Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clifton Berley

In one of last December's posts I wrote about about Miss Anne Flemming Cameron's wedding in 1895. It mentioned that she and the wedding party left the church to attend a reception at her father Sir Roderick Cameron's Arrochar country steading "Clifton Berley". Well, here it is in a state of fading glory.

"Clifton Berley" was Sir Roderick's 150-acre estate that he purchased in 1861. There, he spent much time and money importing, breeding and raising thoroughbred horses. A listing for a large collection of horse racing documents on Christie's web site included several from Sir Roderick. Apparently, some of Sir Roderick's horses were some of the best of their time.

Clifton Berley Barn - May 4, 1932

Sir Roderick died in 1900 and I don't know how long his family retained ownership of "Clifton Berley". However, by the time of these pictures in the May of 1932, the once beautiful mansion was a decaying hulk. Significant patches of tiles are gone from the roof and I strongly suspect that on the other side of the roof's peak has holes in it. The road around the house is in obvious disrepair. I imagine these pictures are final documents of the house before its demolition.

Today there is almost nothing to indicate the house was ever there. Its rolling grounds and fields are covered with asphalt and dozens of houses. The only vestige of Sir Roderick's forty years of ownership is his name on the small lake to the west of where his home once stood.

View Larger Map

Radcliff Road, northside, between Steuben and Briarcliff

I know posting a mansion so soon after some of my recent comments seems a tad out of place but this was a beautifully serendipitous finding.

Top Map - 1917 - The red circle is the house and the blue the barn
Bottom Map - 2011 - Again, red circle is the barn


Lorenzo said...

The stone foundation for the mansion was removed in the early 1970's to build the Tudor decorated home (pictured on the right of the photo) at 101 Radcliff Rd. The stone foundation of the stable supports the current house at 132 Radcliff and the white clapboard caretaker's cottage with some modifications stands at 124 Radcliff. Sir Roderick died in 1900 leaving the estate to his son Roderick who died in 1914. His daughters Margaret and Anne the widow of Belmont Tiffany remained in the house thereafter. Aerial photos from 1924 show the entire Clifton Berley estate and stud farm in tact. In 1925-26 the extension of Southfield Boulevard (renamed Hylan Boulevard) from Parkinson Avenue to Sand Lane dissected the estate and coincided with the sale of estate to developers. By 1927 Radcliff Road was mapped and the existing stone houses were built by Ernest Flagg.

The Wasp said...

great info and update. thanks very much