History of Woodbank Hotel
Woodbank is the relatively modern name for an old estate and house. The original estate appears on early charters and maps as Stuikrodger, and Stuikrogert until about the end of the 18th century. By 1847 it appears as Woodbank. There has been a house on this estate, and probably on the site of the present Woodbank House, since the 16th century. It started as a simple building but has been steadily altered to the attractive building it now is, even in its current state of decay. It was converted to the Woodbank Hotel in the early 20th century and for many years after the war was regarded as probably the best place to eat in the area. It also had a thriving downstairs bar much frequented by locals from the Tullichewan housing scheme, who until 1972-3 and the building of the slip road up to the Alexandria by-pass, only had to cross a couple of fields to get to it. This also made it popular with poachers who could easily slip in and out of the bar onto Stoneymollan hill to net a few rabbits, but still have a bar full of witnesses as their alibi. The building of the by-pass had a negative impact on its business. It changed hands, closed and re-opened as the Hamilton House hotel for a while before closing permanently. In spite of being a listed building, and being on an endangered buildings list, nothing has been done to prevent the Woodbank’s decline.
The Woodbank estate was purchased by Flamingo Land in 2016 with a view to create a sustainable business that would allow the building to be preserved for the future. In the short time we have owned the property we have managed to clear around the buildings to allow access for structural surveys and also to erect fencing to make safe as much of the property as we can from unwanted guests.
Our Vision For The Woodbank Hotel
Disappointingly and its only early on however the potential to rebuild the house in its current state may not be something that can be viably achieved. However we will very much look to make the most of what is left and preserve this so that the history of the house isn’t lost as so many buildings are. The many outbuildings are in a much better state and we would look to make use of these and bring them back to their former glory.
We would also look to make use of the area above the house the site of the old walled garden along with the fields. This will be a potential mixture of Camping, holiday cottages and residential homes.