Another bite sized chunk of Blantyre History
When you left Springwell and started travelling West towards Baird’s Raws direction you past under one of the two Railway Bridges across the main street which carried the Railway lines we talked about. In between the then two bridges was the Whistleberry Road parts of which are still there.
This road was famous to all the young courting couples from Blantyre, Burnbank and Bothwell it was about a mile long and ran from Blantyre to Bothwell.
I did and I am sure your dad most have walked it many times. It was a really pretty place to visit. The Craighead pit was down there on the left and the road going past the old pit and bing took you down to a Railway and pedestrian bridge across the river Clyde into Bothwell. Many a Blantyre Lass walked over this road and bridge to get to the Bothwell Academy, this was the highest school of learning for all of the girls in the near vicinity. Only the brightness of pupils were accepted .
Craighead Retreat house was also down the Whistleberry Road, this also was a school of learning for young men entering into the Catholic priesthood
This place was well hidden off the road and had a long long driveway hidden by massive trees, I had only one occasion to visit the enclave and was very impressed with the grandeur of the property. I do not know if it is still there.
Across the road was a very well wooded area behind a stone wall, this I believed belonged to the Duke of Hamilton, it had an upper and lower entrance consisting of a large decorated gate between two massive red sandstone pillars beside a gate house of the same red sandstone colour. This red sandstone brick was used mostly on the more expensive construction throughout the Blantyre and Bothwell area, the same type of brick used on Bothwell Castle and the Blantyre Priory (Monks enclave founded 1200’s) The colour of this brick when displayed in a fair sized construction with its shadows and various edges can be a site to see in the full and setting sun, as I have witnessed on a visit to the Bothwell castle.
This huge piece of property was taken over by the army during the war years and a regiment was stationed here for about 10 years. As you can imagine it did not do much good for the property, after the war it was turned into an industrial and housing estate.
Thomas Dunsmuir Hartman remembers, “There was also a fairly sizeable brickworks off the Whistleberry Road. I remember this place with its great furnaces lighting up the area when the furnace doors were open, its as if you could feel the heat, and you were at least 100 yds from the entrance to the works. I do believe it went under the unique name of, THE BLANTYRE BRICKWORKS.”Catchy eh!
Continuing the conversation between Thomas Dunsmuir Hartman in Chicago, formerly Logan Street, (known as TDH or Drapadew) and Margaret in Queensland Australia on TalkingScot.
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