Home Back

Hamilton Palace

In our publications of June 10 and June 17, anticipating the interest that would be felt in the great sale of works of art, pictures, statues, bronzes, porcelain, and books, from the Duke of Hamilton's grand mansion in Scotland, we presented two Views of Hamilton Palace; we described that edifice and its situation, which is in Lanarkshire, adjacent to the small town of Hamilton, about ten miles from Glasgow. The existing Palace was mainly built in the present century, from 1810 to 1822, by Alexander, tenth Duke of Hamilton, who married the daughter and heiress of Mr. William Beckford, of Fonthill. It is a vast and stately building, in the Grecian style of architecture, but has been more completely illustrated in the Views already given than in one of our present Engravings, which shows the Palace, together with the neighbouring Mausoleum, which stands on the eastern side of the Long Avenue, and near to the old Mote Hill of the primitive town, anciently named Cadzow. The dome of this splendid tomb is nearly 120 ft. high, and, although it might not rival that of Trajan, would have made a very respectable appearance among the grand imperial sepulchres of ancient Rome. The remains of Duke Alexander are here, in an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus of basalt, sculptured with hieroglyphics and religious symbols; at the base is the Latin inscription stating that Alexander, Duke of Hamilton, Brandon, and Chatelherault, was born in 1767, and died in 1852. The interior of Hamilton Palace, which was before described, contains many fine apartments; but the Picture Gallery and the Beckford Library, now despoiled of their treasures, are the subjects of two more Illustrations. It is not likely that they will ever again be filled with such valuable collections as those for which the auctioneers in London have obtained large sums of money at the daily sales continued during the last and the present month.

The ruins of Cadzow Castle are sketched from the side farthest from the River Avon, showing the remains of an old portal and bridge. The other side of the castle is upon a steep mass of rock, with trees overhanging the river. Judging by the remains, the place must have been very small; and it is difficult to believe that this was the Cadzow where the Kings of Scotland held their Court in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The Cadzow Burn flows past the present Palace of Hamilton, a name only dating from a comparatively late time.

Beckford Library

Florentine Chimney-Piece

Cadzow Castle

Hamilton Palace and Mausoleum

Tomb of Alexander, Tenth Duke of Hamilton

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2254—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 15, 1882, p.76