The Haunting Ruins of the Carmichael House and its Abandoned Pet Cemetery

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland (Image: The Doofers; the Carmichael House’s abandoned pet cemetery)

We love our pets, and there’s something particularly poignant about a pet cemetery. They speak to the care and love shown in life, and the heartbreak felt in death. On the grounds of the Carmichael House in Thankerton, South Lanarkshire, Sammy, Tara, Jet, Bruce and Major all rest in peace, their headstones overgrown and their etched names slowly obscured by weathering and erosion.

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland 2

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland 3 (Images: The Doofers)

The headstones in the animal burial ground span the last century, from Jet (who died in 1917) and Bruce (1935) all the way up to Major. The latter’s gravestone states that he died in 2007, long after the Carmichael estate fell into dereliction. Sammy, meanwhile, passed on in 1993 and Tara lived until 2005.

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire where Jet, Bruce, Sammy, Tara and Major rest in peace (Images: The Doofers)

The land was first chartered to the Carmichael family in 1374, though they had already lived in the area for a century and a half. Distinguishing themselves in the Hundred Years War and said to have broken lances against the Duke of Clarence – the brother of Henry V himself – the family retains its ancestral land today.

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland 4 (Image: The Doofers)

The present Carmichael House, now ruined, was the seat of the family and the center of the barony. The regal, three-story mansion displayed the family’s crest – complete with broken spear. The estate enjoyed centuries of prosperity, and incorporated a curling pond for winter fun and an ornamental canal. Regal stone eagles watched over the east entrance. The estate also had its own church and a family mausoleum.

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland 5 (Image: The Doofers)

Carmichael House was occupied during World War Two as a billet for Polish forces. But the post-war years would swiftly spell the estate’s downfall. In 1952, the roof was removed from the main building in order to lower the taxes against the property. Everything that wasn’t nailed down was also sold, stripping the stately manor of its furnishing, windows, and doors.

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland 6 (Image: The Doofers)

Today, only the walls remain, although the current owners are optimistic that it might ultimately be restored to its former glory. They’re also looking at restoring Eastend House, another dilapidated mansion that stands on the edge of the property. Over the centuries, the property – including the manor – was absorbed into the Carmichael estate. Let’s hope the future brings about the rebuilding and restoration of both properties.

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland 7 (Image: The Doofers)

For the time being, however, the abandoned estate, at the heart of which stands the ruined, empty shell of Carmichael House, is an eerie place. Once-grand rooms are cold echoes of their former selves. Nearby, sweeping stone steps – overgrown and half-concealed amid fallen leaves – lead to the old pet cemetery in the forest, a quiet place with an atmosphere haunted by the animals of long gone occupants.

The abandoned pet cemetery and ruins of Carmichael House and estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland 8 (Image: The Doofers)

Related – Not So Great Estates: 10 Lost Country Houses of England

 
 


 
 
 

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