberal, stood and was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow Govan. His life as a politician was relatively short as he did not stand again at the 1906 general election. Source: Wikipedia
  • Although Robert and Sarah’s main house was in Waterloo Street, they spent a lot of time at West Park and also owned the estate of West Dunmore in Stirlingshire. Outside of work, Robert gave ‘life-long attention to philanthropic and religious work’. He was J.P. for the counties of Lanark and Ayr, chairman of the Skelmorlie School Board (14 years), director of the Scottish Temperance Life Assurance Co., president and chairman of the Glasgow Mizpah Band (18 years) and director of the Glasgow Evangelistic Association. Source: Glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1909_ Glasgow_Men.
  • It would appear that Sarah, had money in her own right. In 1908, we have a record of Hugh Brown selling Whinhill to Sarah (Foster) Craig, who would be Hugh’s step mother in-law. We also know that Sarah Craig sold Whinhill back to Hugh’s wife, Helen (Craig) Brown (her step-daughter) in 1923. Note: Mr & Mrs Hugh Brown, owned Croftmore on The Crescent from 1904 until at least 1940. Sources: Whinhill deeds – dispositions by Mr Hugh Brown C.A., Mrs Sarah Craig and Mrs Helen Brown and 1905 – 1940 valuation rolls.    
  • Knock Castle

    Knock Castle

    At the time of the 1911 census, Robert then 71, Sarah 57, Stanley 31 and Hilda 25 were living at Knock Castle, between Largs and Skelmorlie. We don’t know why they weren’t at West Park, nor whether they owned or were tenants of Knock Castle. However, we do know that Robert died at Knock Castle, 2 years later in August 1913. Source: 1911 census and death certificate.

  • Mrs Sarah Craig continued to hold on to West Park until circa 1916. In the 1920 valuation roll, the new owner is listed as Sir Michael Hugh Shaw Stewart, Bart. C.B. of Greenock and Blackhall, per John Wilkinson, Mansion House Greenock. John Wilkinson, factor is listed as the tenant. Note: The Mansion House, located at 1 Ardgowan Square was designed for Sir Michael’s father by Robert Rowand Anderson and built around 1886. Source: Valuation Roll and Greenock Telegraph
  • Sir Michael Hugh Shaw-Stewart, 8th Baronet of Greenock and Blackhall, was born in 1854 and was the eldest son of Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, 7th Baronet of Greenock and Blackhall, and Lady Octavia Grosvenor. He was educated at Etonand Christ Church, Oxford. After university, he went into the army and rose to the rank of Captain in the 4th Battalion the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, marrying Lady Alice Emma Thynne CBE JP in 1883. In 1886 he was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire, a seat which he held until 1906.  He succeeded his father in the baronetcy and as Laird of Ardgowan in 1903 and went on to be awarded the CB in 1916 and knighted in  Sir Michael was Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire from 1922 until his death in 1942 and was also chairman of the county council. Source: Wikipedia.
  • The records do not tell us whether Sir Michael actually lived at West Park and his name only appears in the 1920 valuation roll as owner, thereafter in 1925, 1930 and 1935, ‘John Wilkinson, factor’ is listed as both proprietor and tenant. Throughout this period, a chauffeur, Hugh McLay and various gardeners lived at West Park, probably in the coach house. Source: 1925 – 1935 Valuation Rolls.
  • John Wilkinson was born in 1871 to John, a solicitor and Elizabeth Vaughan (Holberton) Wilkinson. He married Vera May Theodora de Moleyns in April 1908 in London when he was 37 and she was 28. They had at least two sons, John Patrick de Moleyns Wilkinson, born in Kirkcudbright in 1912, and Desmond Vaughan Wilkinson who was born at West Park in July 1917. The family lived at West Park throughout the 20s and 30s. In 1939, John Wilkinson, by then retired factor, died at home at West Park, aged 68.  Vera continued living at West Park and in 1940 was listed as both the proprietor and tenant of the house. Sources: Birth certificates and 1940 Valuation Roll
  • We know that Desmond aimed to follow in his father’s footsteps in terms of career. In 1935, he went up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge and 3 years later, graduated with a BA in Estate Management. In 1941, Desmond, who was only 23, was injured and died in hospital whilst on active duty. At the time, he was a Lieutenant in the 53 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. Desmond is buried in the family plot in Largs cemetery and is remembered on the Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay War memorial. Sources: Emmanuel’s WW2 Roll of Honour, The Scottish War Graves Project – Largs Cemetery.
  • Sir John Craig

