Monday, December 31, 2007

Something New...

Something Old...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sans Mackintosh Period.

2008 will herald the Sans Mackintosh period.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Seasons Greetings!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A small ePIC. Part 3A of 4.

A small ePIC by Sans Pantaloons. My response to a meme set by Julia.

[Sans Context Insertion/Update 26th Sept 2011]

Although William, the 11th Duke, only gets about four lines in A small ePIC. Part 2 of 3, he played a critical part in the destiny of his Father, Alexander the 10th Duke.
On the 23rd of February 1843, William, then the Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale, married Princess Marie Amelie of Baden, the Grand-Daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte.

If one has a blood-line connection to Royalty , and an absolute belief in ones' puissant nobility, then having ones' son marry the grand-daughter of Napoleon, can do nothing but cement, underline, and pretty much validate and verify that belief.

Napoleon died in 1821, and is interred in a magnificent sarcophagus under a wonderful dome at Les Invalides in Paris. This marriage of Alexander's son William to Napoleon's Grand-Daughter may have been the catalyst to the building of Alexander's own Mausoleum.

I think this explanation goes a long way in providing an understandable context for Alexander's mausoleum.

In line with his enlargement of Hamilton Palace, Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852), entertained various schemes to replace the existing family burial vault which stood close to the east quarter of the Palace in the aisle of the old and dilapidated Collegiate Church.

The Old Collegiate Church in Hamilton was finished in 1462. King James II had made Sir James Hamilton a Lord and granted him the barony of Cadzow. The new Lord Hamilton wanted to create a town worthy of his station and decided to have the new church built close to his residence. It was made a collegiate charge in a Papal Bull in 1450. It was also to be used as the Hamilton family crypt.
The collegiate church took the form of a small cathedral. It had two cross aisles and transepts, a choir and a steeple.The church survived the Reformation in 1672 and officially became the Old Parish Church (the name now used for the current Parish Church in Hamilton). However, the church was built close to the Hamilton residence and, in 1732, the 5th Duke of Hamilton decided he needed the ground the church was built on in order to enlarge and improve the Palace and its grounds. He therefore built a new church but the family crypt proved a problem and he could not fully demolish the old one. All that remained was one transept, seen in the sketch below, in which the Hamilton family were buried.There was no real answer to this problem, until a new family crypt was built.

This sketch dated 1789.

Between 1838 and 1841 these various schemes involved David Hamilton (1768-1843), the architect with whom the duke had collaborated on the enlargement of the palace, and, in 1846, Henry Edmund Goodridge of Bath, designer of Beckford's Tower at Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire for the duke's father-in-law, William Beckford.

Both architects produced designs for a chapel and mausoleum on the collegiate church site, close to the east flank of the palace. Neither came to anything and in 1848, the commission eventually fell to the distinguished Edinburgh architect, David Bryce (1803-76), in relation to a fresh site north of the palace.

There remains uncertainty and confusion over the dates both of the commencement of the work on the Mausoleum and of its completion. It's probably safe to say work started early in 1850. The Mausoleum is known to have been unfinished on the 10th Duke's death in 1852, but the date of completion is variously given as 1854 or 1857.
[SANS UPDATE] 17th January 2009.
David Hamilton's family descendents have a website which states that he started work on the crypt in 1840. He died in 1843 when only the crypt was finished. This ties in with other collected information stating that the remains of the Collegiate Church were completely removed around 1842. This could only have been done when there was a secure resting place for the Hamilton family remains to be removed to. The monument to William 3rd Duke of Hamilton, was moved from the Collegiate Church to St. Bride Parish Church, Bothwell around the same time. Obviously the death of David Hamilton threw the building process into chaos and this is where all the date confusion stems from. David Bryce was chosen to complete the project based on David Hamilton's designs. I'm sure that much if not all of the decoration was designed in as the project progressed. There is a sketch of the Mausoleum by David Bryce dated 1850 which does not have any of Handyside Richie's ornamental work shown, and has five entrance doors to the crypt, so I think we can safely assume that had not been decided up to that date.
The Mausoleum was built at a cost of about £33,000 (c.£1.2m $2.5m US today) as a chapel and family tomb. The first funeral service held there, Alexander's own, was marred by the long echo, now one of the Mausoleum's acclaimed features. There is some video below of Tommy Smith, a local saxophone artist who recorded an album in the Mausoleum.

