Craigmuir (Farm) Cottage, Sydes Brae

1859 CraigmuirCraigmuir Farm was a Cottage built sometime between 1822 and 1859. (whilst not on 1822 maps, it is on 1859 maps). It should not be confused with Smithycroft near the Parish Church which at one time was being called Craigmuir Cottage.

The ‘farm’ essentially was a small thatched house, built of stone situated on the South of Blantyre at an elevated position up the Sydes Brae Hill, but lower than Auchentibber. It was a small farm holding, not particularly big and offered its owners a wonderful view over most of Blantyre.

The 1859 Valuation Roll states that the property was owned by J.W.Moore, the owner of the Greenhall Estate. It was known at the time that Greenhall owners, owned a lot of the land on Sydes Brae and the fields which would become “the Lady Nancy.” The occupier of the house at that time was Mr Alexander Roxburgh.

2007 Criagmuir right of way by Jim Brown

2007 Criagmuir right of way by Jim Brown

By 1879 the farm was occupied by Alexander McWilliam who found himself with neighbours at the Craigmuir Colliery nearby, leased by contractors Andrew Barrett and Colin Dunlop & Co.

The cottage had a direct link to High Blantyre, not only by a beautiful right of way path (pictured here in 2007 by Jim Brown), but also a road called “Craigmuir Road” linking the cottage and out at High Blantyre Main Street near the Parish Church. The Road still exists today but is much shorter, now ending due to the construction of the A725 East Kilbride Expressway.

By the Second World War, as with many buildings in Sydes Brae, the house fell out of it’s primary use and into decline, although evidence exists it was occupied for some time after.

Today, there’s nothing much remaining of Craigmuir House. The ruins are still there though and can be found behind Newhouse, on the opposite side from the Crematorium.  Frustratingly the recent new owners of Newhouse Farm, around 2013 or so have gated off the right of way from Sydes Brae. Whether deliberately or accidentally, they shouldnt have, as the road is a public right of way leading from opposite the crematorium, down by their house and on to where this ruin is , meeting up with the other right of way. Contrary to the gate signage, the track doubling as a driveway is NOT private. Several people have mentioned this to me in recent years and still get round the gates intent on walking on a public path.

These photos were taken by Blantyre men Alex Rochead and Gordon Cook and what’s left of the stone can still be seen.

In early 2014, Planning permission was sought by the new owner to build a new dwelling house on this site, along with a goat farming operation.

Janet Cochrane My great great grandfather died there in 1881 my great great granny in 1890 . My great granny in 1912 my great grandfather in 1932. They had 8 children. My granny married Robert Main there in 1909. Her brother Andrew as the oldest male moved there afteSee more
Alex Rochead That’s great Janet do you know when the house was knocked down?
Janet Cochrane I don’t think it was ever knocked down it just fell down
Janet Cochrane It had inside as far as I can remember dirt floors whitewashed walls and a big black range also outside toilet. Probably nothing had been done to it over all the years.
Janet Cochrane Forgot to mention the family name was Baird

3 Comments

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  1. Thats fantastic Nick. Always great when people can make a connection. Do you know anything else about Craigmuir you want to add?

    1. Hi Paul

      No I cant tell you anything else about Craigmuir, However I can tell you that Alexanders brother was the farmer at Greenhall, Alexander was a member of the Blantyre Curling club which was the highest scoring team in the Grand Match around about 1891 I think.

  2. The Alexander McWilliam mentioned as being the farmer at Craigmuir was my great great Grandfather.

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