The Only remaining original Drawing by Boucher + Cousland.of 1853
Diarmid House - Entrance Porch
Drawing By A McAvoy - Winter 2011
Diarmid is a Period Villa dating from 1853 by Glasgow Architects Boucher + Cousland
It appears to have been their first and may well be the last bespoke one on Loch Long ...left standing. Much of their legacy was carelessly removed.
In its Architecture and specific fabric it is connected intimately to the major Industrial achievements of the mid 19th Century river Clyde Geography or "Workshop of Empire" as defined by Professor John Hume. As an exploration in stone, wood iron and glass it pushed the boundaries and stemmed many advancements in technology.
The house was designed and taken most of the way through construction for a Glasgow Merchant - Bailey Hamilton who's business was lost to him... Designed as Oak wood Tower it is now in the ownership of Ms Maggie Simpson who's family have owned the property since its completion. Ms Simpson has conveyed that the first owner was her Great Grandfather - Robert Percy Thompson and thereafter her Grandfather - Robert Thompson. -In their family the house has always been known as "Diarmid."
Diarmid suffered a fire in 1978 and as a consequence of that, lost its tower and principal Ironwork.
It had acted as an experimental project for the architects - Boucher + Cousland, Whilst building Diamrmid, they were helping to forge the new premises of the Iron master Walter Macfarlane. The Iron parts of Diarmid were made at Macfarlane's first foundry.at Saracen street in Glasgow, their Washington street and Saracen Foundries at possil park were still to come. Boucher and Cousland were to be the Architects for both.
In its prime the house was a modernist machine for living in a reduced pallet of materials and a show room for the Iron masters work. The Iron work was functional allowing for vertical ascent, safety and displacement of water. The glass houses now gone were again stories in Iron .
Diarmid predates or was built in parallel with Boucher and Couslands Coulport House for James Kibble accross the Loch Long.
I have measured what is left of Diarmid and drawn the house up with a view to reinstating it to its former glory. I engage with an ongoing process of reinstatement via interpretation of found fragments , discussion and study.
Slowly we help to move Ms Maggie Simpson back towards inhabitation of a house that her childhood wrapped around.
The reimagining process thus far has leaned heavily on the following
Archive searches at RCAHMS Edinburgh Liasons with Professor David Walker Library base and desktop research Survey and measure. An early Saracen Foundry catalogue The only extant original drawing to be found to date - the Perspective below. The Simpson family archive.
Boucher + Cousland were early giants of Scottish Architecture and this appears to be their first large Domestic work. It is not listed and should be.
The presence of this house has engaged me in several years of study of teh wider work of teh practice and i continue on teh quest for more and more knowledge of them. I hope that in time it can be written up and published.
A clue ...
It is highly likely that Diarmid was photographed by James Kibble whilst he was touring with his early Camera. Boucher + he being very close.
Boucher and Cousland designed the Kibble Place as a glass house for Kibbles neigbouring house at Coulport long before it was moved to Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
Boucher was involved on the pier at Blairmore which ferried people accross the loch and no doubt responsible for the Coulport peir removed by the MOD in process of making Coulport Nuclear Missile facility.
Boucher designed and built the Pier House at Blairmore and this though ferryless is still extant.
The dean of Guild records for Diarmid were lost in the Mitchell library flood and clear out in the 1960;s - so little is known.
Please be in touch if you know anything at all.
Meanwhile we are guiding Maggie Simpson in the search back through time for the details and toward funding for substantial reinstatement works.
To raise funds for the reinstatement process - Maggie offers Holistic therapy amidst the remaining splendor of Diarmid and can be contacted at http://holiztix.com/
The order from which all of the Architecture of the House is derived.
The order applied to the Bay window of the principal Seaward Elevation Part measured and part Re-imagined
Construction of Original Bay Window
Plan "as built"
Drawn by A McAvoy
Elevation of seaward bay window - Surveyed and partly reimagined. - Winter 2011
Drawing by A McAvoy
Entrance Porch and articulated chimney -
Surveyed and drawn by A McAvoy in Winter 2011
Seaward Elevation Re- imagined - As built with original Tower, Balcony and Loch Long viewing deck atop in place.
Drawn by A McAvoy - Winter 2011
Entrance or approach Elevation showing original tower, fernery balcony and Loch Long viewing Deck
Surveyed and reimagined - by A McAvoy - Winter 2011
Early Walter Macfarlanes Castings on display
Hopper and Hodderbacks
Once upon a time in Possil Park.
Possibly the worlds largest and most important Iron Foundry
The Saracen Foundry which "Diarmid" house acted as a showroom for.
Boucher + Cousland at their peak.
Industrial Architecture Lost to a Fog