Blantyre Handbook from 1862

blantyre1We found this wonderful account of Blantyre taken from the 1862 book by Angus MacPherson, “Hand-book of Hamilton, Bothwell, Blantyre, and Uddingston“. Written over 150 years ago, the transcript is as follows:

Blantyre is becoming a favourite place of residence for the Merchants of Glasgow, and is likely to become more so. It is chiefly noted for the extensive cotton spinning and cotton dying works, which were founded by Mr David Dale in 1785. They now belong to Messrs Henry Monteith & Co and afford employment for about a 1000 hands. The village of Low Blantyre is owned by the firm and is tenanted by the Mill Workers exclusively.

The houses are built regularly and neatly kept, though we are afraid they must be overcrowded inside. A handsome schoolhouse has been erected near the centre by the Company. The existence of a literary association amongst the workers attests the fact of there being some public spirit in this private village. On Sabbath the school is used as a chapel and the company we understand contribute handsomely towards the maintenance of public worship. The Company has also thrown a very fine suspension bridge across the Clyde, which is here seventy nine yards wide. The river sweeps beautifully past the declivity, on the top of which the village is built, and lends it’s powers to help the workers inside the mills.

High Blantyre is about a mile further South. There used to be a Mineral spring at Park, strongly impregnated with Sulphur, dissolved by means of Hydrogen gas, which used to be much resorted to (visited by tourists) about the middle of last Century (1700s) by families from Glasgow. The mining in the neighborhood has stopped it’s flow. “


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