We approach the Mausoleum from the west, coming from Hamilton town, where we see the doors to the Chapel. These doors in the photograph below are simple wooden doors, but not the original doors.

The original doors are magnificent bronze beasts modelled on the design of the doors of the Florence Baptistry by Lorenzo Ghiberti. They were taken down and moved inside because their extreme weight was aiding the West face of the Mausoleum subside. They are now inside, placed so that their weight is more evenly distributed.
I have photoshopped a graphic to imagine what the original doors might look like.

I wondered why the Chapel doors were situated on the west side, opposite the crypt entrance. I can only assume it is simply because the west side faces the town, and would allow townspeople the use of the Chapel without having to walk around the Mausoleum. The fact that the echo in the Chapel ruined any chance of it being used for worship was unfortunate.

Architect David Hamilton (1768-1843) may have begun design work on the Mausoleum crypt in 1840, but did not live to see it completed. Architect David Bryce (1803-1876) and famous Scottish Sculptor Alexander Handyside Richie (1804-1870) completed the work. When Duke Alexander died in 1852, his body was laid in the Mausoleum during the completion of the work.

This Roman style structure is an extraordinary work of architectural sculpture and not just a building.
Two massive lions sit either side above the crypt. These were carved by Alexander Handyside Ritchie in 1852. Each is carved out of a single block of sandstone and weighs so much that it took 24 very large Clydesdale horses to haul them into position. The guardian lion on the left is wide awake representing youth and vigour, while the one on the right is sleeping representing senescence and torpor.
I resisted temptation to remove the wine bottle as it adds a little scale to the picture. If you look at the horizon on the left side of the picture above, you can see Chatelherault Hunting Lodge in the distance. The Sleeping Lion is shown below.

I originally thought the single block of sandstone from which the lions are carved was sitting on a larger sandstone pedestal, but looking again I now think the whole block is the one piece. I have outlined a graphic below.

The human statue is placed simply as a reference to scale, as I have omitted to place myself in any of these photographs. In examination of these wonderful carved lions, I noticed something that may be of interest. The picture of the rear of the awake lion is shown below with a protuberance. Unfortunately very weathered and with graffiti, it may be what I thought it was, but to confirmI had a look at the sleeping lion, and yes, I confirm that Alexander Handyside Ritchie had carved the Lions tackle.

The rear of the Awake Lion.

The rear of the Sleeping Lion.

This is no easy task, considering the tail greatly obstructs access. Had they not been carved, no-one would have missed them, assuming that they were safely tucked underneath. It could simply be the work of a truly great professional artist, determined to reflect reality, or AHR could have been instructed to include them, or possibly, AHR could be making a personal comment. What do you think?

This is a view from the top of the north stair. I have resisted the temptation to photoshop remove the graffiti from these photographs. It isn't excessive and I assume the local council clean it off routinely. My take on the graffiti is below.

How does one mark ones' life?
How do you place a bookmark in history, proudly displaying this is me, this is where I was, what I did; Look, gasp in awe, be inspired, admire.
Some aspiring accountant, shaking her or his can with a clackity clack clack, spraying their tag upon something they do not see, cannot see; not realizing the gods are looking down on them, laughing, bellowing at their massively compressed perspective.
They spray in the shadow of immortality, dwarfed by their own incomprehension.

The Duke, being an Egyptology afectionado incorporated many Egyption ideas and themes into the design of his Mausoleum. The crypt has three doorways, two are false entrances, the real entrance being through the middle arch facing east as was the custom apparently.
Above each arch are beautifully carved heads, also by Handyside Ritchie, and they represent Life, Death and Immortality (Eternity). While all three were carved of the same stone, "Life" and "Death" have worn away quite markedly, while "Immortality" still appears fresh albeit damaged.
I have placed the original newspaper photograph inlaid with 2007 photographs below for comparison.

