High Blantyre Parish Manse

The Rev Stevenson was a persuasive man. During his time as Minister of the High Blantyre Church he left several local “monuments” to his good work and negotiation skills. During 1773, he persuaded the 39 heritors of Blantyre (prominent families who have toiled in the lands of Blantyre for more than 100 years), to construct a manse house for the Church. Care and attention was given to the manse which was to be located next to the old Kirkyard. Construction took almost a year during 1773 and when complete was described as one of the “prettiest manses in Scotland”.

blantyre manse

The Old Manse, built 1773

During the 1820s, an old general retired from service in India, was driven over from Mearns (EK) on a beautiful Summer’s day by horse and cart to visit the Blantyre Minister. Ever since that day, this stone built large house was imprinted on his mind and in adulthood, he described the house as being situated in a “paradise field of flowers and the air was redolent with perfume of roses“.  There was evidently no mining activity going on in the nearby area as the picture of this location by 1880 was very, very different and one of chimneys, collieries and coal dust.

The manse was built to last, but suffering some terrible Winters in the early 1800’s, it was extensively repaired in 1823. During this time the MP Mr Lockhart was renting the property whilst his own house was built. Mr Lockhart had previously moved out of Whistleberry House, later to become Auchinraith House. The Blantyre Minister took the opportunity to use the same time to add a large extension on the manse house. Mr Stevenson was later succeeded by Rev John Hodgson and the manse continued thereafter to house each and every minister appearing in later generations.

In 1972 the old manse was demolished, one year short of being 200 years old. The new and current manse was built the same year.

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