Four Tales from Dalzell House

Dalzell House

Dalzell House

The Green Lady

”A long time ago, a lonely lady lived in luxurious seclusion pining for a lost love. She spent her days among silks and satins, sighing softly as she sat before her mirror, her pale sad face gazing into its glassy depths. One day, as she stared unseeing, a cool breeze from the open window made her shiver. She pulled her robe closer around her shoulders, the pale green Chinese silk rustling and shimmering in the wan sunlight. Desolation swept over her and she glanced yet again at the small dark bottle that nestled innocently among the elegant perfume flasks on her dresser. She reached out with trembling fingers, the sleeve of her robe brushing against one of the tall flasks. It fell unnoticed to the floor, the heady scent of oriental perfume filling the air as she raised the tiny bottle to her lips…”

This could be the story behind the mystery of the Green Lady of Dalzell House? Could she have commited suicide? Perhaps she was murdered? Those who have encountered her have yet to discover her secret. And there have been many, among them a terrified schoolboy who babbled about ‘a green lady with bloodshot eyes’ floating towards him out of the paneling in the Pipers’ Gallery. Then there were the security guards who saw flashing lights, and heard the floorboards creak and the sound of footsteps. Their dogs barked into seemingly empty rooms and refused to cross the threshold. But one thing is sure… the Green Lady’s bedroom fills with the scent of a heady oriental perfume.


Dalzell House and the Covenanters’ Oak

The very sight of Dalzell House, now within the grounds of Dalzell Country Park, Motherwell, almost guarantees at least one ghostly inhabitant. The oldest part, the central peel tower, was built in the 15th century and it has 17th and 19th century additions. Until 1952, it was the seat of the Hamiltons of Dalzell, and as such had a turbulent and colourful history. During the persecution of Scottish Presbyterians – the Covenanters – in the 17th century, the grounds of Dalzell House provided a safe shelter for ‘conventicles’, open-air religious services. The Hamiltons were sympathetic to the Covenanters’ cause, and a huge oak about 50 metres from the house (see photo) is known as the Covenanters’ Oak. It is thought that, even at the time when it was spreading its protective branches over the Covenanting minister and his flock, it was already over 500 years old. Less than a century later it was to witness Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army in retreat from Derby in 1745, looting the parish as it passed through.

Dalzell House with Oak Tree

Dalzell House with Oak Tree

The White Lady

It was during the 19th century that Dalzell House became a truly stately home, in keeping with the social status of the Hamilton family at that time. Royal visits were frequent, and shooting and fishing parties were the order of the day. This is the period that the White Lady is thought to come from – a serving girl or housemaid who, abandonned by her lover, and finding herself ‘in the family way’, threw herself off the battlements into the rocky gorge of the Whinney Burn. Perhaps some aristocratic conscience was pricked by her desperate act.

The Grey Lady

The Great War of 1914-18 brought a change to the house. The North wing was converted into a military hospital and was soon filled with convalescing soldiers. The House’s third ghost, ‘The Grey Lady of the Dalzells’, haunts this wing, her grey appearance being the grey uniform of the army nurses of the time.

So the three ladies of Dalzell retain their secrets and, now that the hosue is now longer open to the public, they will probably continue to do so. But, if you should be in the grounds, listen for the sound of mocking ghostly laughter.

About Amanda Moffet

I run with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

View all posts by Amanda Moffet →

10 thoughts on “Four Tales from Dalzell House

  1. Iain Adam

    I saw a ghost in 1954 when I was a boarder at Gresham House School, I think Hilary James also saw it

  2. Thomas Patrick Shannon

    I come from muirhouse which is in Motherwell I grew up on tales of the place even though I will never see the inside of it it’s now flats worth millions the Duke of Hamilton sold it many years ago for millions the house dalzell rose from nothing been made a knight and a noble by king David the house would keep rising then came the industrial revolution Motherwell became the steel men. While the house of dalzell or Hamilton depending on who you ask. Inbreeding is definitely in there blood just check a few portrait’s in later times there is a history of health problems through there many generations which is evident just looking at most nobles. This family ruined my town getting rich while there few opportunities now for the Tories gave the great labour force to foreign powers who back in the day would have been to come to my home and force a sword in my decendent’s hands and force real men to fight no more. But even if lords can’t force normal folk into fighting wars for them but they will always see us dumbed down peasant’s but not anymore knowledge is power and it’s time for 99% to shape our destiny for the world is run by greed we must win for our children’s sake they are innocent but it won’t stop the government killings us off population control kill us so they can just continue doing what they want why did the avengers movie gave us that kill half of all life. I don’t think were over populated there is enough space no way. Every ten years it has went like this we were were a billion people when I was a school then we became 5 billion now apparently we have 7 billion do you realize 7 billion is massive count to a billion in minutes and by the time your finished we would be back in the time of Jesus Christ there is a rumor that all the people on planet earth right now could fit in just the state of Texas whether is true or false I’d believe that to 7 billion and this is after countless years of chinese couples being only able to have one child. There are saying we are over populating yet still use nuclear weapons even if there testing they are still polluting the only planet we have more people are getting sick all the time and they even making disabled people who need there help work and putting them of there benefits and leaving people so bad off that they are told they cannot get help and they must work if you can’t then they take the most vulnerable people who should always be protected no matter the situation our UK is a scam we have of multitude a different cultures were great British were told we are equal while England try to steal our human rights that is why we have this Brexit in the Scottish referendum all true Scots said yes. While Scottish people on the whole voted against leaving Europe but us been a small minority had no chance of getting what we voted for England is England they get what they want it’s in there selfish nature this is the same country who had not even played the semi-final match and they had already thought they had won before the game. The EastEnders gang were talking about days off work like they had already played there game.

  3. George Watson

    I think North Lanarkshire Council should spend some money here,and make it a tourist attraction since it’s. steeped in history and regenerate the local economy Guided Tours ,Walks,Cycle Paths,and even Campsites You have the Bird Sanctuary,Dogs Graveyard,Japanese Garden and the History of Dalziel House,Chatelherault ,the Clyde,The Pump Station That supplied water to the Steelworks from the Clyde and the History of the Hamilton Families The Covenanters and so much more the list goes on …..???

  4. Jim Nimmo

    Was at Gresham for 5 years in the 60s.Plenty talk about the Green Lady but kept herself to herself.Never came across any girls at the School,alas.

  5. Mark clarkson

    Hi panel, First time caller, first contact with the green lady, some shag can safely say I will be back for some more, knows her way around a boaby supper that’s for sure


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *