BUILT between 1892 and 1894, Greenfield House which lies between Tullibody Road and Parkway in Alloa, was once home to members of the mill owning Paton family.

Designed for David Paton Thomson and sitting in just over 11 acres, the three-storey sandstone building, which included the attic, was constructed using red snecked rubble with a four-storey entrance tower and an arched and ionic columned door piece set back.

It had a symmetrical southeast form with twin bays and internally was ornately decorated with high ceilings, stained glass windows and wood panelling.

Within the grounds were also two lodge houses at both entrances, a walled garden, greenhouses and a stable block.

Thomson, the former Deputy Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire, had been born on 28th February 1843 in Alloa and had married Jane Durham Scott with whom he had six children.

Being a partner in the firm Messers John Paton and Sons Co Ltd, the famous yarn manufacturer, he was known for his local philanthropy, along with his brother John, while Jane, who had trained as a nurse, used her skills to run a clinic at Patons for the women employed at the mill.

The architectural firm chosen for Thomson's project was Arthur George Sidney Mitchell and George Wilson of AG Sidney Mitchell & Wilson of Edinburgh.

They had a proven track record, having designed the Commercial Bank of Scotland branch in Glasgow in 1887 and Duntreath Castle at Strathblane in Stirlingshire in 1890 as well as churches and hospitals throughout the country. Their most well-known build Glasgow Royal Infirmary, which replaced the old hospital, came six years after the completion of Greenfield House.

Once completed, the house was beautifully furnished by the couple, and Thomson had a vast art collection.

However, on Saturday July 11, 1914, fire broke out. Thomson and his wife were in Stirling at the time and none of the servants were in the house, although two fire insurers were, checking it for insurance purposes. There were also gardeners in its grounds.

While the insurers were on the upper floor, they became aware of smoke and flames which were coming from the servants' quarters on the east side and they immediately raised the alarm.

The Alloa Fire Brigade were on scene quickly, along with some local mill workers and others who had heard what was happening.

The fire spread rapidly, but the firefighters had issues with the water pressure in their hoses and it took hold in the roof and the western side. Soon windows were exploding from the heat of the flames.

Undaunted by the fire, mill workers rushed inside the burning building as the flames leapt skywards, and managed to rescue some of the valuable furniture, paintings, and jewellery.

However,much of the furnishings could not be saved. The fire spread from the roof to the tower and melted the zinc or white metal forming the crown, eventually leaving just the framework.

Under Fire Master Mackie, the fire fighters fought the flames from the rear to try and stop them spreading. By this time the Stirling Fire Brigade had arrived and with the additional support, the fire was eventually brought under control at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

All that remained was its edifice, and it was estimated that the cost of the damage was between £15,000 and £20,000.

Thomson employed the original architectural firm to repair the damage and extend the house, although the original architects were not involved as Wilson had died in 1912 and Mitchell sold the practice around 1909 or 1910 to Ernest Jamieson.

Jamieson went into partnership with James Arnott and although the business name remained, the new architects involved in Greenfield were sympathetic in their restoration of the house.

Thomson died in March 1917 aged 75 but, in his will, stated that his wife should remain there until her death at which point it was to be sold.

In 1926, the widowed Jane donated £20,000 for the construction of Free St David's Church in Kirkintilloch in memory of her parents, Mr and Mrs John Scott, and was a benefactor to many local causes.

She died in January 1951 aged 96 and was laid to rest next to her husband at Sunnyside Cemetery.

A year later the house was bought by Alloa Burgh Council which had the interior altered to suit their municipal needs. In 1987, it was extended by the council's architectural department.

In 1997, when the council had it extended to house more offices, it received a commendation from the Scottish Civic Trust for its design.

Greenfield House served as Clackmannanshire Council's head offices until June 2014 when they moved to Kilncraigs, the converted Paton's mill in the centre of Alloa.

The house remains situated in Greenfield Public Park but is falling rapidly into disrepair. Windows have been smashed and it is surrounded by security fencing. Its remaining stained-glass windows, original plasterwork and original panelling may well be lost.

Greenfield House was Category B listed by Historic Environment Scotland on June 12, 1972.