My recent few posts about Millheugh House got me thinking about the gravel paths leading to the mansion. In the photos of 1910 the paths are well established, wide and i distinctly remember the remains of the paths and the green railings when i was a child in the early 70s. What happened to the paths? They aren’t there now and likely covered by grass and weeds. The new modern path is small, narrow and in a different location from where the Millheugh paths were originally.
So, I looked at Google Earth today and zoomed in on the current satellite images for Millheugh. There, clearly below the grass, the faint marks of the original Estate paths and tracks can still be seen. I’ve marked them up as an overlay on the Satellite image on the left. We can clearly see the large gravel courtyard that used to be outside the front entrance of the house, leading up to the fork in the road, with the original left path going straight up to Millheugh Bridge and the other one leading round the curve bend, up the wooded hill towards the Hunthill Road entrance (the one we all remember with the white gates). The modern council tracks are more narrow footways now on the left of the estate and not in the original position of the estate paths. All the estate paths are now long since covered up by grass and are almost impossible to see if you’re actually walking there now. Click the picture for a larger image.
The Estate orchard is just a little out the map picture to the bottom left. These were fruit trees planted in the 1700s. There is also a strong indication that the Estate owners enhanced the geological feature at the falls, making it more prominent by placing some large stones over the falls, to make their appearance far more striking and water cascade more dramatic. There is a hint of “man made” about the falls and they would have offered a stunning view out the bedroom and sitting room large windows. The 1910 photo to the left shows the fork in the gravel path, leading to the courtyard on the left, with the other path away to the right. The fork is clearly visible on the Satellite image. Millheugh House was demolished in the 1960’s after a period of habitation by squatters. I feel sad looking back at this and seeing what Blantyre has lost and the featureless field and lack of the timber bridge. This is one part of Blantyre where the glory days are certainly gone.
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I agree Rick, certainly about the man made element of the falls. The falls themselves i think have been dammed to provide a beautiful outlook from the House windows. A focal point for the estate and perhaps one to equal the grand neighbours of Crossbasket and their impressive lade. The field on the opposite bank often flooded, so i think the watercourse is where it always was.
Regarding the artificiality of the waterfall, I am of the opinion that the river MAY have been rerouted, or at very least dammed to optimize the setting and view from Millheugh, irrigation concerns also stand out.This needs some archaeological investigation, for example,the survey of a former watercourse seemingly of some antiquity close by the Falls.