On the east side of Calderwood Glen on the Blantyre Craigneath side (the river boundary separates Blantyre from East Kilbride) a small stream called Fiddler’s Burn cascades impressively down into the valley from high rocky outcrops.
A sluice and sliding panel were formed in the 1800’s, to draw off water to a triple fountain on the flat ground below Craigneith Castle. The ornate triple fountains were set in the middle of a shallow oval pool approximately 14’x40’ with a path all round. The fountain on its small rock mound is clearly visible as the centrepiece of the photo.
Pictured, is the fountain around 1900. The triple fountain took water from an offtake sluice at the point where the Fiddler’s Burn falls into Calderglen. The water fired to about 25 feet in the air!! The dilapidated remains of this pool are now all but gone and in the 1960/70’s the remains of the pool were known for an abundance of Great Crested Newts.
To the left of the fountain, an artificial cave or grotto was built. With 8’x7’ dimensions it was sunk into the hillside, being built of rough natural stone with a large slab roof. It must have been a cool refreshing retreat on a hot summer’s day. The sparkling fountain, the rippling pool, and the huge trees added to the murmur of the River Calder and were all part of the romantic Gothic fantasy created by the seventh baronet, Sir William Alexander Maxwell.
Today, the ornate garden is completely reclaimed by Craigneath woodland. I recently took some photographs of what the area looked like in September 2013 whilst out walking.
and finally, here’s another photo of the Fountains that Blantyre’s Ain sent over from his website. Credit goes to Mike Buchanan, Largo, Fife, whose Mother was the cousin of Bob Souter for the actual photo. Thanks also to Bill Sim, our most avid follower for offering this freely to help our article. If you want to use a photo from Blantyre Project in return Bill, just ask which one you want in exchange.