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Baads Castle


Although not certain, it appears Badds (or Badds) Mansion or Castle was the first mansion to be built on the estate of Badds, and probably dates from 1558.  It stood on the west side of the road to Carnwath, near Baddo Mill (or Baadsmill) (NT 0025 5978).  Another source places the castle near West Calder, in West Lothian, NT 893724.

In the History of West Calder it is said to have stood to the west of the road to Carnwath, near Baads Mill, although there is no trace of any building having stood there. On John Adair’s map of 1735, Baads House is shown in a north-westerly direction from Little Harwood. This map was surveyed in 1680, and an earlier map, that by a Dutchman Domed Blaeu, was printed in 1654, showed Baads to be situated west of Muirhousedykes.

Baads Castle, which was burned in 1736, was originally owned by James Douglas. An old family Bible, dating back nearly 400 years has been preserved from this building, and is in the possession of the Thistle Lodge Friendly Society, West Calder.

The site of this building has been long disputed, and only recently some evidence leading to it has come to light. A copy of an old plan of this area (dated 1812, uncertain scale, probably 6": in Mr Thomson's (2) possession) shows Baads Mains (NT 0057 6146) as being in the possession of James Douglas, which would tend to point to the fact that this property then (c.1812), was still owned by the Douglases, and therefore probably denotes the site of the old building.

The farm buildings at Little Harwood (NT 0164 6143), some 900 metres east of Baads Mains, contain some very old stones, and one in particular bears the date "1661"(3). These stones may possibly have come from the old Baads Castle.

An Alexander Douglas appeared to own the Baads estate (including a seam of coal) in 1793.  It was certainly a colliery in the 20th century.

It is, however, interesting to note that Baron Douglas of Baads is 'of Midlothian'. Leonard Douglas acquired the estate of Baads in Midlothian on 16 April 1551. Is this the same place? Have boundaries changed(4)?


1.  James Carroll writes in our Forum: "There was never a castle. This was a myth put around by locals in the 19th century"
2.  J Thomson, 'Eskhill', Limefield Rd, West Calder
3.  Some say 1667
4.  West Calder parish, now in West Lothian, was in Midlothian until the local government reorganisation of the mid-1970s.

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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024