Croftfoot House is a large sandstone house that sits a bit back off Main Street, in an isolated spot just behind the old High Blantyre Police Station. It borders Kirkton Park and School Lane and is currently entered by a tree lined avenue leading off Main Street, although the entrance used to be from nearby School lane back in the 1800’s.
The sandstone house is U shaped including the old barn which once housed animals when the house used to be a farmhouse. The main house was originally built as one house although was separated into two during the second world war. The house itself was built in 1731 which is recorded by the stone above the main doorway. The stone above the barn says 1730 indicating a former house may have stood there previously. Old maps of the 1700s show the house practically in fields with nothing much around it.
Above the main door is a gargoyle with a cherub, although this may have been added later.
In the History museum in Glasgow’s West end, it is recorded that Bonnie Prince Charlie apparently knocked at the door of Croftfoot in 1745 on his retreat from England, on the way to a short stop in Glasgow. (A few months before Culloden). Asking the owner if his troops could camp in the fields (now Kirkton Park) and use the well in the garden of Croftfoot, the entry records that Bonnie Prince Charlie called in at Croftfoot, the New House in Blantyre, which in 1745 would have been 14 years or so after it was built. This fact is now commonly recorded in Blantyre’s history and has been sourced with the help of the previous owner of Croftfoot.
In the 1800’s, a main entrance was created from Main Street, leading in to the house itself with large trees planted around for privacy, which still exist today. In the 1800’s a well known Blantyre figure Colonel Jackson owned the house. In the early 1900’s the fields owned by Croftfoot were given to the newly formed local authority to create public park space, which is now Kirkton Park. Around the same time, the old dairy attached to the house was converted to a more modern kitchen, with the addition of a square 2 storey tower, housing a bedroom and indoor bathroom. In more modern times around the early 1990s, a large family room was extended on the house with views out the rear towards the park. The gardens surrounding the property are well established with some trees well over 150 years old, enclosing the house off making it secluded from the nearby park.
There is a well at the bottom of the garden, recorded on historical maps as Kennings Well, where Monks of old Blantyre Priory used to collect coins from local people to assist with the building of local religious buildings. The well is apparently still live with clear water, over 30 foot deep, but now has a concrete cap for safety, closing it off.
We have the pleasure of knowing all this, as from June 2012 Croftfoot is actually our own wonderful new home and we intend to renovate it fully being very sympathetic to ensure it’s kept looking a place of old.
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Thanks for posting this Paul. I have a record from the 1841 census showing the farmer at Croftfoot Blantyre was a John Craig, a direct ancestor of mine. Might your records show who was farming at your Croftfoot then please?