Craig Ailey was designed by Baird & Thomson
Architects (John Baird and Alexander Thomson 1848-1856) for
John McElroy, a wealthy Glasgow developer, railway contractor
and ironfounder, who feued and developed much of the Cove
and Kilcreggan area. Built in 1852 the villa is situated in
the village of Cove, on the Rosneath Peninsula high on the
rocky prominence above Barons Point, the junction between
Loch Long and the Firth of Clyde. See Location
for more details.
The design for Craig Ailey featured in Blackie's
Villa and Cottage Architecture in 1868 some 16 years later.
In recent times it has featured in R. McFadzean's,
The Life and Work of Alexander Thomson, North Clyde Estuary
by F. Walker and F. Sinclair and Alexander Thomson: The Unknown
Genius by Gavin Stamp.
While completing a measured drawing of the
Porch in part plan and elevation I found that Craig Ailey
as built in 1852 differed from the drawings which were published
in Villa and Cottage Architecture (VaCA) in 1868, suggesting
that Thomson wished to publish this improved, more refined
design 16 years later.
I felt it would be beneficial to compile a
collection of Measured Drawings of Craig Ailey to allow a
comparison between the two designs.
In the near future I intend to produce a
building report on the villa as built, where appropriate comparing
it to the design published in (VaCA) in 1868. I will publish
this on the site when it is finished
This web site has been created as a small
archive of information regarding Craig Ailey.
Documents included on the site :-
Brief account of the Glasgow Architect.
Location Maps courtesy of Ordnance Survey.
and Cottage Architecture, Blackie, (1868), pp 18-21.
Criticism and Plates showing design as published 16 years
after the building was completed.
McFadzean. R, The
Life and Work of Alexander Thomson, London (1979) pp
A critical examination of Craig Ailey.
Gavin Stamp, Alexander
Thomson: The Unknown Genius, Laurence King, London (1999)
pp30, 36-39, 166
Excerpt on Thomson's early villas and Craig Ailey's entry
in the List of Work's.
Frank Arneil Walker with Fiona Sinclair,
North Clyde Estuary,
RIAS, Edinburgh (1992) pp111-112
Small architectural excerpt.
Document - Dumbarton District Council, Cove and Kilcreggan
Burgh, (1971), Craig Ailey Villa Information Supplementary
to the Statutory List, DUMBAR02.DOC pp 116-117.
A supplement to the Statutory List containing an Architectural
breakdown of the exterior of the building.
Craig Ailey: Measured
Drawings - K. Owen (2002).
Measured drawings of Craig Ailey.
- K.Owen (2002).
A photograph gallery of the house.
For each drawing published
on the site I have included a link to an image file (.jpg)
and for some I have also included a link to a .DWF or Drawing
Web Format file.
A Drawing Web Format
file is a lightweight vector file format created in AutoCAD,
which can be used to publish drawings on the Web. With the
WHIP! plug-in (3.5MB) WHIP!
- information and download or the newer Volo View Express
program (25MB) Volo
View Express - information and download both provided
free by Autodesk, Drawing Web Format files can be viewed through
your web browser providing dynamic pan and zoom capabilities.
Viewing Drawing Web Fomat Files (.DWF)
1. Download and Install the WHIP! plugin
2. Select the Drawing Web Format File you wish to view
3. To use WHIP! simply click the right mouse click on the
image that appears in your browser window.
From the popup menu you can then choose
to PAN, ZOOM, ZOOM WINDOW, PRINT, etc.
I would like to thank
Mr Murdo MacDonald for his patience when I was measuring the
house and taking photographs. Without his help I could never
have finished this project and produced this site.
I would also like to
thank Gavin Stamp for allowing permission to publish sections
from his book Alexander Thomson: The Unknown Genius.
Many thanks to Frank
Walker and Fiona Sinclair for allowing permission to
publish the entry on Craig Ailey from their book North Clyde
I am also very grateful to Ronald McFadzean
for allowing permission to publish the
section on Craig Ailey from his book, The Life and
Work of Alexander Thomson.