Broomhouse Mine Collapse

1859 Broomhouse blantyreDuring 1856, a fatal accident killed two local men who were working at Blantyre’s Broomhouse Lime Quarry. The Quarry was situated just off the Auchentibber road and Sydes Brae (not far from where the war monument is today). On the 1859 map, the quarry is depicted by the oval shape, nearby to Broomhouse itself.

The unfortunate individuals were engaged, along with others with boring the limestone in an opencast manner. The bore was about 20 foot away from the entrance and the ground consisted of a mixture of clay, limestone and gravel. Within the bore itself, the men were assisting with the removal of the limestone, when the whole mass above them gave way, entombing two men and a horse. The end of their lives came quickly.

Likely to have been an open fissure in the rock that gave way, the men knew they had been working in dangerous conditions. Both young men, William Fullerton and Henry Smith died in the mine, along with the horse. Henry was a single man, but William had only just been recently married.

Mining lime quarries in Blantyre was a popular activity prior to the arrival of coal mines in Blantyre. Auchentibber was extensively mined until it’s resources were exhausted. Broomhouse Quarry got it’s name from nearby Broomhouse, owned by J Dickson. According to Parish Records, at the time of the accident, Broomhouse was a thatched cottage, lived in at either end, but with the middle portion of the roof collapsed and in ruin. This little cottage is no longer there, but nearby there is now a larger , modern farm.

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