Barnhill Tavern

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

High Blantyre

Barnhill Tavern – The Hoolet’s Nest

 Barnhill 1930 View of the Barnhill Tavern c1930; still standing and still quaint, known locally as ‘The Hoolet’s Nest’.

Barnhill Tavern (The Hoolet’s Nest) dates back to 1745 and was a Coaching House on the main London to Hamilton Palace route.


The above photo was an inspiration for Neil Gordon to do this wonderful oil painting in 1974.

It shows the Weaver’s Cottage at the top of Peth Brae, with the Barnhill Tavern (1745) on the right, adjacent to Aggie Bain’s Cottage (1536), the oldest house in Blantyre. In the distance, the Cottage Hospital can be seen behind the hedgerow.

Barnhill by Neil Gordon

Neil Gordon was a well known local historian, designer, artist and author. He was born in Blantyre and lived here all his life. He was a very popular speaker around the district and did many slide presentations at charity events. He was also involved in the most extensive research ever carried out into the disastrous pit explosion at Dixon’s Pit, Blantyre on 22nd October 1877. He designed the Miners Monument situated at High Blantyre Cross which has become an iconic image of Blantyre. He used his vast knowledge of Blantyre to write, Blantyre, An Historical Dictionary, which is the best and most definitive book about Blantyre ever written.

Neil died on 5th December 2004, aged 67.

Margot MacDonald in Hoolet's Nest Fifty years ago the proprietor was Nelly Moir, eventually succeeded by Peter MacDonald the piper. More recently, Margo MacDonald of the S.N.P. and M.S.P, and an Independent, who passed in April 2014 was the landlady. (p.s. I used to call in on my way home from work and she used to serve me in her bare feet.)

Her daughter Petra is married to one half of The Proclaimers, Craig Reid.

Alison Walker-Hill: Petra was at school with me… Zoe a couple of years below I think! x
Christine Brown: My uncle Jimmy married old Mary from the Hoolet’s
Stuart Oneil: As a young boy I remember playing in the garden and going into the house above the pub. The Macdonald’s were friends with my dad and uncle.
Jeanette Allardyce Ward: Petra was at school with me too. Hoolet’s was my dad’s favourite pub many many yrs ago lol x
Lyn Lappin: I worked there for a few years when Pat had it.. great wee pub.x
John Mc Dermott: I delivered her milk in morning.
Paul Hudson McGowan: My dad’s pub of choice too for many a year. I remember the MacDonalds well.
Barnhill Tavern and Shop

And as it is today, now called ‘The Hoolet’s’, with your host Mick Flynn giving you a warm welcome.

Hoolet's, Barnhill, Blantyre


If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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