NS3778 : The site of Carman House

taken 8 years ago, near to Renton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title The site of Carman House in this square
The site of Carman House
The site of Carman House
The area in the foreground was the site of the farmstead of Carman. Carman is shown on the first-edition OS map, and was evidently still in existence in the 1890s, when the OS Object Name Book (ONB) for this area was compiled; the ONB describes Carman as "a farm house and offices, the property of Alexander Smollett, Esquire" (Smollett was not the occupant, but was the owner of much of the land in this area).

An extensive field system was associated with the farmstead of Carman. See Link for pictures of the field system, including some of its outlying parts.

The building consisted of rooms arranged in a line that was oriented more or less E-W, and this photo is therefore a view along what would have been their length.

Early in the twentieth century, there was still an occupied house (Carman House) at this location. It can be seen in the background of a photo (taken c.1920) which is reproduced on page 70 of the book "Renton Between the Wars" (Jim Murphy, 2007). A similar picture is reproduced on page 64 of the book "The Auld Renton Vol. 1" (1995) by C. Dennett.

(The building is not to be confused with the similarly-named Carman Cottage, which was located not far away; see Link for more information on Carman Cottage, which was also known colloquially as "the Divot House".)

The following information was gleaned from the cuttings at Dumbarton Library; I am therefore grateful to John Sinclair (of Bellsmyre), who provided the information, and to the Local Studies Librarian:

Carman House was occupied in the 1920s by two families, the MacKinlays and the Mitchells. The building was known, at times, as the Mare House (presumably because horses had been sold here see below). The amenities were very basic, and there was no real sanitation. The last person to live in Carman House was a certain Willie Johnson, a one-eyed chimney-sweep and volunteer fire-master.

The cuttings held at the library include a ground plan of Carman House; the rooms were arranged in a line, west to east, and were, in that order: stables, a wash-house (with midden to north), a hen house, a kitchen, a subdivided room, and a lobby (the lobby was an addition, built on by Willie Johnson). The garden was immediately to the north, enclosed within a dyke that ran from the NW corner of the hen house to the NE corner of the lobby.

My photograph might suggest that there is no longer anything to see here; however, on the same excursion, I came across an exposed section of floor (NS3778 : The remains of Carman House). In addition, the line of the southern wall is still fairly clear to see; one of the stones of that wall was exposed to view.

The 1:25000 OS map and larger-scale mapping show a large enclosure to the north; it is bounded by an earthen bank, and measures about 150 metres E-W. After Carman Cattle Fair, which was held at nearby Carman Hill, faded away and ceased to be held in the 1890s, horses were sold here, at this enclosure, for a few years more: see Link for further details, and for views of that enclosure.

Nestled within the south-eastern corner of that large enclosure was a smaller one, corresponding to the garden of the house: NS3778 : Carman House: dyke enclosing garden.
Carman House

A farmstead with a surrounding field system. See Link (in a Geograph article) for more information. In the early twentieth century the building was called Carman House; only faint traces of it now remain. See Link for an enclosure, just to the north of the ruined buildings, where horses used to be sold. See Link for the more extensive field system associated with the farmstead. See LinkExternal link for an annotated satellite view of the house's former site and its surroundings.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Grid Square
NS3778, 199 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 20 July, 2012   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 31 July, 2012
Geographical Context
Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening  Derelict, Disused 
Ruin (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3729 7857 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.3480N 4:36.5317W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3731 7858
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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