This description of the carvings above the crypt gates taken, I believe, from the local newspaper published at the time.
"Life" wears a garland of fruit and flowers and the face is lined with the cares and worries of life. The clock hands point to noon, the mid point of existence. "Death" is crowned with poppy heads, representing everlasting sleep, and the finger is over the lips for silence. The eyes are closed in the 'sleep that knows no waking'. "Immortality" presents as a great a contrast to the other two. The face is beautiful and the head is crowned with lilies and circles with a serpent with its tail in its mouth. The whole representing eternity. Above the centre of the forehead is a butterfly, the Greek symbol for immortality.

A series of stone steps lead up into the crypt. Nowadays the crypt is lit by electric light. In the Dukes time, it was lit by 25 candles all round the walls and the central pillar. The original candle brackets are still in situ. A central pillar holds up the vaulted arches and the visitor is immediately struck by how new and fresh the stonework appears. Each chisel mark looks as if it had just been struck. This is accounted for by the fact that it is rarely exposed to light, atmosphere or moisture
The crypt is square with four large spaces at each corner, presumably for the more prestigious family members, and the three sides facing the door providing 28 single niches to take the bodies of the other family members. Alexander had not even planned to be with them, he had the whole of the Chapel upstairs to himself.

The view of the crypt from the east side.

Early in 1852 [[See [SANS UPDATE] 17th January 2009.] above] Alexander had his relatives brought from the transept of the 15th century collegiate church and had them re-interred in the new crypt. Alexander must have had some expectation of his own demise as he died on 18th August of the same year.
A far view from the east side.

The view from the south side stair.
Alexander, having that great interest in Egyptology, had left instruction that his body be embalmed and laid to rest in an Egyptian Sarcophagus, mounted upon a black marble plinth within the Chapel. This possibly inspired by the tomb of Napoleon. The Sarcophagus pictured below.
Alexander and his ancestors new resting place was only to last until 1921 when, because of fears the Mausoleum might collapse because of mine workings, all Hamilton bodies (Except the 11th and 12th Dukes who were transferred to the Isle of Arran) were interred in the Bent Cemetery in Hamilton.

This video, made by some of our local budding actors, uses the Mausoleum as the setting. As well as being a little scary, it shows what the inside of the crypt looks like and the Mausoleum chapel upstairs. The original bronze doors are also featured.
Tommy Smith used the acclaimed echo of the Chapel to record one of his albums. The video below has some description.

This concludes Part3A of this meme.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A small ePIC. Part 2 of 3.

A small ePIC by Sans Pantaloons. My response to a meme set by Julia.
If you are a repeat visitor to this post, and have previously read the comments, you will know that mintybob, advised that original stone pillars from the Hamilton Estate were situated along Bothwell Road.
It has taken me quite a while, but I have managed to somewhat document these pillars / gateposts / gatepiers in the update to this post, unfortunately located at the bottom.
My thanks are extended to mintybob for this valuable information.
If you wish to jump directly to the update, click here.

I apologise for the overly historical content of these posts. I'm treating this as I would any work project; first understand the history of what has gone before, so that you can learn not to repeat past mistakes.
This is tending to be a journey of seeking understanding. I hope you will continue with me on this journey.

I'm not sure why doing this has affected me so. I alluded earlier that I felt ashamed. Maybe that is it, that I was ignorant of this story of the Covenanters and the Palace. I have literally walked past the Covenanters graves and the site of the Palace nearly every day for five years, blissfully unaware, consumed in my own self important thoughts.

Ashamed really doesn't nearly half cover how I feel.

Being an Engineer, this sort of 'real' history is foreign to me. It still is and probably always will be, but at least I now know this: After doing this research the most humbling thing I have found, is that I know nothing.

The Rise of the Hamiltons.
Although the Hamiltons have always had land and power, their success seems to have been cemented around 1473, when James Hamilton; 1st Lord Hamilton, married Princess Mary Stewart of Scotland, the daughter of King James II.

King James III , brother of Princess Mary was King at the time of their marriage and having the King as a brother in law seems to have been a good move.

Another beneficial event was the marriage of William Douglas, Earl of Selkirk to 'The Good Dutchess' Anne, 3rd Dutchess of Hamilton in 1656 thus uniting the two powerful families of Douglas and Hamilton, creating the Douglas-Hamiltons.

At Anne's petition, King Charles II 1660-1685, made William the 3rd Duke of Hamilton. There are many branches of the Hamilton family, but I'm going to centre on the Douglas-Hamilton line through which the Ducal title passes.

