‘He downshifted through the lime alley that had once led to a palace and now led nowhere, an odd remnant of a grand life no one wanted to live anymore. Pulling up to what had been the back of an entrance of an old hunting lodge, where rough brown stone stood in sharp contrast to the creamy stuccoed front…’
– A Discovery of Witches, chapter 9, page 90.
The fictional Cadzow is based on Chatelherault Hunting Lodge, in Hamilton, just outside of Glasgow. Situated in a park with several walking trails nearby, it provides views to where Hamilton Palace once stood in the front, as well overlooks the ruins of the (largely) sixteenth-century Cadzow Castle.
William Adam designed the building at the behest of the Duke of Hamilton. Adam (b. 30 October 1689 in Kirkcaldy, Fife) was known for his hybrid of Baroque and Palladian architectural styles.
‘This lodge never did make any sense,’ Matthew said in a conversation tone that was nevertheless intended to sting. ‘Robert Adam was insane to take the commission.’
‘You’ve shared your thoughts on my little extravagance many times, Matthew … I don’t care if you understand the principles of architectural design better than I do or whether you believe that Adam was a madman to construct – what do you always call it? – an “ill-conceived folly” in the Lanarkshire wilderness. I love it, and nothing you say is going to change that.’
– A Discovery of Witches, chapter 9, pages 95 to 96.
Thomas Clayton completed the plasterwork throughout the house around 1742/3. In 1945, the Banqueting Hall was destroyed by fire, but the scenes and scrollwork were documented by earlier photographs, which allowed for a reconstruction of the original plan.
Roughly thirty years after its completion, William Gilpin commented that ‘Chatelherault is a sumptuous pile; but contains the odd assemblage of a banqueting house, and a dog kennel…’ before describing the surrounding natural landscape. The combination of elaborate structure, manicured gardens, and natural landscape made the property famous in the nineteenth century, inspiring the settings for grand houses in the United States.
In the 1720s, William Adam conceived the idea to record Scotland’s grand buildings. The Vitruvius Scoticus was eventually published in 1812 by Adam’s grandson and included for over a hundred buildings in Scotland, many of them were Adam’s design. Chatelherault features as the ‘Dogg Kinnell at Hamilton.’
In 1987, the house and grounds were re-opened after an extensive restoration project costing around £7 million. The house and grounds are now part of the Chatelherault Country Park in Hamilton. (Note that, while the website says the the house is open daily, it is popular for events, and, thus, subject to frequent closures. It is worth calling ahead to confirm the house is, indeed, open!)
Sources & More Information:
Paca, Barbara. “Lanscape Architecture from the Heart: Chatelherault and Teackle Mansion Garden.” Garden History 38.1 (2010), 99-111.
“Adam (ii).” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press..
Tait, AA. “William Adam at Chatelherault.” The Burlington Magazine 110.783 (1968), 316 and 319-325.
“Chatelherault.” CANMORE. http://canmore.org.uk/site/110505.
“The grandest of all kennels.” Herald Scotland. 19 September 1995.
“Out and About: A 7 million pound dog kennel – Once the hunting lodge of the Dukes of Hamilton, Chatelherault, near Glasgow, is now a triumph of the restorer’s art.” Times [London, England], 26 Sept. 1987.