Blackhall Manor is a tower house near Paisley. The first house on the site was built by the Norman knight Walter fitz Alan in about 1160. In 1396 Robert III of Scotland, King of Scots, gave the property to Sir John Stewart, his natural son. According to a record book now lost, barony courts were regularly held there in the sixteenth century. In 1667 Archibald Stewart was made a Baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles II, and was the first baronet of Greenock and Blackhall.

By the 1820s Blackhall had become a farm-house; in the 1840s the farmer built a new house nearby, and the roof of the old one was taken off to save on tax. The structure was used as a store-house, a cattle byre and a coal shed. The Shaw-Stewart family donated it to the Burgh of Paisley in 1940. In 1978 it was judged to have become so dangerous that demolition was proposed. It was completely rebuilt and restored in 1982–1983.

No information about the evolution of the tower over the centuries is available, but the presence of a 14th-century fireplace jamb, the different style of windows in the staircase tower from the rest of the building and its relatively poor bonding with the main block suggest that the tower house was originally built as a hall house and enlarged in the 16th century with the addition of another storey and attic, stair tower, larger windows and a new ground-floor entrance. More windows were added in the late 16th or early 17th centuries.



Your name


Founded: 16th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

More Information

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château d'Olhain

The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.

The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.

The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.

During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.