This bracketed double staircase was commissioned from the London
Marble & Stone Working Company, which had supplied the two colossal
chimneypieces and door surrounds for the new entrance hall on the
first floor in the mid-1830s. David Hamilton's initial designs were
developed by William Field, the superintendent of the company, and
the parts were shipped up to Hamilton (via Leith and Port Dundas)
between 1840 and 1845, at a total cost of over £9,000.
The first-floor passageway appeared to be supported by two huge
bronze male figures, which are referred to as caryatids (female
figures) in the contemporary correspondence but are actually atlantids
(after Atlas, who carried the world on his shoulders). They were
ordered from the Parisian founder Louis Soyer and cost over 34,000
francs in 1842. Much of the black marble staircase has been acquired
by the Museums of South Lanarkshire, but the atlantids are said
to have been melted down.