The Raploch Yew

By 1856 the only remains of the ancient mansion of Raploch, in the parish of Dalserf, was a Doocot and an old yew tree.

This was how Raploch was described in 1856 “There is no doubt of the antiquity of the Dove Cot – the under or lower storey has arched roofs. It is about three storie’s high. The roof is almost fallen in . it is looked upon in the neighbourhood as being the age of the Raploch Mansion. No date appears upon it.”

William Hamilton of Raploch, was better known as the “Persecuting Raploch” and his grave still stands in the yard of Dalserf Church. He was one of the chief persecutors of Covenanters in Lanarkshire. Many stories are told about him, none of them to his credit, but probably the best known concerns a Covenanter who was stabbed by him during the flight from Bothwell Bridge. The dying man is said to have placed on his slayer the curse that “hares would yet breed on his hearthstone.”

The curse seems to have come true because Raploch Mansion disappeared. No pictures of it survive, however there is this account as given by Dalserf Parish Church:

“the Raploch mansion, built from a coarse- grained dark brown sandstone was, in its time, considered to be a magnificent house. It was surrounded by trees and approached by a long tree-lined avenue which has now become Wellgate and Raploch Streets and Raploch Road. The only part of the old house which remained to recent times was the dovecote, and it was demolished about 1900.”

It seems that nobody has recorded what happened to the ancient Raploch Yew.