Dukedoms of Brandon and Châtelherault.
Not truly important, but may answer questions later on.

James Hamilton; 2nd Earl of Arran 1518-1575, the great grandson of James II of Scotland, was made Duke of Châtelherault by King Henry II of France for consenting to the marriage of the then six year old Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, to the French Dauphin, later King Francis II of France, some ten years later in 1558. However, he turned against the Queen in 1559, and his French estates and title were confiscated.

Sans Note: James seems to be a favourite name in this family.

Further down the family line, James, 4th Duke of Hamilton and 1st Duke of Brandon 1658-1712, seems to have picked up the Duke of Brandon (Brandon being a town parish in the English county of Suffolk) title in 1711, and Baron Dutton (Dutton in The English county of Chesire) in 1712, seemingly to enable him to take a seat in the House of Lords in England.

Although subject to much dispute regarding the site of Cadzow Castle, where King David I (1124-1153), and Robert the Bruce (1306-1329), were known to have stayed, Hamilton Palace construction was said to be started on the site occupied by the building known as 'The Orchard'.

It was built in the late 16th century and added to and enhanced largely between 1684 and 1701 at the hands of William, the 3rd Duke (1634-94) and his wife, Anne, Duchess of Hamilton (1632-1716). It was part of what the family dubbed the 'Great Design'.

Anne's grandson James, the 5th Duke of Hamilton (1702-1743) also added to the Palace, esp the addition of Chatelherault, the Hunting Lodge. Between 1822 and 1828 the north front of Hamilton Palace was massively enlarged and enhanced by Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852) working in collaboration with the distinguished Glasgow architect, David Hamilton (1768-1843), whose design represented an interpretation of the 1819 drawings of the Neapolitan architect Francesco Saponieri.

The object here is to arrive at Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton 1767-1852, with some prior knowledge as to his belief of his place in history. I say this so that we don't jump to assumptions regarding what is to follow, but give the gentleman fair hearing.

Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton, 7th Duke of Brandon, born in London, England, was educated at Harow School, and then Oxford University.
Alexander was obviously a complicated fellow. He graduated Oxford with an MA degree in 1789 and then spend some years in Continental travel until 1801 when he returned to the UK to become a Member of Parliament. In 1806 he was appointed as Ambassador to Russia and Poland and stayed there for two years returning in 1808.
Alexander was certainly a dandy. He is reputed to have kept a leopard as a pet, and had a great interest in Egyptology and spent some of his later years as a trustee for the British Museum.
He was also descended from Royality; James, 2nd Earl of Arran 1518 - 1575, was for many years heir presumptive to the Scottish throne, for he was a descendant of James I.

Had Mary, Queen of Scots died before the birth of her son James VI, Arran would have succeeded her on the throne. Alexander had an unquestioning self belief about his place in history. Whatever you think about his grand ideas, he certainly used his substantial funds to live his life on a large scale.
Alexander married Susan Euphemia Beckford 1786-1859, the daughter of William Thomas Beckford 1760-1844, in 1810 when Alexander was 43 years old, and his bride Susan was 24. His Father in law, William Beckford as heir to a sugar forture, was a millionaire , 7 years older than Alexander and it seems they shared common interests in art and egyptology. I'm pretty sure they would have been friends as well as Son/Father in law.

Upon his succession to the ducal title and estates in 1819, Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852), then aged 51, lost no time in reviving the 'Great Design' plans to enhance and enlarge the north front of Hamilton Palace, a scheme which had lain dormant since the time of the 5th Duke in the 1730s. His aim was to erect a grand residence which not only reflected the increasing wealth and national standing of the family but also provided an appropriately grand setting for the considerable art collections which he continued to gather and inherit.
Duke Alexander and David Hamilton, Glasgow's leading architect of the time, produced additions to the building, realising what is shown below. These pictures below dated 1919.

Hamilton Palace was one of the greatest palaces in all of Europe. Many said it was second only to the great palace of Versailles in France, on which it was partly modeled. It had wonderful gardens and a magnificent tree lined avenue that was 3 miles (5km) long.

