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"The water of Douglas runs quyte through the whole length of this parish, and upon either side of the water it is called Douglasdale. It toucheth Clyde towards the north, and is bounded by Lesmahagow to the west, Kyle to the southwest, Crawford John and Carmichaell to the south and southeast. It is a pleasant strath, plentifull in grass and corn, and coal; and the minister is well provided.

"The lands of Heysleside belonging to Samuel Douglass, has a good house and pleasant seat, close by wood,"  - Sir Walter Scott, c1830

Hazelside Mains is located to the west of Douglas in Lanarkshire. Thomas, the first Dickson, for his service to the Douglas Family which he was related to (his Grandmother was a Douglas), was given the lands at Hazelside. Later he was also given the Barony of Symington by the King and was known as Laird of Hazelside and Symington. Today there are still properties at Hazelside but B Homer Dixon argues that the original property occupied by Thomas Dickson must have been a building of significant size since Thomas was able to receive and entertain Sir James Douglas and those who accompanied him without them being observed. Others have suggested that the current farm and other buildings at Hazelside are on the location of the land's former barns and farm buildings with the actual house of Hazelside Mains being located slightly west (up the hill from the present buildings) in what was or bacame a wooded area. This idea of the location and size of the Hazelside property would appear to agree with the location shows in the map below. Hazelside was a fiefdom, lands granted by a proprietor, heritable but not owned. It is stated that the lands of Hazelside remained with the Dickson or Symington families for many generations but at some point this ceased to be the case and Scottish valuations rolls from 1855 to 1935 show that control of the lands had reverted to the Douglas or Home families although by 1945 it appears that current property might have been in private hands.  [Hazelside was purchased 'from the estate' in about 1885 by the Mitchell family who still farm it 130 years later.]

The holding of Hazelside is of such antiquity that it is impossible to trace its story with any degree of continuity. It first comes into prominence as the home of the Doughty Dickson, the faithful supporter of the Good Sir James, but doubt exists as to when the Dickson family first entered into possession. [c1307 at the time of Douglas Larder incident, possible]

In the year 1605, John Symonton of that Ilk was served heir to William, his grandfather, in the constabulary of the castle of Douglas, and the office of bailie of Douglasdale, and in the lands of Hessilsyde, Kenok, Little Blantagart, and Polmukisheid, in the lordship of Douglas ; and in the year 1612, John Symonton of that Ilk was served heir to his father John, in the lands and barony of Symouton, with the office of bailie of the barony of Douglas, and captain of its castle.

The old mansion houses of Hazelside seem to have been of very considerable size, on a map showing Lanarkshire as it was about 1650 the castle and Hazelside are the only important buildings indicated in the Douglas neighbourhood - but of the early structures the only fragment which has survived is part of a building now used as a byre. Set in the wall is a stone bearing the date 1620, and the thick walls and the massive stone arches supporting the roof are well worth examination. The very old mansions did not, however, occupy the present site, but were situated much nearer to, if not actually within what is now the Windrow Wood. On the ground covered by the more modern buildings appear to have stood the outhouses connected with the farm, and this would seem to account for the fact that less than a hundred years ago the farmhouse at Hazelside was commonly referred to as "the Byres".

William Stewart of Shawood, born c1663, of the Syewart of Binny family, also possessed the lands of Hisleside.

The Stewarts appear to have become lairds of Hiselsyde early in the seventeenth century. On the 2nd June, 1647, William Stewart is retoured as his father's heir — "haeres Archibaldi Stewart de Hissilsyde, patris, — in terris et baronia de Symontoun tarn propriete quam tenendris cum advocatione ecclesiarum." In 1674, Griselda Stewart, William's daughter, is retoured as his heir. Subsequent retours find the lands merging, in 1702, into the hands of the Douglases.

The Stewarts do not appear in any conspicuous capacity, but as a county family in possession of their estate, which had a " good house and pleasant seat by a wood." The farm of Mains of Hazelside is the modern representative of the property.

Samuell Douglass of Hisleside: Commissioner of Supply in 1704

July 1713 - James Douglass of Hisleside against WILLIAM SOMERVEL of Kennocks.

Hamilton, Grizell, relict of Archibald Stuart, of Hisleside: Commissioner of Supply for Edinburgh 27 Jan 1721

MR WILLIAM SOMERVEL having disponed the lands of Kennocks and Blantaggart to James Stuart son to Mr William Stuart of Hisleside, who was infeft in the year 1672; Crissel Stuart spouse to Samuel Douglass of Hisleside, in the year 1683, after having been served heir in general to James Stuart her brother, did with her husband subscribe a discharge and renunciation in favours of William Somervel, of all right in their persons by virtue of any disposition or other right or title they could pretend to the lands of Kennocks. After the decease of Grissel Stuart, James Douglass now of Hisleside her son, served heir in special to James Stuart his uncle, as the person last vest and seased in these lands of Kennocks, and commenced a proving the tenor of the said disposition and infeftment, which were abstracted and amissing.

1803 - Archibald Douglas: Land Tax Roll


Sources for this article include:

  • Syminton family history
  • The Decisions of the Court of Session

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    Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022