Carronvale House


      Originally known as Broomage House, Carronvale was probably built around 1800 by Alexander Brown the younger of Broomage, or his son, James.   The Browns had been portioners of Broomage before the arrival of Carron Company in 1759.   The house was sold by James Brown in 1819, to Dr Duncan Robertson of Perthshire who added two wings, built the lodge house, laid out the grounds and changed the name of the estate and house to ‘Carronvale’. Some of the interior hardwood for the house was imported from the family estate in Jamaica called ‘Friendship’. 

      After the death of Dr Robertson in 1824, Carronvale was left to his eldest son, Duncan Stewart Robertson, who had a commission in the 31st Regiment. The house, fully furnished, was offered for rent in 1826 and again in 1827, via solicitors Russell & Aitken. An advertisement which appeared in the Stirling Journal of 2nd March 1826, described the house as “modern, containing a dining room, drawing room, parlour, library, and a number of bedrooms, and other conveniences, all in the best order, having been lately painted and thoroughly repaired. The offices were large and complete and the Garden contained up-wards of a Scots Acre, well enclosed with Birch Walls, and completely stocked with Fruit Trees in full bearing.” It was also described in Scottish Country Houses 1600-1914 as “a harled Georgian house, the main element of which was an early nineteenth-century two-storey three-bay front with an anta pilastered doorpiece and flanking ground-floor windows with long elegant consoles.” 

      Duncan Robertson died at Carronvale on the 20th October 1856, and in April of the following year, the estate was purchased by John Bell Sherriff, a distiller from Glasgow, with local connections. After his death in 1896, the estate passed to his son, George, who lived at nearby Woodcroft. The house was extensively remodelled around 1897, to the design of the celebrated Glasgow architect, Sir John James Burnet. His fundamental additions included raising the two wings to two storeys and covering all with a broad-eaved roof of rosemary tiles. The last of the Sherriffs to occupy the house was Mrs Catherine Jane Sherriff, who died in 1936. 

      During World War II, the entire claims department of the Prudential Insurance Society, was moved there from London and in 1946, it was sold and became the headquarters of the Boys Brigade in Scotland. It is a category A listed building.

Brian Watters (2006)