The graphic above is a facsimile of the Palace and avenue overlaid on a satellite image. The red rectangle is the overlay component, the Palace is circled in red, Chatelherault hunting lodge is circled in yellow and the Mausoleum is circled in blue. All will become clear as we progress through the post. This is just to give an impression of the scale of the avenue. Please click for maximum clarity.
The avenue was designed, so it seems, to allow the ladies of the court to participate in hunts. The gentlemen would ride on horseback, chasing their prey from one end of the avenue, while the ladies would ride in the comfort of a carriage along the avenue, and able to see the hunt in progress.

If one wants to go hunting, the most obvious place to start would be ones hunting lodge. This thought must have occurred to James, the 5th Duke of Hamilton, for he engaged William Adam to design Chatelherault Hunting Lodge at the south end of the avenue 1n 1732. Adam was also designing plans to improve the Palace at this time and building the Old Parish Church. Chatelherault hunting lodge, finished around 1744, was evidently sited on the great avenue at a point of optimum inter-visibility with Hamilton Palace.The main north front is almost 90m in overall length and is wrought in orange-red sandstone. It consists of two pairs of three-storeyed pavilions linked by a long screen-wall with deeply scalloped parapets, and is backed by courtyards and gardens. see aerial view below.

The ducal apartments were contained in the western (right) group of pavilions, behind which there is a restored parterre (ornamental garden) and surrounding terrace. Behind the servants' quarters and stables in the eastern pavilions is a kennel yard (now roofed over), and the flanking terrace has an earthwork 'mount' or viewing platform.

It was completely by chance that this building was saved. After Hamilton Palace was demolished, Chatelherault was effectivelty left to fall derelict. The ground to the front was used as a sand quarry, and this under-mined the building. The story is told of the death of the night-watchman who looked after the security of the building. With no replacement, Chatelherault was vandalised and set on fire thus becoming a ruin with it's structure under threat. The quarrying was halted in the 1970s, following the death of the 14th Duke.The High and Low parks of Hamilton including Chatelherault, were given to the Scotland Office in lieu of death duties.

Above we see the hunting lodge being restored. Historic Scotland renovated the lodge in the 1980s, including the fine Georgian plasterwork, and a visitor centre was built to the rear.The lodge is now part of a country park, along with Cadzow Castle and Barncluith House, managed by South Lanarkshire Council.
I have not yet visited Chatelherault and Cadzow Castle ruin. Now that I am hooked, that will be another field trip.

To continue the description of Hamilton Palace, inside, the Palace was replete with marble. Alexander loved black Irish marble. The state-rooms, which included sumptuous stucco-work, were by Smith (1690s) and William Adam in the 1740s. These held much fine furniture and by the mid-19th Century, housed the best collection of paintings in Scotland. Outside, the gardens were superb.

These glass plate photographs of the terraced garden and ornamental fountain dated 1887.
Hamilton Palace was magnificent, at least in terms of the artwork and lavish decoration, including items of furniture Alexander bought for his wife, Susan, many of which had belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette of France 1755-1793.

The Commode (chest of drawers) above by Jean-Henri Riesener. Most of Alexander's acquisitions were moved around the palace as building work and decoration progressed, but the secretaire and commode stayed in the Duchess's Sitting Room. They are recorded there in the 1830s inventory as: 'A Very handsome Chest of Drawers, French work Gilt Bronze ornaments, and top of Marble which belonged to Maria Antonette Queen of France.

Writing table by Jean-Henri Riesener.
This exquisite writing table was supplied in 1782 for Queen Marie-Antoinette's 'boudoir de la Méridienne' at Versailles, and has marquetry and realistic, jewel-like mounts of the very highest quality. The gilding alone, by Remond, cost 1,050 livres.
An inventory mark records that the piece was subsequently in the Petit Trianon.
During the last years of the 10th Duke of Hamilton's life, the writing table was definitely in the Duchess's Sitting Room, along with the secretaire and commode now in the Frick Collection.
Jean-Henri Riesener created many of his best pieces for Queen Marie-Antoinette of France.

Above shows the interior of one of the bedrooms, and below the Palace Entrance hall.

All this grandeur, all this splendour, all this hard work by countless craftswomen, artisans, artists and craftsmen has come to nought. It is gone. All Gone. Demolished. Bulldozed back into the earth from whence it came.

