Lockheart Part 1

Milton Lockhart 1937

P’s Great-grandfather made a tidy little sum in the bus business. As the money came in, family life was transformed. Each summer, the family would rent a substantial scots baronial pile near their home town: Milton Lockhart. P’s family has films from the 1930s which show family weddings; horses charging about the meadows; children dancing on the lawn and a curl of smoke from the chimney of the gatehouse – another world in flickering sepia.

Eventually, the family bought a large house and the long inter-war summers were forgotten. Milton Lockhart, dark and neglected became rain-slick and defeated. Then, in the 1980s, the old house disappeared completely. It had been dismantled at the behest of a grinning Japanese film star and shipped to Japan where it sat, disassembled, in a warehouse awaiting its fate.

At this point Mr Hirai came to its rescue. Mr Hirai is a successful businessman of the sort P’s Great-grandfather would immediately have felt a fellowship with. His principal business is stone. To his evident frustration the Japanese continue to prefer to build and decorate their homes with wood. The black walls of Milton Lockhart would stand as an advertisment of sorts – a granite statement of the possibilities of building in stone.

That was how Milton Lockhart came be Lockheart Castle, brooding on a hillside in the Gunma Province of Japan. On behalf of P’s family we were tasked with finding the Castle. We brought with us, as a gift, a copy of the 70 year old family movies.

30 thoughts on “Lockheart Part 1”

  1. They took down the whole place, shipped it over and rebuilt it? This is amazing. What a great story this makes. Are you considering a book deal?

    BTW, my father spent some time in Salzburg after WW II, thus the elkskin lederhosen. It’s a family joke.

  2. wow that is amazing!! did you find it ? is it all back together? you better not disappear for a month without spilling the details!!

  3. So strange and interesting that the Japanese film star had the place dismantled. Why not make a replica? I suppose that is what an american film star would have done.

  4. Hi,
    My mother grew up in the gardener’s cottage on Milton Lockhart in the 1930s. She’d be very interested to see the film footage you describe.

    She mentioned a carved stone representing Jesus on the cross which was on the side entrance of the building – she described it as having nail pierced hands and feet, a cross and a crown of thorns carved on it, with greenish, “curly kale” round about it – she remembers her father pointing this out to her as a child. She wonders if it survived the move to Japan!
    Be grateful for any info you can supply.

  5. JJ- I’m doing some resarch on another property owned originally by the Lockharts – Lee Castle – and specifically about some families who worked there around the turn of the century. I’d love to include some info about this amazing story as well.

  6. Marie. You would be welcome to. I know P’s family had a connection with Lee too. I think they may even have owned it at one point.

  7. Marie, if you do a google search for Jo Johnson’s watercolours, you’ll find my website – if you email me, I’ll send you some info on my mother’s family and their life on Milton Lockhart Estate.

  8. We have recently bought Milton Lockhart Estate and would be very interested in any information, history, photos, footage, etc. We have just restored the fabulous bridge and in the process of bringing the estate back to it’s former glory. It is going to be our family home and we would love to know all about it’s past . . .

  9. Milton Lockhart has very rich history as a Lockhart ancestral home. The last owner prior to its sale in the 1950’s was Stephen Alexander Lockhart CMG OBE who inherited it from his father Commander Murray Macgregor Lockhart OBE. Murray was born in India and was the son of General Sir William Stephen Alexander Lockhart GCB KCSI.
    The General’s father was Rev Laurence Lockhart who minisitered at Inchinnan(Renfrewshire). Rev Laurence was the brother of John Gibson Lockhart the writer and Biographer of Sir Walter Scott.
    The Lockharts were a powerful Scotish Lowland family – there were a number of marriages with the Maxwells of Dargavel over two centuries. Both families were prolific providers of officers to the British and Indian Armies.

  10. Have just started doing the scottish part of our family tree and have found information that My Great Grandparents (born late 1848) raised my Grandfather and his siblings in Milton Lodge. Altho he lived there, he worked at Mauldslie Castle.
    Lady G is it possible that you might be the Canadian branch of the family tree.

  11. My family used to live in Ashgill in the 1950’s and early 60’s.

    We would often drive by the bridge on our way to the Popinjay Hotel in Rosebank. I was never aware of the wonderful house that lay just across the bridge.

  12. Would love to know more ~ I’m the current owner of the estate and trying to bring it back to it’s former glory ~ all information, history, photos, etc. would be greatly appreciated !

  13. Gail Allan would it be possible that you could contact me at nzkimmie@gmail.com please. Not only did my family live in the Gate House for abt 60 years but one of my grandfathers sisters that was also born there married a John Allan. The couple went to Canada after the marriage but would love to be able to find out if there is a link.

  14. Sorry, lost all track of time ! We are currently landscaping and restoring the gardens around our new home ~ it’s been a long 3 years ! Just about to embark on restoring the old Coach-house & stables, then the Walled Garden and Main Entrance. I will be in touch directly as I would love to find out more about the people who lived here . . .

  15. My maternal grandmother was a Lockhart, from Scotland/Ireland. Her family still lives in Loughos Point, Ardara. My great great grandfather was Oliver Baskin Lockhart (1831-1900). His father was William b 1804 d 1878. I understand that our Lockhart branch is the Strathmore of Scotland. Recently started working on my family genealogy and trying to find the direct connection to our family with the Milton Lockhart Estate. My grandmother has about 8 men in her family including a brother with the first or middle name of Milton. Can you be of any assistance? Thanks

  16. I am interested in what happened to the contents of Milton Lockhart, would also be interested to see internal pictures, I am looking particularly for sculptures, paintings and busts that were in the house. Does anyone know if there was an auction of the contents, if so who conducted the sale, is there a catalogue or in inventory from the time that the house was let out?

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