The 1747 Blantyreferme map

Perhaps the oldest known map of the topography and detail of Blantyre’s buildings has arrived with me recently and i’m absolutely excited to see the detail on it. Already, it has clarified a few mysteries and confirmed in several instances that buildings existed at least at that time. Over the next few weeks, i’ll be posting updates about the 1747 map, which dates to Jacobite rebellion years, Bonnie Prince Charlie himself visiting Blantyre only 2 years earlier.

What I like about these particular old maps, is that any man made structure is shown in red, and a serious attempt at drawing out the fields, trees and rivers has also been made. By comparison to modern maps, they hold up well and are as accurate in location as they are to their environmental detail.

1747 map BlantyrefermeThis particular section highlights Blantyreferme no less than 267 years ago. Of course, back then Blantyre’s population was no more than around 500 people but there was evidence of little communities forming. The map can be clicked upon to enlarge.

Interestingly, the Priory is not marked as “The Priory”. Instead, it has “Craig” which was known to be the rock the priory stood on. The road existing Blantyre has a different profile from the modern road, the old one here forcing a route directly through the little community of Blantyreferme. Redlees is known as Redlys and accessed from the North. Today, Redlees has a modern road leading to Newtown and is accessed from the South.

Finally, I noticed Boatland (or later to be known as Boat Jocks) and in particular the building there on the River Clyde is clearly marked lending more substance to the claim that the house has been there since the 1600’s.

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  1. Redlefs is actually Redless. The custom back then was to use the “long s” when two “s-es” were in a word. Look up “S” in Wikipedia for more info.

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