Langgarth House

Langgarth is one of Stirling’s great villas, designed by the architect William Leiper (1839 – 1916). Built in 1897, it was originally one in a group of four on the St Ninians Road. The others were Viewforth (Stirling Council headquarters), Springbank (demolished to make way for Central Regional Council’s headquarters in 1995) and Annfield (also demolished). Langgarth was latterly used by Central Regional Council, and along with its little gatehouse, is now empty and boarded up.

This illustration is from the French magazine L’Architecte, 1907 and was purchased for the Smith  from ebay. It shows Langgarth in its early years. Leiper was an architect who paid as much attention to the laying out of the gardens and grounds as he did to the building, and the garden has yet to mature.

The 1901 Census lists the owner of Langgarth as widower William Renwick, aged 61 with his son Thomas, 8, and daughter Bethea, 7. His sister-in-law and five servants made up the household, with gardener George McCall and his wife Ann in the Lodge. Renwick was proprietor of the sugar cane mills in Bengal, India.

Leiper is an architect of outstanding importance with the design of buildings such as the Templeton Carpet Factory, Dowanhill Church and the City Chambers banqueting hall, all in Glasgow and many fine villas in Helensburgh. It would be a shame if Langgarth were lost to Stirling.

Comments(17)

  1. REPLY
    Elizabeth Andrews says

    Thank you for posting.

  2. REPLY
    Andrew Scott says

    Thanks for posting this. William Renwick was my great grandfather. His son, William Somerville (Bill) Renwick, the engineer, sold Langgarth and used the proceeds to fund the Aston Martin motor company which he bought with ‘Bert’ Bertelli. By all accounts he was a good engineer (the engine he designed powered all Aston Martins from 1927 – 1940) but not a good businessman – and like so many others, eventually had to sell Aston Martin when he could no longer afford it… The Langgarth money was all used up!

    • REPLY
      F. Hendry says

      Hi Andrew, I found your history fascinating, and I would like to add to it if I can.I believe my ancestors must have purchased Langgarth from yours in or around 1901,1902 thereabouts. I know my great grandfather, Peter Hendry lived there, and then his son, my grandfather Archibald Hendry. After the war, my father(Archie’s son William) and his new bride lived in the lodge.My grandmother, and Aunt Jean and her husband and children all lived in the big house.From my older sister’s accounts, and our cousins, they were indeed golden days. After the death of A. Hendry, my grandmother and Aunt had to sell their beloved Langgarth in the 50’s.
      My cousin took my sister, brother, and me back to Langgarth for a reminicite visit back in the seventies, and we were all quite shocked at what had been done to some of the most beautiful features. So sad. It would be so wonderful if the old Langgarth could be brought back to life! Thanks for listening.

    • REPLY
      F.Hendry says

      Hi Andrew, I read your post on your family history connection to Langgarth, and I would like to add to it where you left off. I think my great, grandfather ( I’d have to double check the number of greats with my cousins.) must have bought Langgarth from your grandfather? Peter D.Hendry lived there in around the early 1900’s. His son,( my grandfather) Archibald Hendry and his wife and children lived there up to and through the second world war. When my father married, he and his new bride lived in the lodge. My sister had many fond memories of playing with our cousins in Langgarth. Unfortunately and typically when my grandfather died, my grandmother couldn’t afford to live in Langgarth anymore and so sold it I believe in the late 50’s.
      My cousin took my sister, brother and myself on a sentimental visit to Langgarth, when we were over for a holiday back in 1977. It was very sad to see such a fine house being used for offices, and a lot of her beautiful features covered over with drywall and wires. Thank you for putting out there your piece of history, it has helped deepened ours.

      • REPLY
        Andrew Scott says

        Sorry for the slow response: I only looked at this site again the other day. Our records (and indeed the census and other public records) suggest that when William Renwick died in the 1920s, he and his sister were still resident at Langgarth; so I wonder how that fits with your family? Would love to know more!

    • REPLY
      Sabrina says

      Hello, are you able to tell me anything about William Somerville renwick?

      • REPLY
        Andrew Scott says

        William Somerville Renwick was a motor engineer; at one stage (with ‘Bert’ Bertelli) he ran Aston Martin (indeed the proceeds of the sale of Langgarth were all consumed by that project!). He was clearly a much better engineer than businessman. He was later at MG. He died in 1961.

    • REPLY
      Ben Fisher says

      Hello, my great-great grandfather (I think that’s the right number of greats!) was Thomas Ashton Renwick, brother of William. I have a photo of some of the Renwicks on a bench outside Langgarth. Perhaps you’d be interested to see it?

      • REPLY
        Andrew Scott says

        Ben, we would love to see a photo of the Renwicks outside Langgarth! We are currently learning a bit more about Bill Renwick (junior) and we have very few photographs of him (only 2 I think) and none (that we have yet identified, at least) of his brother Thomas, or his father or sister come to that. Could you send me a copy of the photo: AndrewScottTraining@gmail.com. Also, if you have a family tree of your branch of the family, we’d love to see that! Happy to reciprocate with anything we have that is of interest, of course. Many thanks.

  3. REPLY
    Robin Campbell says

    There is also a surviving Leiper house in Bridge of Allan. ‘Uplands’, Abercromby Drive.

  4. REPLY
    Frank Boyle says

    I hope Langgarth can be restored.

    Annfield House hasn’t been demolished, it has been converted into a care home.

  5. REPLY
    Andrew Juckes says

    To pick up this thread that is my Father’s mother Bethea Juckes ne Renwick in the photograph with her father William. He made his fortune in India extracting Indigo dye with a machine of his own invention and sugar cane it would seem. Sad to see the state of the house now.
    Hello Andrew it seems we are related!

    • REPLY
      Brian Sinclair says

      Today, 30th March 2024, the house is currently on fire.

  6. REPLY
    J Wire says

    Hi, I am able to add to this discussion.

    My records would suggest that Archibald Hendry (1888-1957) moved into Langgarth in the period of 1945 (his last record in the phone book in Glasgow) to 1946 (his daughter died at Langgarth in late 1946).

    Prior to that, both he and his father (Peter D Hendry, 1858-1929) lived in the West End of Glasgow.

    Again, going by the phonebook, the last year I have a record of the Hendry family having Langgarth was 1959 – by 1960 there was a relocation to Killearn.

  7. REPLY
    J Wire says

    Just to correct: the Hendry family obtained it c45/46 and sold to Stirling Council in 1958. Source: my dad who lived there

  8. REPLY
    J Wire says

    The Hendry family owned Langgarth from approx 1946/7 to 1958 when it was sold to the council.

  9. REPLY
    Valerie MacLean says

    As I stated I was at school with the girls who I thought were granddaughters of the owner. Their surname was Wire. My husband came across Donald Wire in St Andrew’s Round Table in the 70s. Interestingly he was in the motor trade. Genes!!

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