The biggest non-royal country house in Scotland was Hamilton Palace. The Hamilton family lived there for many years before making terrible financial and commercial mistakes that resulted in the demolition of the entire building. Many people still believe that the destruction of Hamilton Palace was the biggest loss of cultural treasure in Scottish history.
The biggest private residence in Scotland was Hamilton Palace.
For almost 300 years, the Dukes of Hamilton had their residence at Hamilton Palace in Hamilton, Scotland. A charter from 1445 makes the first mention of a fortress in Hamilton. Between 1684 and 1701, a substantial main extension and renovation of the palace were finished. Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton, who owned the palace, brought it to the pinnacle of architectural splendor. At its largest, it was larger than Buckingham Palace.
Alexander wanted the palace to be a beautiful setting for his renowned art collection as well as a reflection of his family’s prestige and heritage. Alexander ordered a second palace enlargement between 1822 and 1828, and had the interior decorated with baroque themes and Egyptian-style interior accents to match the splendor of the facade.
The grandeur of the palace was ultimately its demise
The unnecessary architectural alterations made by Alexander hastened Hamilton Palace’s decline. The Hamilton family incurred significant debt as a result of the construction, and the subsidence brought on by the region’s extensive coal mining did little to alleviate the problem. The excessive coal mining was steadily eroding the gigantic structure’s structural basis.
Alfred Douglas Douglas-Hamilton was the last Hamilton to acquire ownership of the palace in 1895. He inherited the vast estate, its pricey furnishings, artwork, and antiques, as well as its £1.5 million debt. This loan was never paid back.
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Hamilton Palace was already in serious decay before the start of World War One. The building had been offered to the Royal Navy as a hospital during the conflict, but it had since been condemned and was set to be torn down. Hamilton Palace was completely demolished between 1921 and 1926 after all of the Hamiltons’ priceless belongings were auctioned off.
Only Hamilton Mausoleum still standing.
The Hamilton Mausoleum is the last remaining intact part of Hamilton Palace. It was the designated spot where members of the Hamilton family were buried, and it is situated 200 meters from where the main palace building once stood. The mausoleum’s construction, which was a component of Alexander’s extension, started in 1842 and continued until 1858.
Family members who passed away before it was finished were interred in a vault in the palace’s eastern wing, which housed a collegiate church. Alexander believed the family needed a mausoleum that complemented the design of the massive structure because the church had grown so run-down. The structure has a huge dome that, with a 15-second echo, holds the world record for the longest echo in a building.
Despite having ordered it, Alexander did not survive to see the mausoleum’s completion because he passed away in 1852.
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