The Story of Dalzell Estate & Baronís Haugh
Dalzell Estate has a rich and fascinating history. The Estate started life as a Royal Hunting Forest in 843, and was owned by the Dalzell family until 1647 when it was granted to James Hamilton 1st of Dalzell.

The Estate then passed down through successive generations of the Hamilton family until 1952 when following the death of Lord Gavin Hamilton the family moved to Snowdenham House in Surrey. The house then became a boys school Ė Gresham College Ė until it was purchased in 1967 by the local authority. The House then lay empty until it was sold for one penny in 1985 and converted into a number of private dwelling houses.

Despite basic management the condition of the grounds and their historical features deteriorated until their recent restoration through a partnership between North Lanarkshire Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, RSPB Scotland, Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and WREN.

Dalzell House would have started life as a defensive wooden structure, which was replaced by the stone Keep during the 15th or early 16th century. The Keep was then extended in 1649 and throughout the centuries that followed further substantial additions were made to it, most notably the works carried out by the architect R. W. Billings in 1857 which were financed by the familyís then lucrative coal and steel interests.

Like the house, the grounds of the Estate have been shaped by successive generations of the Hamilton Family who followed the fashion of the day to create formal, romantic and functional gardens and designed landscapes.

The most notable of these is Archibald Hamilton the 4th Laird (1694-1774) who was a keen horticulturist. He built upon the work started by his father and expanded the estates orchards, established 150 acres of forest and created avenues, walks, vistas and ornamental features, such as the Listening Cave (1765)  and Ha-Ha (1724). Other features within the estate, such as  the Summerhouse, orchards and kitchen gardens have come and gone but the basic layout of the estate as it remains today is very similar to the designed landscape with gardens, woodlands, paths and avenues shown on the Ordinance Survey map of 1864.

The Dalzell Estate is recognized in Historic Scotlandís Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland as a historic designed landscape of significance which contains a number of B and C listed historic features and forms the setting for the grade A listed building. More details about these listings and the history of the Estate can be found on the Historic Scotland site.
Historically Baronís Haugh formed part of the Estate until it was bought by the RSPB Scotland in 1983.   The Haugh would have provided summer grazing for the Estate in the past. Now it is managed for wetland birds, but cattle are once again a feature of the landscape maintaining the short grassland that wading birds like to nest in. 
Baron's HaughDalzell House