Much of the reported history on Hamilton Palace attribute it's demise to subsidence caused by the mineworking underneath Lanarkshire.That is true. What most don't report, is that the demise was deliberate.

SANS NOTE:One of the interesting things to come from my searching, is finding out Susan Beckford, the wife of the 10th Duke, was an accomplished piano player, and that she invited Chopin to play at Hamilton Palace. Is this any claim to fame, that I have possibly walked the same ground as Chopin? I can play chopsticks, does that count?

Here is me, standing in what I believe to be the West Wing court, although now it is the grounds of Hamilton Palace Sports Ground. The two pictures below show a satellite image of where I'm standing, circled in red, and the next overlaid with a facsimile of the palace.

If you have stayed with me so far, thank you. Coffee would be a good idea, as we are only half way through this post. I am nothing if not blogbose.

I have attempted to create a timeline in order to better understand the chain of events which lead to the demise of the Palace.

Upon his death in in 1852, the 10th Duke estates passed to his son, William, who was 41 at the time. I don't know how much Death Duty he had to pay to the Crown, but in 1853 he sold his Lancashire Estates for £329,800. William also had a son called William, born in 1845, so was 8 years old when his grandfather Alexander died.
William, now the 11th Duke, lived in Paris France, and was not much interested in British politics. He died in 1863, aged 52. The Ducal estates pass to his son William, now 19 years old. What does one do when one inherits a great deal of wealth and land at 19?

Exactly, one becomes an idle layabout and a gambler. Maybe that is unfair. Hamilton Palace is gone, maybe that is unfair too.

The snippets I can find tell of William the 12th Duke in 1867, now 23, close to financial ruin from gambling debts when his racehorse Cortol Vin, wins the Engish Grand National race, winning him £16,000 from the bookmakers plus prize money. He marries in 1873 aged 29. The next we hear is of a sale of the contents of Hamilton Palace in 1882. Many of the the books, pictures, artworks and furniture collected by his Grandfather and his family before him, were to be sold at Christies in London. The sale lasted 17 days and netted £400,000.

Above showing the sale catalogue for the 1882 sale.

Giving William some benefit of the doubt, Paying for the upkeep of a Palace, must be prohibitive. And if you don't actually live there, doubly so.

In 1884, William sells more of the 'Beckford Library', the books collected by William Beckford, and merged into the library of Alexander, the 10th Duke. Also in 1884, Hamilton Palace Colliery was opened by the Bent Colliery Co. Ltd, having obtained a lease of mineral rights on the Duke of Hamilton's estates at Bothwellhaugh, between Hamilton and Motherwell. These estates were not close enough to the Palace to cause any undermining problems. A pit was sunk and coal extraction begun. In 1889 the rights to the coal beneath the Hamilton low parks was leased by the Duke, and this would undoubtedly imperil the Palace and the Mausoleum. It was agreed that the method for extraction would leave 'stoops' of coal, effectively pillars between the seams of coal to support the Palace above.

Four years later, in 1893, William establishes a trust, trying it seems, to secure his debts and provide something for his daughters future. His daughter, born in 1884, is now 9 years old. The trustees were given power, in their sole discretion, 'to entirely displenish and dismantle Hamilton Palace' (no longer used by the duke as a residence) 'and take down and remove the building or allow the same to fall into disuse'. I'm unsure for how long William had been expecting his demise, or whether this episode contributed to that demise, but he died two years later in 1895. He had contacted his distant cousin and heir, Alfred Douglas-Hamilton in 1888, and persuaded him to leave his Navy career, which Alfred did. It is unknown to me if Alfred played any part in the leasing of the mineral rights, but I think this unlikely. Alfred seems to be the good guy in this sorry tale, trying to do right by the family.

Alfred then, in 1895, becomes the 13th Duke of Hamilton, and inherits debts of £1million. It takes him 13 years to pay off these debts. We are now in 1908. The debts are paid off. Hamilton Palace is still standing and is used as a setting for a garden party to celebrate the coronation of George V in 1911. The Hamilton Palace Colliery employed over 1000 people and continued to reap the wealth of coal below.

