Housing Conditions of Miners

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Blantyre History of Mining

Housing Conditions of Miners

 The Ejection of the Blantyre Widows Extracted from “The Housing Condition of Miners” Report by the Medical Officer of Health, Dr John T. Wilson, 1910

Blantyre Parish

Coal was little worked until early in the seventies. The terrible colliery disaster occurred on 22nd October 1877. The census population is as follows:-

1851 2848
1861 3092
1871 3472
1881 9760
1891 11352
1901 14145

The parish contains 7 collieries, in which 3670 persons are employed. The total number of houses in the parish is 3193, while the number occupied by miners is 1874 – 58.69% of the total. Of these houses, 568 have been provided by mine owners, 1289 are rented by miners and 17 are owned by miners. The rented houses have been provided mostly by speculative builders. They are mostly 2 storey tenement properties. The houses owned by miners are cottage properties, mostly situated in Auchinraith Road.

William Dixon Ltd

Persons employed underground 865, above ground 210, total 1075
Blantyre Mines
Pits No 1, 2 and 3 are situated at High Blantyre, No 4 at Larkfield

The employees reside in the following localities:-
In mine owners’ houses, situated at Stonefield 420
In rented houses, situated at Blantyre and Hamilton 443
In houses owned by employees at Blantyre 2

The mine-owners’ houses are known as Dixon’s Rows and are situated at Stonefield. They consist of:
149 Two-apartment houses Rental £5 17s. to £6 10s
157 One-apartment houses Rental £3 18s to £4 11s
 William Dixon Ltd

Erected about 33 years ago – One storey, brick – no damp-proof course – Walls not strapped and lathed, plastered on brick – A few wood floors, unventilated; majority brick floors – Some walls slightly damp – Internal surface of walls and ceilings good

No overcrowding – apartments large

No garden ground available, wash houses with water, no coal cellars

Water closets recently introduced, in the proportion of one closet to every 4 tenants

No sinks – drainage by open channels

Water supply from stand pipes in street, the well being at a distance varying from about 12 feet to 200 feet from the houses.

Scavenged at owners’ expense, but houses are now included in Blantyre Special Scavenging District

William Baird & Co.

Bothwell Castle Mine

– No 3 and 4 Pits, situated near Blantyre Priory.

Persons employed underground 401, above ground 71, total 472

The employees reside in the following localities:-
In mine owners’ houses, situated in Blantyre 41
In rented houses, situated at Stonefield & other parts of Blantyre 171, Low Blantyre 94, High Blantyre 69, Springwell 10, Hamilton Burgh 37, Cambuslang 32, Uddingston & Bothwell 16, Newton 1, Glasgow 1

Priory Rows

Ten houses are situated at this colliery, and were erected about 14 years ago:-

8 Two-apartment houses Rental £7 8s.

2 Three-apartment houses Rental £10 6s.

These houses are of one storey – Built of brick – no damp-proof course – Plastered on hollow walls – Wood floors, ventilated – Internal surface of walls and ceilings in good condition and not damp

No garden, but have wash-houses and coal cellars No overcrowding – apartments large

Gravitation water – outside

One privy midden 20 feet from front of houses

Scavenged at owners’ expense

Craighead Mine – Situated on lands to the west of the road leading to Bothwell

Persons employed underground 621, above ground 69, total 690

The employees reside in the following localities:-
In mine owners’ houses, situated at Craighead Rows, Blantyre 206
In rented houses, situated at Blantyre 336, Hamilton 78, Bothwell 20, Uddingston 12, Cambuslang 9, and 14 elsewhere
15 reside in houses owned by employees, 7 of these being in Blantyre and 8 in the Burgh of Hamilton 
Baird's Raws

The mine-owners’ houses are known as Craighead Rows, or locally as “Baird’s Raws, and consist of:

108 Two-apartment houses Rental £5 15s. to £6 4s.

Erected about 30 years ago – Stone built, one storey – no damp-proof course – Back wall of room strapped and lathed, others plastered on solid – Wood floors, ventilated – Some front walls slightly damp – Internal surface of walls and ceilings in good condition

About one third of these houses are occupied by Polish miners, but the majority of these are of cleanly habits

No overcrowding – apartments large

Garden ground available- mostly uncultivated, common wash houses, coal cellars

Water closets recently introduced, in the proportion of one closet to every 4 tenants

No sinks – surface channels

Gravitation water from pillar wells in front of houses. In some cases these wells are about 200 feet distant from the dwellings

Scavenged at owners’ expense, but houses are now included in Blantyre Special Scavenging District

Merry & Cunninghame Ltd

Auchinraith Mine
– situated at Blantyre.

Persons employed underground 342, above ground 169, total 511

The employees reside in the following localities:-
In mine owners’ houses, situated at Stonefield 137
In rented houses, situated at Blantyre 324, Hamilton 34, Cambuslang 3, Glasgow 3
In houses owned by employees at Blantyre 8, at Hamilton 2

Merry's Raws  The mine-owners’ houses are situated at Stonefield, Blantyre and are known as Merry’s Rows:-
46 One-apartment houses Rental £3 14s
50 Two-apartment houses Rental £4 16s
3 Three-apartment houses Rental £6
1 Four-apartment house Rental £9 12s
  • Erected about 32 years ago – One storey, brick – no damp-proof course – Walls not strapped and lathed, plastered on brick – Wood floors, ventilated – Some walls slightly damp – Internal surfaces of ceilings good
  • No overcrowding – apartments large
  • No garden ground, washhouses with water, coal cellars, but tenants of one-apartment houses required to cross the street to these coal cellars
  • Water-closets in the proportion of one to four houses. The introduction of water closets and wash houses at these rows has been carried out since daily scavenging was introduced
  • No sinks, drainage by surface channels
  • Gravitation water from pillar wells in front of houses.
  • Scavenged at owners’ expense, but houses are now included in Blantyre Special Scavenging District

A G Moore & Co

Blantyreferme Mine
– Situated near Uddingston
Persons employed underground 386, above ground 70, total 456

 The employees reside in the following localities:-
In mine owners’ houses, situated at Caldervale 56, Nackerty 32, Towie Place 35
In rented houses, situated at Uddingston 96, Newton, Cambuslang, Rutherglen and Glasgow 242
Caldervale

The mine-owners’ houses in Blantyre Parish are situated at Blantyreferme or Caldervale and consist of:-

  • 40 Two-apartment houses with sculleries Rental £9 2s
  • Erected under the Building By-Laws – Two blocks – two storeys in height – Walls hollow built- plastered on solid – Wood floors, ventilated – Internal surface of walls and ceilings good
  • No overcrowding – apartments good size
  • No garden, ground available but not fenced – no wash houses – have cellars
  • 20 pail privies in 10 lots, about 26 feet from houses – at Caldervale a water closet has been provided in each house, placed inside the existing scullery, and pail privies have been abolished
  • Two covered ash pits near foot of stairs
  • Inside sinks, with gravitation water
  • Drainage treated at a private purification installation
  • Scavenged at owners’ expense

The above named mine owners have also 38 houses at Nackerty, and 25 at Towie Place, Uddingston, where workmen employed at the above mine also work.

Source: Scottish Mining Website

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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