The Lady Nancy, High Blantyre

ladynancycrossbasketRising up to the South, are the fields directly across from the entrance to Greenhall Public Park at Stoneymeadow Road. A gorse covered bing called locally as “The Lady Nancy” can be seen from this vantage point and when driving to East Kilbride on the A725.

The Lady Nancy pit was owned by the Moore family of Greenhall and worked on until resources exhausted before the end of the 19th Century. There are several theories on how the bing is named:

1. The name Lady Nancy is commonly linked to Lady Nancy Moore, an ancestor of Lieutenant Colonel Wardrop Moore but I cannot find any such person in that ancestry.

2. Ian Liddell, a well known Blantyre businessman related to the Littles formerly of Crossbasket spent much of his time as a child in and around Crossbasket Estate. He and his wife resided in Crossbasket House for the first four years of their marriage. The story passed down from owner to owner of Crossbasket is that the nearby pit, then a hill was named after a Lady Nancy who was a daughter of one of the earlier owners of Crossbasket Estate, a sickly child who on sunny days, was taken to the field opposite the house where the servants of the house would attend to her, giving her fresh air and a magnificent view. At meal times, a white flag was hoisted above Crossbasket Tower, to the left of the house to indicate to the outside party that it was time to return to the house. Thereafter the bing was known as “The Lady Nancy”. Whilst thats quite a tale, having researched Crossbasket extensively, i cannot find name of any child being called Nancy.

3. The third option I most prefer having discovered this when writing my Crossbasket book. Thomas Dunlop Findlay was still the owner of Crossbasket in 1930. Also this year he remarried, apparently very quickly to Nancy Newbigging whom he would later have a further three children with. Crossbasket remained was then put up for sale. Perhaps through the constant reminders of his previous wife or simply due to a new opportunity arising, Thomas put Crossbasket up for sale, and seized the opportunity to become the 7th owner of Boturich Castle, buying the grand castle and its estate from Brig. Charles Bannatyne Findlay that summer. Thomas was back home at his true family seat. As an indicator of his wealth, he had bought Boturich, without having yet sold Crossbasket, possibly indicating he was having problems selling Crossbasket in those times of austerity.

Interestingly, Thomas’s acquisition of Botruich, saw him become Laird and his wife , The Lady Nancy. Since his marriage occurred whilst he was still at Crossbasket, this may have been the source of the name “The Lady Nancy” which was given by locals to the upper fields above Crossbasket. The dates fit well with no previous mention of ‘The Lady Nancy’ and having researched my book, I see no other connection to the name.

When ironstone was discovered under the field, the proprietors retained the name which was part into common use by each worker. Over the last few years I have heard several ghostly stories about the Lady Nancy bing, sightings and strange goings on. However, that’s for another day. Photo by Jim Brown.

Leave a Reply