Origins of Coatshill name

Tracking the origin and name of Coatshill area was a bit of a task. The name was on old maps and it’s clear “Coatshill” was a large farm house on the current position of the David Livingstone Primary School, Coatshill. However, there was nothing in the vicinity that would give any clues to the origin of the name.

Neil Gordon’s excellent book “Blantyre – An Historical Journey” noted the Coats family was mentioned as early as 1500 and that Sir Thomas Coattis was the Prior of Blantyre around that time. His son Sir Robert Coatts was Prior following Thomas in 1520. Their descendants are recorded in various old documents as landowners within the community for hundreds of years”. This all seems entirely probable as the Priory is in a location very close to the current Coatshill area. However….this puzzles me as if the Prior was wealthy enough to own considerable land and a large house, why would he have been the prior also? The name Coattis is similar and the connection seems feasible, but i have encountered another explanation which may be just as likely.

During the year 1400, a nobleman Thomas Hamilton purchased the farm fields of Blantyre from the Dunbars of Enterkin. Specifically, in this year they purchased “Fermeblantir” which is now more commonly known as Blantyre Ferme (Farm). The road out of Blantyre connecting Uddingston to Blantyre gets it’s name from the Ferme. Looking at Thomas Hamilton’s family history and descendants the last male member of his family that did not have children died, unmarried in 1773. The name Hamilton changed in that year when the Blantyreferme was passed over to the surviving sister’s son, a Mr James Coats. The spelling of his name matches the area exactly and i believe is not co-incidental. Looking back at the old maps, the ferme house itself appears in the late 1700’s, but is not there in a map of 1730. What about the “hill” name? Well, the Clyde rises from 51 feet above sea level at the priory to a lofty 148 feet at Coatshill, before dipping down slightly and then rises again sharply towards the South right up to an elevated position of 552 feet at Auchentibber. The hill may refer to the elevated position of the Coats House, by comparison to the immediate surrounding farm fields. In effect, it is Coats Hill.

Within quarter mile of the current Coatshill area, i cannot help but feel this is another very plausible connection.

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