Auchinraith House, the Final years

AuchinraithhouseBlantyre Project has previously researched Auchinraith House from it’s construction in 1809 through to it’s demolition. However, today I’ve been given some great photos from Alex Rochead showing it’s use in the final years. A quick recap first, Auchinraith House stood just off Whistleberry Road and was previously a more modest home in the 1700s called “The Grove”. The building was fairly grand, one of Blantyre’s estate houses and had extensive gardens including a bridge which is still there today over the Parkburn.

As with most of Blantyre’s grand houses, it started nearing the end of it’s life close to World War II. In the 1930’s the house was being used for a different purpose. It was then used as a sort of training academy for domestic servants. Young women pictured here looking in their 20s,  trained as maidservants at the house and gave a display of their completed capabilities on Wednesday 19th November 1930. Pictured here are 18 girls with 2 teachers standing at the doorway of Auchinraith House. In the other staged picture, three maids attend a mockup table to show what they learned. The Auchinraith Domestic Centre was set up by the Ministry of Labour and Education Authority to assist young unemployed women. It offered them a life skill and possible employment opportunities.

Auchinraith House exact demolition date is confirmed as being after 1936, likely in the 1940s.


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  1. Christine Lauder McLean

    I have heard that The Metropolitan Police Service used Auchinraith house as a war time training base in WW2. Does anyone know if this is true, it was however, suggested to me that it was a secret training base at that time.

    1. I have an interest in the SOE and it’s training in Scotland. I am currently reading a book about the famous Shaghai Policemen, Fairbairn and Sykes who left Shanghai and arrived in the U.K. in 1940. They were immediately commissioned into the Army and served as training staff in various locations throughout the UK. Fairbairn went on to teach the OSS ( forerunner of the CIA ) in America. Both names are of course synonymous with the Fairbairn & Sykes fighting/Commano knife. The connection to Auchinraith…….? I am currently reading a book which features a memo written by Fairbairn in July 1940… is quite hard hitting and critical of the powers that be. He sisgns it with address Auchinraith House, Blantyre!

      1. See also IWM archive description for William Pilkington

  2. Do you have photos of the house around 1902? I believe my grandmother, Mary Winter, was in service here. Are there any photos or lists of staff members?

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