Merchiston Villa

Rather confusingly a substantial stone villa in a weak Scottish baronial style was built in 1895 on Mungalhead Road a little to the north of Merchiston Hall and called Merchiston House. 

It was probably built for Alexander Graham who had been renting Kersehill House.   Mrs Graham died at Merchiston House on 12 February 1914 and Mr Graham around 1924.  The house was put up for sale:

“For SALE by Private Bargain, that SUBSTANTIALLY BUILT DETACHED VILLA known as MERCHISTON HOUSE, situated in the road leading from CAMELON to BAINSFORD, containing 3 Large Public Rooms, 5 Bedrooms, Bathroom, Kitchen, etc., etc. Feu. 1 Acre or thereby, consisting partly of Walled Garden and partly of field…”

(Falkirk Herald 4 October 1924).

It was still on the market in April 1928 and was eventually bought by Mr and Mrs H. Rafferty.  Their son, Pte Gordon Rafferty, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in the Second World War in the Middle East.  On 30 September 1948 Francis H. D. Strong died at Merchiston House and in August 1954 it was for sale yet again.  After changing hands several times it was converted into a restaurant c2005 and an unfortunate conservatory built in front of it.  Today (2022) it is the Beijing Villa Chinese restaurant.

G.B.Bailey, 2023