It may come as a surprise to people that some properties in modern day Blantyre, aren’t actually IN Blantyre Parish. i.e they are only classed as Blantyre as they’re near Blantyre. Properties like Malcolmwood Farm and Caldergrove, which although just down the Pech Brae and having a Blantyre postal address, is actually officially in Cambuslang Parish. Or several homes near the boundary with Burnbank that are in Hamilton, or some homes in Westcraigs that are classed as Hamilton.
However, perhaps the most ancient and well documented property is that of Crossbasket House at Stoneymeadow Road. Most people will agree that the property West of Greenhall is close to Blantyre and like nearby Allers Farm, has a G72 Postcode. However, this is an arrangement for convenience of postal allocation and deliveries. Those properties
West of the new housing estate at Crossbow, including Crossbasket House and the new nursery are actually in East Kibride Parish!
The general Parish boundaries tend to be the Rivers themselves and Crossbasket is fairly unique in being sited right on the boundary of THREE Parishes. Cambuslang to the North, Blantyre to the East and East Kilbride to the South and West.
Maps of 1859, 1910 and 1936 show the Parish boundaries with dots marked along the river nearby, diving Parish boundaries.
Whilst postal arrangements allocate Crossbasket to Blantyre, Ordnance Survey and history very much defines the lands of Crossbasket as East Kilbride. Fascinated by this subject, I looked into this more in detail and find no record of Crossbasket ever being passed into Blantyre Parish. However, it did come close.
A paper is held in Edinburgh dated 15th December 1634. It is an extract decreet by the Lords Commissioners of Surrenders and Teinds, disjoining the “toun” (farmtown) and lands of Crossbasket from East Kilbride and incorporating them within the Parish of Blantyre. Neil Gordon accessed this document when he wrote his book about Blantyre, reporting that this was the date when Crossbasket became Blantyre. However, this Decreet was never carried out or put into effect, even although it had been proposed by all the prominent land owners surrounding Crossbasket and why, it is impossible to say. As such, Crossbasket, remained in the lands of East Kilbride. Here it is printed again below.
“Extract Decreet by the Lords Commissioners of Surrenders and Teinds, on the Summons raised by Patrick Archbishop of Glasgow, the Diocesan, Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, Knt Barronett H.M’s Advocate, and Mr.John Heriot, Minister of Blantyre, against William Lord Blantyre, titular of the teinds, John Hamiltoun of Westoun, Robert Hamiltoun of Torence, William Hamiltoun of Blantyreferme, John Hamiltoun of Casslane, Bothwell, Robert Hamiltoun of Newhouse, James Baille of Park, Robert Hamiltoun at the Kirk of Blantyre, Janet Miller and James Arbuckle her son in the Pitheid of Corsbasket, William Jackstoun in Barnhill, John Miller, their, John Clerke in Achinreithe, John Strutheris in Achinreithe, tutor to Johne Watson in Barnhill, James Clerk in Stanslide, tutor to John Clerk, William Hammiltoun of Schott, John and James Craigue in Auchenraithe, David Corss in Flemyngtoun and John Thomson in Sydis, heritors of the lands of Blantyre.
“and because the toun and landis of Crossbasket, plance and mayner yairof, and greine lyand within the parochine of Kilbryde are contigue and mare adjacent to the said paroche Kirk and parochine of Blantyre, within one quarter of ane myile or theireby, the inhabitants of the quhilk toun and landis being neare two mylles distant from their awin paroche Kirk, doe allways resort and repair to the said Kirk of Blantyre, quhair they ar onlie servit, so that the said Mr. John Heriot has the only charge of these inhabitants, and thairfore for the weill and ease of these people it evidentlie appearit to be necessary that the saidis roumes and landis sud be dissolvit and disuneite from the said parochine of Kilbryde and annexit and uneit to the parochine of Blantyre”
Action called and parties appearing, the minister, “be John Pitcarine and Mr David Heriot, advocates and proloquitors, quha divysit that as no money rent in payit within the parochine”, the commissioners would count the augmentation of 8 bolls beir and 24 bolls meile (2 chalders) into 100 pundis money, besides £10 for communion elements, Lord Blantyre by his prior Mr James Aitkenhead, advocate, consented to same, and the Lords Commissioners decreed accordingly.”
Remember, at the time of 1634, Crossbasket was simply a tower in a field, with an adjacent farm. This was long before the Victorian House extension was added. The document was given to Rev Stewart Wright in 1885 by Mr Hamilton of Shott House, although now held in Edinburgh. The fact it wasn’t signed is a mystery, as it would appear all heritors were summoned to the meeting. My guess is that the owners of Crossbasket Tower were fiercely proud of their Stuart heritage and lineage with Torrence in East Kilbride and wished the properties to remain part of that dynasty.
Of course today, Crossbasket House (and the new Crossbasket Nursery) are recognized in Blantyre as being in Blantyre, which feels right as it is so close by after all, but the history in interesting and like nearby Calderwood Glen, the boundaries are often muddy and unclear to outsiders.