Parkhill House


Parkhill from the West
Parkhill from the East

       Parkhill House, which stands at the south-west end of Polmont, is the most important of the mansions to have survived the 1960s demolitions which removed Polmont Park, Polmont House and Millfield among others.  The present house is not the first on the site – some fragments of stones discovered in the grounds suggest that the earliest building may date from the 1400s.  One has a Latin motto ‘poverty is the adversary of renown’.  In 1573 the estate was called Parkend and was in the ownership of a family called Ballantyne (sometimes written as Bellenden or Bellentyne) related perhaps to the powerful Bellenden family which controlled most of the lands in the Falkirk area formerly held by the Abbey of Holyrood.  This family remained until the end of the 17th century.  The house and estate next appears in the record in 1788 when they were acquired by James Cheape of Sauchie who seems to have changed its name from Parkend to Park Place and six years later to Parkhill.  By this time Cheape had started building the present house – the centre part of the north-east range – around 1790.  This was later extended to the south and west and, during the 19th century, it was further extended to its present form.

      The building is a simple three-storey oblong with a partly sunk basement.  The centre of the North-East range projects forward from the rest of the facade and is formed into a gable.  It has a three-light window and fanlight and may have been the entrance to the building in 1790.  On the opposite side of the house – the South-West range – the central projection takes a semi-circular form with a low conical roof.

      For most of the present century Parkhill was the home of the Gray-Buchanan family whose wealth came from the Black and White whisky company.   The maiden sisters of the family were interested in education and health care and were involved in a whole range of activities in Polmont and beyond.  Since the house ceased to be a family home it has been a restaurant and is now part of a housing development.

Ian Scott (2005)