    Sir John Craig

    In 1946, West Park was purchased by Sir John and Lady Craig, who converted it to a convalescent home, accommodating up to 40 residents. They named it the Craig War Memorial Home and employees of the Coleville group, where he was Chairman, could stay for two weeks free of charge to convalesce. The following article appeared in the Scotsman in 1950.

“Colvilles – At the company’s 19th General Meeting, held in Glasgow on Friday June 2, Sir John Craig reported that the Craig War Memorial Home at Skelmorlie has been in constant use and has proved of very real value in the rehabilitation of employees after sickness or accident. The committee are now considering how it can be extended to meet an ever-increasing need.”

        Sources: IWM.org.uk – Craig War memorial Home and The Scotsman, 1950 – Page 2.

  • Sir John Craig was born at Clydeside, New Stevenston, in 1874. His father and grandfather worked at the local iron works and just before his 14th birthday, John joined David Coleville & Sons as office boy and worked his way up to Director by the age of 36 and became Chairman aged 42. He steered the company through the first and second world wars and was awarded a C.B.E. in 1918 and a knighthood in 1943, for his services to the nation and to the iron and steel industry. He was also known for his public services; from his youth he was actively engaged in the work of the Y.M.C.A. and he also displayed a like interest in all aspects of industrial welfare. Source: Obituary: Sir John Craig (1874 -1957).
  • According to the Daily Record, the Craig War Memorial Home continued to provide steelworkers with up to two weeks convalescence, if they were sick or injured, until 1986, when due to falling demand, it was moved to a smaller facility in Largs. This second facility was closed in 1993 and the remaining money was donated to various charities in and around Glasgow. Source: Daily Record, Charitable Trust winds up with one last gesture – Oct 2010.
  • We know from a planning application in 1994 (Extension to Rossview Nursing Home to form 8 additional rooms with ensuite facilities) that the house was purchased by Caledonian Nursing Homes Limited and renamed Rossview Nursing Home. What we don’t know is, whether there were any other owners of the building in between it being Craig War Memorial Home and Rossview Nursing Home. Note: Whilst the above planning application was approved it’s not clear whether the extension was actually built. Source: eplanning.north-ayrshire.gov.uk
  • In the early 2000, the nursing home was sold to a developer, McIntosh Homes, who received planning permission in 2002, to convert the nursing home into four flats and to erect a new detached dwelling house in the grounds. At this time the entrance to the main house was moved to Eglinton Gardens and the address became Rossview, 14 Eglinton Gardens. Source: eplanning.north-ayrshire.gov.uk

The Coach house (11A Montgomerie Terrace)

Former coach house, 11a Montgomerie Terrace. Source: Onthemarket.com.

Former coach house, 11a Montgomerie Terrace. Source: Onthemarket.com.

  • This building was formerly the coach house and stables for West Park. It is believed to have only contained not only stabling but also domestic accommodation for a groom and probably a gardener or other outdoor servant(s) as well. Source – Historic Scotland
  • Like the main house, the coach house is listed, albeit a “C” rather than the “B” listing of the main house. Historic Scotland, felt that this small building with its round turret, half-timbered detailing and swept back dormers, still had a significant architectural merit. It is assumed that the coach house was built by the architect of the main house. Source – Historic Scotland
  • The glass roof over the courtyard is not original to the building, but is shown in the 3rd edition OS map (1910). Source – Historic Scotland.
  • Today the coach house is a 5-bedroom house arranged over two floors and last changed hands in June 2020. Source: rightmove.co.uk and onthemarket.com

Location Map:

[get-directions latlng="55.868292,-4.888052" controls="true" showroute="false" height="300px zoom="18" locale=”en_UK”]