The land on which Lochvale House was built was formerly part of Wolfgill lands and was in strip cultivation or indeed lying fallow.
The original house was built during the early part of the 19th century, and consisted of three bays with the main entrance facing east, and was a mansion befitting a land owner. Approximately 96 acres of land and gardens were attached to the house along with a small stable block.
The key stone of the inset archway on the south gable of the building has been carved to show the date 1806. The location plan above clearly shows an internal courtyard at this end of the house. It is possible that this area was built up during the alterations of 1860-65. (see below)
The following advertisement appeared in the Dumfries Weekly Journal, January 26th 1819.
To be Let, and entered to at Whitsunday first, the HOUSE AT LOCHVALE, with the GARDEN, ORCHARD and about 2 acres of land in Grass. The House, which is large and commodious, is situate in a very pleasant and retired part of the country and little more than a mile from Dumfries. The Garden and Orchard contain a great variety of fruit trees and berry bushes of the very best kinds, and in full bearing.
The Premises may be viewed at anytime. Apply to James W. Moys–, writer.
Dumfries 25th Jan 1819.
In December of 1840, the owner of Lochvale House, Mr James Milligan, placed the following advertisement in the Dumfries & Galloway Courier,
LANDS AND MANSION HOUSE NEAR DUMFRIES, TO LET.
To be Let, for such number of years as may be agreed of, either in one or two Lets. The Lands of WOLFGILL and LOCHVALE, consisting of 74 acres, 1 Rood, 31 Falls, Scotch Statute Measure, with Entry at Candlemas first to the Arable Land, and at Whitsunday to the Farm House on Wolfgill and Gillfoot, and Pasture Grounds.
These Lands which are all Arable, are of best quality, distant about a mile from Dumfries, where there are Markets for all sorts of Produce, and ample supplies of Manure. They are divided into convenient enclosures, and well watered.
Lochvale House, Gardens and Offices, with the Pasture field adjoining, extending to about three acres, will be Let either separately, or with any portion of the Ground that may be wished. The House is sufficient to accommodate a large family, Entry at Whitsunday first.
Offers for the whole of these Lands, or for either the Wolfgill or Lochvale division of them, and for Lochvale House, Garden and Offices, will be received by WILLIAM GORDON, Writer, Dumfries; JAMES BROON, Esq., Town-Clerk; or JAMES MILLIGAN, Lochvale House, any of whom will inform as to further particulars. Lochvale 23rd Nov 1840.
The following advertisement appeared in the Edinburgh Gazette, January 1845.
UPSET PRICE REDUCED
JUDICIAL SALE of the lands of LOCHVALE, GILLFOOT, GILLOCH, the divided half of FRANKFIELD, MAINS of WOLFGILL, and Others, lying in the Parish and County of Dumfries.
The reduced upset price of Lot 1st, being the lands of Lochvale, Mains of Wolfgill, the divided half of Frankfield and others, together with the mansion house of Lochvale, offices and park adjoining, has been fixed by the Court at £4800. The lands of Lochvale and others, forming Lot 1st, lie within a mile and a half of Dumfries, and form a compact estate of 76 acres, 2 roods and 17 poles, Scots measure, or thereby, or 95 acres, 3 roods, 15 poles, 29 yards Imperial measure, or thereby, all well enclosed, subdivided and watered. The lands are of a kindly soil and susceptible of still greater improvement. The mansion house is modern, substantial, commodious and in good repair, no cost having been spared in its original construction and completion. It contains dining and drawing rooms, breakfast parlour, and seven bedrooms, kitchen and back kitchen, wash-room with set boiler, cellars, pump well, water closet, and other conveniences. The office houses are suitable and adjacent; the orchard and garden are large and productive. There is a cottage for a servant at a short distance.
The property will be shown by Mr Grierson, at Lochvale; and for further particulars, application may be made to Mr James Wright, Writer in Dumfries.
January 13th 1845.
Around this time the original mansion was altered, the two flanking wings were increased to two storeys with pedimented gables, the Roman Doric-columned porch was added during the twentieth century.
The 1895 Valuation Roll for the Parish of Dumfries, County of Dumfries shows the Owner Occupier of Lochvale House to be Andrew Lusk. The stained glass window in the main staircase bears the date 1885 indicating that it was probably installed by the Lusk family.
Further research shows that Andrew Lusk died during 1896.
The following article appeared in the Dumfries & Galloway Advertiser, 10th April 1897.
NEW EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT FOR DUMFRIES.
We understand that Mr W.B. Gray, who presently conducts at East Mains, Callander, a school for the education of young gentlemen preparing to enter the army and navy, has taken a lease for ten years of Lochvale House, Dumfries, with some of the land adjoining, and intends to transfer his educational establishment to it. He obtains possession in May; but a number of repairs and alterations have to be carried out, and the transference will not be made until the opening of the new session on 1st October. The Let was carried through by Mr James McVeigh, estate agent, Dumfries.