Strathleven House is as important as it is impressive. Built in 1700 it is attributed to the Palladian pioneer, James Smith, the most significant Scottish architect of his time and the person generally credited with introducing Palladianism into Scotland. It is A-Listed and considered to be the earliest surviving example of the classic Palladian country house in Scotland and key features of the Palladian style are evident including the hip-roofed and pedimented main block with lower symmetrical pavilion wings.
For nearly 250 years the property and the large private estate in which it was set was a cherished family home, only changing hands twice. Following the Second World War, however, the house and its large estate were compulsorily purchased for redevelopment. The magnificent house was ignored and by the 1980s it was abandoned, derelict and encompassed by an industrial estate.
The building was a Building at Risk; almost derelict with substantial parts of the roof and floors to the main house missing. Despite this significant parts of internal decoration survived including panelling in two of its principal rooms, remains of a painted dado in the stairwell and a hand crafted timber balustrade to the main stair.
Strathleven House became the first major challenge for Scottish Historic Buildings Trust. In recognition of its significance, despite its condition, it was acquired by SHBT in 1986 and following a period of fundraising, a long programme of repair work began in 1993. After three phases of work over 7 years the building was opened for business in 2000.