In 1921, just a few years after the first world war, the inhabitants of Auchentibber (then a small village just outside Blantyre) decided that a permanent memorial was needed to remember the local men who had fallen and died.
Pictured are 2 ramblers stopping to read the memorial words, something everybody should do. The men listed gave their lives fighting for their families back home in Blantyre. The monument itself doesnt have it’s roots in Blantyre. It was constructed from a massive piece of Italian marble from a grand fireplace taken directly from the Hamilton Palace, the impressive large building pictured below.
Hamilton Palace stood where the now 24 Hamilton Asda, Esporta and Retail Park stands. It was a most impressive building in its time especially when first constructed in 1695. The demise of Hamilton Palace was the result of various factors: large and ostentatious houses had fallen from fashion; the cost of upkeep was prohibitive; and nearby coal mines resulted in dangerous subsidence as the coal beneath was removed. The decline began in 1882 when art was sold off to raise funds by William, the 12th Duke. However after Alfred, the 13th Duke lent his home for use as a naval hospital during World War I, the state of the palace was one of severe neglect necessitating vast sums for restoration. It was returned from military use in 1919, but by this time the then duke preferred the smaller and more homely Dungavel. At this time the magazine Country Life featured a number of articles on the palace and a quantity of photographs were taken to accompany the series. As such they represent an invaluable record of the house before the massive sale of contents and fittings, and its demolition in 1921. As you can see from this 1919 picture, much of the architecture is mirrored in the current mausoleum.
The fireplace wasn’t the only thing that was sold off. A lot of the stone was re-used in the construction of local large houses, and famously, the ornate and beautiful staircase was used in the famous red-carpeted scene of the film “Gone with the wind”.