John Barnett Gow

J Barnett Gow was a partner in the Glasgow stockbroking firm of Gow Brothers & Gemmell. The second son of Leonard Gow, shipowner and philanthropist he purchased Ledcameroch in November 1896 for the sum of £5050. The following extracts are from an article by Dr Blodwen Lloyd which was published in 1959 :

“The villa came in 1896 into the hands of JB Gow, stockbroker, still known affectionately in the district as Barney Gow. He was a man of sufficient substance and good taste to commission George Walton to undertake some new décor.

The house thus has not only its little history but also a specific repute because it houses the work of George Walton, a coeval and disciple of Charles Rennie Mackintosh ; the Ledcameroch work was the first work of Walton’s to be published. He redesigned the hall, stairway and drawing room with garden approach ; although the conversion to separate apartments has entailed some disturbance the leading features of his work are still preserved. On the south façade his little teakwood verandah tiled in black and white embellishes a little oaken door flanked by a pair of small windows with leaded lights ; the miniscule neatness of this is continued inside to the ‘new’ drawing room with two long low fireplaces ; one of these has been removed but is partially preserved in an inner room. In the main hall were also two striking fireplaces one of which is incorporated into a lounge and the other, a massive creation seven feet high in simple white, is hidden but well cared for in a back corridor. The grand simplicity of the main doorway is a visual joy.

Apart from Walton’s work the house is full of little surprises in fine detail of doorknobs and keyholes, lintels and parquet flooring ; there is also one large surprise in the form of an imposing mahogany Sheraton mantelpiece eight feet high which necessarily dominates any first conversation.”

An 1897 photograph of ” the massive creation seven foot high in simple white” is included in the Gallery section of this website.

Other changes which occurred during JB Gow’s tenure were the conversion of the existing stable block into a motor house (garage)  and covered yard. The last coachman was resident in 1905 and in 1907 the first chauffeur. In 1911, in addition to the chauffeur  and the gardener  who lived in the north and south lodges, the Gows employed 7 domestic staff who lived in the main house. The 1914 Ordnance Survey map shows an aviary at Ledcameroch: JB Gow was a member of The Avicultural Society, a learned society for the study of birds.

J Barnett Gow sold Ledcameroch in June 1919 and relocated to Wimbledon.