In 1914 we have a dire circumstance for the planet. World War I. The need for coal to smelt iron ore, and as fuel for steam locomotives, and engines to power manufacturing and transport is much in demand. The Palace is lent out as a Naval Hospital by Alfred the 13th Duke.

In 1915, the trust set up by William, the 12th Duke, leases the rights to the stoops of coal under the Palace to the Hamilton Palace Colliery. The Trustees are advised that the workings would damage and might ultimately destroy the fabric of the palace.

It seems Alfred did not like this turn of events, and tried to get the colliery to quit their lease, which they did not. There must have been a lot of wrangling, because a private Act of Parliament was passed in 1918 specifically to deal with the management of the estates of the 12th Duke by splitting the existing trust into two, replacing the existing trustees. One of the new trustees for the Hamilton Estate was the wife of the 13th Duke.

And here we have our dichotomy, the preservation of magnificent glory in the art of a building, or the bread, butter and living of 1500 mining family members. You choose.

If Blogging tells us anything, it is that community is King.

Women coal sorters. These Ladies sorted the coal brought up from the pits. This picture dated 1925.

Hamilton Palace Colliery supported a community of miners and their families at Bothwellhaugh, which is now itself gone, drowned beneath the waters of development. A former member of this community who was born at 3 Clyde Place has memories of his story that can be found here

In 1952, Hamilton Palace Colliery, Lanarkshire, claimed to have the oldest miner in Scotland on its payroll. Eighty-year old Robert McMillan, Bothwellhaugh, had been employed at the colliery since it opened in 1884.

But, the need for coal was greater than the need for a large Palace, and when the Palace was handed back in 1919 after the war ended, it's fate was sealed, under-mined in every sense. It was in June 1919 that the New Trustees of the late 12th Duke of Hamilton presented a Petition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh, seeking authority to sell the fabric and contents of Hamilton Palace, which was part of the estate held by them in trust. Another sale of the remaining contents was held, including fixtures and fittings. Whole rooms including panelling and contents were sold to many overseas buyers including William Randolph Hearst.

Sale catalogues from the 1919 sale.

There were two of these grand black marble fireplaces in the long gallery. If any of my New York readers know of these fireplaces, please do tell. Their last known whereabouts was New York City, before vanishing, possibly to a fire sale or to Anne Altman's apartment.
The black marble staircase in the Palace entrance.

The black marble staircase has, I believe, been acquired by South Lanarkshire Council. I found out yesterday (Friday 7th) that the complete drawing room purchased by Randolph Hearst in 1921, is now in the possession of the National Museum of Scotland. The drawing room includes all panelling and a black marble fireplace. I don't know if it is the same size as the one above, probably smaller I think. There are no plans to re-assemble or display any of the pieces. I may be going to Edinburgh for another field trip.

Very few pieces of the Palace remain accessible, to me at least. Some houses are said to be built from sandstone blocks salvaged from the Palace, and a few items are on show at the Low Parks Museum. Many items are held by various museums and in private collections worldwide. Some items are housed in The Frick Collection in New York, and some paintings are in the National Gallery of Washington.
There are five sections of railing outside Hamilton College said to be from the Palace, shown below.

The railing, made in 1834, cast by Shotts Iron Co.,  is about ten feet tall and I have included me, defeated by the self-timer and sporting my winter Ernest Hemingway beard, to give some scale to the picture and some warmth to my chin.

In 1921 the Palace was sold to demolition contractors and took almost ten years to demolish completely. During that time the West Wing was converted into houses to shelter homeless mining families. After the war ended, many of the coal mines went out of business and the families who had tied houses were evicted. This UK recession was a lead in to the great depression of the 1930's.

I just think it sad that the Palace is gone. It would certainly have made a considerable tourist attraction. The final irony in this version of the story is that during the development of the Palace site in 1974, when building Strathclyde country park, the construction workers came across intact vaulted cellars.

Did these cellars belong to the original building built in 1591? We will never know.
Instead of heralding this discovery as a fantastic opportunity, they collapsed the vaulted ceilings and filled the cellars with rubble. Kick me when I'm down why don't you.

If you look carefully at the photograph above, you can see in the background something that was left by Alexander the 10th Duke. This is his Mausoleum mentioned a few times previously.

