Carlung House was the first major property purchase by James Arthur, the first Baron Glenarthur, founder and owner of the large textile company Arthur & Co. The family originated from the Paisley area.
Matthew Arthur, the second Baron Glenarthur, died in poverty in 1928 despite having inherited rather a large fortune from his father. Just where the money went has been a mystery for some time. We know that Matthew purchased a large strip of prime land in West Kilbride upon which he built the West Kilbride Institute (now known as the Village Hall) and the Masonic Lodge.
These large donations may not account for all the missing monies, but will give a good clue as to the probable method by which the funds were dissipated.
Arthur Street was named in his honour. Less than a year later, Carlung House was tragically destroyed by fire.
“Proposals by Leadbetter & Fairley for rebuilding the house in 1905 were not executed, and a completely new and much larger two-storey stone house was built in 1930-32 by James Austen Laird for his uncle Robert Barr, a whisky and shipping magnate. This present house is in a rather English neo-Elizabethan style, with an E-plan on both main fronts and a lower service wing to the north. Over the entrance door is a carved Viking ship, and to the left a quatrefoil panel with a dolphin flanked by narrow windows. Inside, the stair and gallery and some of the main rooms of the flats have surviving panelling and beamed ceilings”.
Detailed information on the family can be found here.