This photo dates around 1905. Pictured looking South is Barnhill. The cottages on the right were constructed between 1822 and 1859, but i am unable to determine a more exact date. They opened directly on to the Bardykes Road, which of course at that time was only subjected to horse and cart traffic. The cottages were likely first constructed of thatch and later slated towards the late 1800s, as were many other cottages in this area. The back gardens sloped down into the Calder Braes. The homes are no longer there.
However, the house in the background on the left is, reputedly the oldest house in Blantyre! Home to Aggie Bain and the Brownlie families over time, the cottage gable was demolished around 1929 to make room for the upgrade of the road capable of two passing vehicles. Aggie Bains cottage is visibly cut and looks rather odd , even today. Above it is the roof of the Barnhill Tavern, or latterly Hoolets Nest. The pub was once owned by the late Margo macDonald MSP.
The site looks quite similar today, but instead of hedgerows and fields on the left, there are modern homes, some of which have little hedges at the front garden.
Barhill has changed considerably over the years with the Calder reclaiming the imprint of the old buildings demolished. The modern picture is quite “green”, by comparison to the old picture. So, maybe there is hope for Blantyre’s green spaces for the future. The substantial tree growth certainly helps establish Blantyre’s old identity.