Oct 15 2013

Demolition Ends, Reconstruction Starts

With all the rubble removed, together with the central and end walls, the men have been busy levelling the entire floor area, ready to pour concrete later this week. Because of the Scottish “Tattie howkin’” holiday no work will take place on Monday and Tuesday. Impressive mounds of rubble and stone are stacked around the rear of the building.

 

Piles of rubble 1

Piles of rubble 1

Piles of rubble 2

Piles of rubble 2

Interior levelled ready for concreting 1

Interior levelled ready for concreting 1

Interior levelled ready for concreting 2

Interior levelled ready for concreting 2

Sep 30 2013

Eureka! Time Capsule found – Dated 25th March 1831

On Thursday 26 September 2013 a most important treasure was unearthed amongst the ruins of Glenlair House. Whilst dismantling the South wall down to the original footings level, a large square stone was removed revealing a square cavity, in which was a glass jar standing upside down. The jar had been sealed with wax, which you will see from the photo has dried out and discoloured, but otherwise the capsule was in perfect condition.

No attempt has yet been made to open the casket and this will only be done under controlled conditions with the guidance of a professional conservator It is however possible to read much of the writing on the outer layer of the papers enclosed, which has allowed us to determine that the capsule was placed there by John Clerk Maxwell on 25 March 1831, written in Roman numerals, (some 50 days before JCM was born) to mark the building of a house at Nether Corsock.

Hand drawn sketches of the house design are clearly visible and there are obviously a number of other documents rolled up within the jar, including what appears to be part of a newspaper. The reason for the house being called Nether Corsock at that time was that clearly there was no dwelling at Glenlair and the Middlebie Estate, owned by John Clerk Maxwell was run from the adjacent farm, Nether Corsock.

Glenlair Time Capsule

Time Capsule

Sep 29 2013

Maxwell’s Wine Cellar Revealed!

The demolition work continues apace and there was a eureka moment when suddenly, the original wine cellar (which I had remembered climbing into in my youth some 60 years ago) was revealed beneath the mounds of rubble. The end wall has been lowered to ground level, but has to go down even further to reach the original foundations. While taking down one of the kitchen chimneys, a Barn Owl was discovered wedged in the chimney. I’m glad to say it was safely removed and was able to fly away! (Sorry no photo!)

 

Demolition Continues

Demolition Continues

Maxwell's Wine Cellar

Maxwell’s Wine Cellar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 09 2013

Rebuilding Glenlair House – Update 2

Just over a fortnight into the project and already one can see the extent of the demolition that must first take place before any rebuilding work can begin. Thus far the central wall and about 60% of the southern wall have been taken down. Two men working with hammer and chisel have achieved all this and it has of course added to the mountain of rubble, which will subsequently have to be removed from the site. Much of the stone will be reused during reconstruction and that is being carefully laid aside for the stonemasons.

Glenlair House update 2 - 1

Glenlair House update 2 - 2

Glenlair House update 2 - 3

Aug 30 2013

New Project Starts

Work started to day on the next project to rebuild Glenlair House. This time it is planned to completely restore the original part of the house originally built by Professor Maxwell’s father,  John in 1831 using Walter Newall as his architect. This was the section most severely damaged by the fire in 1929 and consequently the part requiring most work.

It is hoped to complete the project within a year, but this unfortunately means that no visitors can be accepted whilst work is in hand for Health and Safety reasons. I will do my best to keep followers of this site updated with progress reports so that you can plan your visit next year to see Glenlair House very much as it must have looked when James Clerk Maxwell was alive!

Contractors on Site

Contractors on Site

Glenlair House in 2014?

Glenlair House in 2014?

 

Jun 23 2012

Sad News

Sam Callander

Sam Callander

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Sam Callander passed away peacefully in Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary on Friday 22 June 2012 after a short illness.

 

Followers of Maxwell will be very aware of the contribution made by Sam in tirelessly promoting the name and achievements of James Clerk Maxwell over many years. Anyone who visited Parton and in particular the small Post Office, where Sam would be behind the counter and they mentioned James Clerk Maxwell, would leave, often much later and much better informed about the life and doings of the great man! In 1989, Sam was instrumental in having a bronze memorial plaque erected outside Parton Churchyard where Maxwell is buried and more recently he became a Trustee of the Maxwell at Glenlair Trust.

R.I.P.

 

Aug 13 2011

Visit by IEEE Foundation President

Dr. Dick GOWEN accompanied by his wife Nancy paid a visit to Glenlair on Saturday to receive an update on developments and witness progress made since their last visit in 2009. Typically the Scottish weather was a bit disappointing, but fortunately stayed dry long enough for them to tour Glenlair House and the Walter Newall Farm Steading, which they had not seen previously. Henrietta treated them to one of her delightful lunches, before they headed back to ‘Auld Reekie’.

Visit by IEEE Foundation President

Aug 06 2011

Professor and Mrs Maxwel return to Glenlair

A fancy dress party in honour of the 40th Birthday celebrations of one of our trustees, Angus FERGUSON and his wife Frances (subsequently also elected as a Trustee) provided a splendid opportunity for a return visit by Professor and Mrs James Clerk MAXWELL to GLENLAIR HOUSE. After all, they were about to enter their own original front door and could expect to yet again feast their eyes on those beautiful Minton Tiles so creatively designed and laid by James.

(Before you all email to say this wasn’t possible, poor old Mrs MAXWELL died in 1839, long before that part of the house was built! Just treat it as poetic licence!)

Professor and Mrs Maxwel return to Glenlair

Jun 16 2011

James Clerk Maxwell’s Lightning Rod

Jim Rautio, President of Sonnet Software, talks about the lightning rod from Glenlair House, the former home of James Clerk Maxwell

Link to video

May 23 2011

Visit by IEEE Members

On a wet and windy day 26 members of the IEEE braved the elements to visit Glenlair. After an early start from Edinburgh, they arrived at Glenlair around 1020 where they were greeted by the Fergusons and led inside Glenlair Lodge (the old servants quarters) where they were delighted to be offered tea, coffee and delicious freshly baked scones! Duncan then split the group in two and gave each in turn a tour of Glenlair House and the Visitors Centre, although sadly because of the weather conditions, a more extended tour of the gardens and farmyard was not possible. They departed just after midday to take lunch at Threave Gardens, a National Trust property near Castle Douglas. The remaining 24 members of the tour were due to arrive at Glenlair at 3 pm, but force majeure prevailed and they were forced to abandon the visit because the main road from New Lanark was blocked with fallen trees.

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