Thanks to early photography, you may already have seen some photos of the 1870s and 1880’s tenements and various shops along Glasgow Road. However, before the Collieries were sunk and before the advent of Blantyre’s Coal Industry and indeed long before these tenements existed, other properties ran along Glasgow Road, sometimes congregated beside each other, and at times very isolated. Blantyre’s main road, therefore had a deeper architectural history prior to the advent of any camera.
From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
The Winks Inn
In the 18th Century, if you walked along the Glasgow to Hamilton Road near where the junction of Logan Street is today, you would be walking along a countryside, narrow muddy road, with stone dykes or hedgerows on the south side, rough footpath across the road on the north, with endless fields, part of the farm of Stonefield beyond on either side.
Even until the 19th Century, this was a particularly desolate part of Blantyre in those rural, sleepy days. The traveller would very much feel he or she was leaving Blantyre and heading out into countryside.
During the 1800’s, considered literally in the middle of nowhere, on the very outskirts of Glasgow Road and at a time before any tenements, was a small property called “The Winks Inn.” Of unknown construction date, it may have been as old as the late 1700’s. This was located exactly where the eastern part of Clydeview Shopping Centre is today, approximately at ‘Kaos Skate Shop’. At that time there was no indication of any street leading off Glasgow Road adjacent to it. Behind the inn, only a long narrow field leading from the Glasgow Road southwards joining far off at Auchinraith Road.
The Winks Inn would have been popular with coaches and travelers and had an area to the eastern side, perhaps a paddock to accommodate the horses? On the 1859 map, an adjoining building may have been a stable. A small building attached to the west may have been a store or outside lavatory.
By this time, the Inn was a home, rather than business, keeping the name Winks, and renamed to Winks Cottage, often referred to in the village as simply “Winks”. Early information is few and far between. Thankfully, an accurate 1859 description exists of Winks Cottage in the Valuation Roll, as follows, “A thatched cottage, formerly an Inn, but now occupied by Cotters. (Sidenote: A cotter was “a peasant farmer. It was occupied by Mr. J Craig who also owned Birdsfield) considered by the Proprietor, W. Forest Esqr. the best authority for this name. It is on the lands of Stonefield.” It is most likely that Mr. W Forest was a relation of John Clark Forrest (2 r’s) who may have inherited these lands either side of Glasgow Road and who was also responsible for providing land for the Stonefield Church further east.
This mock up photo shows how the thatched cottage may have looked against the modern backdrop and in context of the Clydeview Shopping Centre, the location being correctly assessed.
Today, there’s no evidence of Winks Cottage, but it must have existed only a short time after the description, as by 1877, land had been sold by this Forrest family in order to build further tenements along this stretch of road.