10 Abandoned Manor Houses & Baronial Mansions of Scotland

5. Cairndhu House, Helensburgh

Cairndhu-House-Helensburgh-abandoned-2 (Image: via Google Street View)

The 2-story, French Renaissance villa was once the family home of John Ure, flour merchant and Lord Provost of Glasgow. Today, it stands boarded-up on the Helensburgh seafront where it stands, only a little over a century after it was first built.

Cairndhu-House-Helensburgh-abandoned (Image: via Google Street View)

In 1871, the home was first constructed for the Ure family. More than just a merchant, John Ure was also the first chairman of the Committee of Health for the City of Glasgow, and had been instrumental in quite literally cleaning up the city. He lived there until his death in 1901, when it passed on to his son, Alexander – who became Scotland’s Solicitor General. He died there in 1928, and with the coming of World War II the home, like many others, was drafted into military service. It became the base for the HMS Vernon, remained a military asset for 7 years, then returned to private hands.

Cairndhu-House-Helensburgh-abandoned-5 (Image: Helensburgh Heritage)

Eventually, the home became the Cairndhu Hotel, and while it was a successful venture, there was a movement to demolish the house and replace it with a more modern hotel. Permissions were refused, and it re-opened as the Cairnshu Nursing Home, which ultimately closed in 2010.

Cairndhu-House-Helensburgh-abandoned-4 (Image: via Google Street View)

The home itself was a mix of a French villa with touches from the Far East, decorated with birds and bamboo, most of which has been now lost. Although it’s only been abandoned for a relatively short time, the building is already showing some wear and tear. The roof is beginning to decay, the paint is chipping away, and the windows are boarded-up to protect what remains of the inside.


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About the author: Debra Kelly




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