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> Anyone Remember Craigend Castle Zoo?, Leisure/Holiday Memories
greasy1
post 11th May 2004, 10:34am
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Does anyone have any memories of Craigend castle zoo?.I've just learned that a distant relative used to own it and would love to fi nd out more about it.
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Luceo
post 11th May 2004, 10:55am
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Some info on Craigend Castle:

QUOTE
CRAIGEND CASTLE ZOO
The Wilsons staged a couple of animal collecting expeditions to Africa and needed to expand. From 15th April 1949 to September 1954 they ran an outdoor zoo at Craigend Castle, Mugdockbank, near Milngavie in the countryside north west of the city, but this proved difficult to get to by public transport. The collection included monkeys, crocodiles, an Indian elephant called "Big Charlie", lions and leopards, and many birds. The Chinese Pere David deer occasionally recorded in the wild near Loch Lomond stem from an escape from Craigend.

QUOTE
Located north of Glasgow in Mugdock Country Park, the original Craigend Castle (owned by the Inglis family) was incorporated into a mansion in 1812. The property was later owned by the Buchanan family. The area was turned into Craigend Castle Zoo in the 1950s but that project failed. Mugdock Castle is located nearby.

I hope this is useful.

Regards,

Luceo


--------------------
Never give a sword to a man who cannot dance - African Proverb
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*derek booth*
post 22nd Jul 2010, 05:33pm
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I was born in Milngavie in 1943 and visited the Zoo when it opened. My brother became friendly with Andrew Wilson the son of the owner and took me there many times to play when the zoo closed. Many of the animals were still there as was Charlie and Ibrahim who, as I recollect, was quite bad tempered. I played in the big house and flew toy planes from the towers. The grounds were a particular delight and we had a secret pathway which ran through the rhododendron bushes towards the speedway track which was then in use. After the Zoo had closed Mr Wilson tried to sell the land for use as a cemetery but the earth was too shallow over granite. The Army used the ground as a tank testing range for a while but their tanks got stuck in mud.

Mr Wilson was quite a character and shooting rabbits from the dining room was not beyond him.

My memories range from when Charlie marched up Mugdockbank Road on his arrival to him leaving for a Holiday camp in England-a huge improvement from the idea of turning him into dog food!

I have many memories also of the castle at Mugdock and of the ghost who was reputed to walk the covered overhead passageway.

I visited the country park a few years ago and was saddened at the demise of both buildings although the stable block was as remembered.
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*Heather Baird*
post 20th Nov 2011, 07:04pm
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I remember it well, spent all the summer holidays staying in the castle with my father, Willy Baird, who had the riding stables. Enjoyed spending time with Andrew & Fiona Wilson, grandchildren of Andrew Wilson, who stayed in the castle with their dad Willy Wilson.
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*William Douglas*
post 3rd Nov 2012, 09:08am
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Stirling Council has placed Craigend Castle on the market (November 2012), together with 8240 sq metres of 'open space'.
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*jean Ander*
post 7th Aug 2013, 07:54pm
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In 1952 an 11 year old boy from Clydebank called Henry McMurtrie lost both his arms when attacked by leopards whilst visiting the zoo with his father and young cousin. The matter of safety at the zoo was raised in parliament by the East Dunbartonshire MP Mr Cyril Bence on the 15th July 1952.
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deejay
post 13th Nov 2013, 07:32pm
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QUOTE (jean Ander @ 7th Aug 2013, 08:11pm) *
In 1952 an 11 year old boy from Clydebank called Henry McMurtrie lost both his arms when attacked by leopards whilst visiting the zoo with his father and young cousin. The matter of safety at the zoo was raised in parliament by the East Dunbartonshire MP Mr Cyril Bence on the 15th July 1952.


Hi Jean.
Just came across your post re Craigend zoo, I met Henry years later at his brother Ian,s stag night ,he was a very nice guy , very capable despite his obvious "difficulty". A lot of people think I was making that story up, I started to wonder myself !!
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DavidT
post 13th Nov 2013, 07:49pm
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This is my most recent picture of Craigend (2008!).
Attached Image

The cafe at Mugdock Visitor Centre (old stables) has some excellent old pictures of the zoo.
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*Margot Wilson*
post 7th Jan 2014, 07:28pm
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Andrew Wilson was my great uncle. He married my Grandmother's sister. Andrew was a great character with a huge sense of humour. He also had a pet shop in Glasgow. There are many tales of his exploits. He lived in Bearsden and kept a kangaroo in the garden.

Let me know if you want to hear more.
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DavidT
post 8th Jan 2014, 10:47am
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Hi Margot, I'd love to hear more. Where was the pet shop? What did the neighbours think of the kangaroo? There's a well known lover of kangeroos right here on these boards. thumbup.gif
Your great uncle sounds like a real character. Local history brings a lot of people to discussion boards so your knowledge will be of great interest to more than a few. Thanks, David
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**Anon**
post 11th Mar 2014, 06:28pm
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QUOTE (Margot Wilson @ 7th Jan 2014, 07:45pm) *
Andrew Wilson was my great uncle. He married my Grandmother's sister. Andrew was a great character with a huge sense of humour. He also had a pet shop in Glasgow. There are many tales of his exploits. He lived in Bearsden and kept a kangaroo in the garden.

Let me know if you want to hear more.

Hey! I would like to hear more about the stories you know. Craigend Castle fascinates me, although I was not born during the time of its zoo years id love to know more about it's history and while it ran as a zoo and the legacy of your uncle! Thankyou
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*joyce williamson*
post 22nd Mar 2014, 04:13pm
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Hi did you ever find out about your relative, I am also trying to find out about mine his name was jimmy wallace and his wife's name was tilly. He kept his beautiful horses on the property that were used in an old television show. My e mail address is jwilliamson20@cogeco.ca
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*Cecilia Murray*
post 27th Feb 2015, 03:33pm
Post #13






I remember visiting the zoo with my mum.

I remember the chimp being given a cigarette to smoke which he enjoyed immensely.
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*Cecilia Murray*
post 27th Feb 2015, 03:34pm
Post #14






PS.

On that visit I also remember seeing the George Bennie Railplane. A great idea that was never developed.
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*Alison dunlop*
post 15th Sep 2015, 10:14pm
Post #15






Hi Recently walked around Mugdock Castle, and Craigend Castle. Really saddened, to observe its in such a state of disrepair. CRAIGEND CASTLE.

I wished there was something within the community or funding or any financial support that could be provided to. Help save what is left or rebuild part or all of it. As it would attract visitors to area.

It once was a beautiful building, with beautiful interiors and interesting past with the zoo and Charlie the elephant.

Surely someone would want to maintain what is left or put to good use.
There is the West Highland Way close by, surely could be used to facilitate something, like a bunk house or museum or even a wildlife sanctuary/ nature reserve. Any suggestions?

I think a family member of mine use to take care of the grounds, whilst it was the zoo. And resided there. Sandy Marshall, back in the 1970's as a child. As then it was not a country park. Or in obviously such disrepair. I and my friends played there.
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