Although having subsided also, the Mausoleum still stands as a fantastic piece of architecture and history. We will talk about that in Part Three. This concludes Part 2 of this meme.

Meanwhile, if you would like further information, please visit the Hamilton Palace Virtual Reconstruction website, here. If you have quicktime installed, there is a 3D view of the Palace, which is cleverly recreated.

Update 20th Nov. 2010.

My thanks are extended to mintybob for this valuable information. Mintybob advised me via the comments, that original stone pillars from the Hamilton Estate were situated along Bothwell Road. It has taken me quite a while, but I have managed to somewhat document these pillars / gateposts / gatepiers in this update. I hope you find it interesting.

The picture above gives a satellite picture of where the pillars are situated along the Bothwell Road in Hamilton, Scotland. the pillars are circled in red, and the nearby Battle of Bothwell Bridge Covenanter Memorial, is circled in blue.
The pillars have been incorporated into the access road to the Hamilton Water Treatment Works, owned by Scottish Water.

The pillars were originally the north entrance to the Duke of Hamilton Estate, and most likely the Grand Avenue. With reference to the picture of the pillars above, the pillars shall be numbered 1 to 4, with pillar 1 being the leftmost, 2 and 3 (the inner set,) and pillar 4 the rightmost.

The north side (viewer left) is the Bothwell side, The south side (viewer right) is the Hamilton side, the east side (viewer straight ahead) the Bothwellhaugh/Strathclyde Park side, and the west side (viewer rear) the East Kilbride side.

The reference nomenclature for the files shall be, p2vfs.jpg means pillar 2, view from south.

The Pillars are about 12 feet high at their highest, this obviously diminishing as the hill climbs towards Hamilton to the south.

Above, pillars 1 and 2 viewed from the west.

Above, pillars 3 and 4 viewed from the west.

With reference to the Hamilton Estate, there are two sets of pillars, an inner set and an outer set. The outer set are slimmer, and have a mullet (the heraldic name for a star) on the north & south sides, a cinquefoil ermine facing west, and a fleur-de-lis to the east. They do not appear to have been used as gateposts.
The inner set have the same configuration, but have possibly been used to hold up substantial gates at some time. All the pillars are topped with eight carved lion head masks, two each facing north, south, east and west. Above, pillar 4 viewed from the south showing a mullet.

The British Listed Buildings website here, lists the date of construction around 1835, which would put them into the timeline of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton, although the Grand Avenue, which presumably these entrance gates led to, dates from the time of William, the 3rd Duke, 1635-1694. Above, a detailed view of the Lions head mask carving on pillar 4, viewed from the south. 

Above, a detailed view of the cinquefoil ermine, (the animal tail surmounted by three dots), on pillar 2, viewed from the west.

The outer set of pillars have a carved top to look like a leaded roof, whild the inner set have what appears to be a pedestal with carved scrolls set into the top, possibly to accomodate another piece of sculpture or metalwork that is now missing.
I believe the mullet represents the Douglas Family, The Cinquefoil ermine (the animal tail surmounted by three dots) represents the Hamilton family, and the Fleur-de-lis the French connection, probably the Chatelherault Dukedom. Above, pillar 4 viewed from the north.

Above, pillar 3, viewed from the south,  showing the mullet, cinquefoil, and the pedestal with carved scrolls set into the top.
Above, pillar 2, viewed from the south, showing the metalwork which may have held gates at some time.
Above, another view of pillar 2, viewed from the east, showing the Fleur-de-lis.

Above, pillar 1 viewed from the south. 

Above, pillar 3 nearest, with pillar 4 behind,  viewed from the north, showing the metalwork that may have been for gates. It would seem that the ground level has risen to accomodate the new access road.  
Above, another view of pillar 3 from the east, showing a closer view of the Fleur-de-lis. 

Above, another view of pillar 2 viewed from the east, showing a closer view of the Fleur-de-lis.

Above, a view of pillar 1 from the east, showing the Fleur-de-lis.

Above, pillars 1 and 2, viewed from the south.

Above, pillar 2 viewed from the north west. One of the west facing lion head masks is missing.

Above, pillar 1 viewed from the north west.

Above, pillars 1 (nearest), 3 and 4, vied from the north. This view shows this hill rising towards Hamilton. This concludes this update.