Milheugh House

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

High Blantyre

Milheugh House – River Calder

MILHEUGH, Lanarkshire, is a small property picturesquely situated on the banks of the CalderMILHEUGH, Lanarkshire, is a small property picturesquely situated on the banks of the Calder, sometimes distinguished from other rivers of the same name by the epithet “Rotten” or “Routing Calder.” It lies in the parish of Blantyre.

The old mansion-house, which has been partly rebuilt in recent times, has been (with the mill adjacent) in the family of Millar of Milheugh for upwards of three hundred years. John Millar of Milheugh, born 1735, was the distinguished Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow, and author of several philosophical works of repute; one on the English Government, and another on the Origin and Distinction of Ranks in Society.

His son was James Millar, Professor of Mathematics in the University of Glasgow, and it is the daughter of this gentleman who is the present proprietor, – Margaret Miller of Milheugh married, in 1828, to Andrew Bannatyne, LL.D., formerly Dean of the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow. This universally respected gentleman died in 1871.

Besides the two professor lairds of Milheugh, there have been many learned and reverend connections of the Millar family. Among others the Rev. James Millar of Hamilton, and his son-in-law, the Rev. Dr. Hutchison of Hamilton, James Mylne, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow, and Dr. Thomson, Professor of Surgery in that of Edinburgh, and his son, Dr. Allen Thomson, F.R.S., lately Professor of Anatomy in the University of Glasgow, and in 1877 President of the British Association. The Bannatynes also have had both professors and clergymen in their family.

The eldest son of the late Andrew Bannatyne, LL.D., and his wife Mrs. Millar Bannatyne, is Colonel John Millar Bannatyne, an officer who, after seeing a great deal of active service in the field, has now retired, and occupies himself much in literary pursuits relating to his profession.

The old road along which Queen Mary passed on her way from Hamilton Palace to Cathcart Castle, on the day previous to the battle of Langside, intersects the property, and there is a beautiful spring of water in an adjoining glen still known by the name of Queen Mary’s Well, at which that unfortunate lady is said to have rested. Near the same spot was found, some years ago, a clay cinerary urn, of the form commonly held to be Roman.

Milheugh House was in the possession of the Millar family from the fourteenth century onwards.Milheugh House was in the possession of the Millar family from the fourteenth century onwards. There were originally mills on the land which were a profitable source of income for the family. One time resident Andrew Millar (1735 – 1801) was Professor of Law at Glasgow University for forty years and the first in Scotland to give lectures in English (previously Latin was used).
In the late 1700’s, a prominent Blantyre family named Millar lived in Milheugh, in the grand house on the banks of the Calder River (pictured here in 1910 at the falls). Professor Millar and D Baillie, minister of Bothwell were great friends and the families shared the closest of kinship. One of the daughters of the professor was very fond of carpentry and had built for herself a small picturesque bower (wooden work shed) in the garden beside the river, where “she plied her chosen trade”. Joanna Baillie, a poetess and dramatist, wrote the following lines upon her Blantyre friend and of her occupation, which apparently was pride of place hanging on the wall of the old house.

“This is no haunt of contemplation,
nor bower in which their dear potation,

of Eastern herbs fair ladies sip,
with sparkling eye and glowing lip.

This is the Bower of Industry,
yet think not here within to spy,

The silken bag or huswife neat,
on table laid or wicker’d seat.

No! Here the hammer’s active din,
blends with the sound of roaring lin,

As brawling Calder hastens through,
the shady holms of sweet Milheugh.

Here from planed board the shavings rise,
and like sunn’d mists the sawdust flies.

But scarce a lady of the land,
may own a smaller fairer hand,

Than she, who ‘neath this roof’s cool shade,
plies fitfully her chosen trade.

With skilful sleight and eager eye,
a female Amateur of Carpentry.

Joanna Baillie”

Milheugh House, as it was before the second world warThe house itself lay empty from some time after the 1920’s and was totally derelict by 1954, occupied only by squatters. Since then it has been demolished and the estate developed as a Community Forest Project.

Milheugh House, as it was before the second world war, and the invasion of squatters who took over the place and virtually destroyed it. Some of those squatters are still alive and still living in Blantyre. The waterfall is just out of shot at the left of the picture.

Stephanie Hunter said, “My earliest memories are of this house where my mother and two sisters and I lived for a period near the end of WW2. We had a beautiful view from the upstairs window partly hidden by the tree. It was in this room that my father (Blantyre born) George Hunter returned from active service and promptly put me in his army knapsack and marched me round and round the room to my screams of delight in 1945. I was born in the front room of 49 Hunthill Rd High Blantyre where my father and his siblings lived with their parents (Jim and Elizabeth Hunter) . My mother, siblings and myself left the above address in 1958 to immigrate to beautiful Sydney in Australia. I have wonderful memories of Blantyre and loved ones, many of whom we never saw again”.


Houses Used – Blantyre Trespassers Fined

The Glasgow Herald – Apr 28, 1945

A series of prosecutions for contraventions of the Trespass (Scotland) Act, 18655, were called in Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday against several married people in the Blantyre district.

One group of offenders admitted having, between April 18 and 25, lodged in Milheugh House which was situated on Milheugh Estate, High Blantyre, without the consent or permission of the owner. Others pleaded guilty to a similar charge of trespass by lodging without permission in a house known as Greencroft, Bardykes Road, Blantyre, without the permission of the owners, the Summerlee Coal and Iron Company, Ltd.The Fiscal explained that Milheugh House was owned by Mr A.M. Bannatyne, a well known solicitor, who was in in business in Glasgow. It had been standing empty for some months and was in charge of a caretaker. On Thursday, April 19, the caretaker found that entry had been forced and that a number of men, women and children were in possession of the premises.



Milheugh Estate Sold for £2,000

The Fifth District Council (Blantyre and East Kilbride) are interesting themselves in the possibility of purchasing the Milheugh Estate at High Blantyre. The matter was before the Council in May of this year and has again been under consideration recently by a sub-committee.

The clerk reported to the committee that he had communicated with the Chief Valuer (Scotland) requesting the services of the District Valuer in assessing the value of the Estate and had been informed that, as no approval is required from a Government Department, it is regretted that he cannot authorise his District Valuer to act on behalf of the council in this matter. He further reported that the council could now decide on the purchase price for the Estate without referring the matter in any way to the District Valuer.

After discussion it was agreed on the motion of Mr Jack, seconded by Mr Hills, to recommend to the council that negotiations be now entered into with the agents for the superior, for the purchase of the Milheugh Estate for the sum of £2,000 (£43,650 today) plus costs, and it be left with the clerk to complete the details of the purchase and thereafter report to the council for approval. On the 2nd May 1958, with consent of Jane Louisa Millar Bannatyne, the Milheugh Estate, including the derelict house was transferred to the District Council of 5th District of County of Lanark

Source: Blantyre Gazette, Saturday 14th September 1957

Gazette provided by Mary Wood

Milheugh House 1910

Milheugh House 1910

Morag Graham: My grandfather, Samuel Liddell, was the chauffeur for the Bannatyne’s.


Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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