The Black Mill House Story

1799-priory-bridge-sketch-blantyre-projectLooking at Jean Claude Nattes,  1799 sketch of Priory Bridge, I was surprised to see a house sitting by the bridge on the North West Side. I know this not to be the Bardykes Mill, which was located in the river canyon itself, so what was this mysterious, old house in the field beyond the bridge?

Situated just South of Mavis Mill, the house looks like it had a thatched roof and is on the Blantyre Parish side of the Rotten Calder river.

1799 is the earliest reference I can find of this house, but it was clearly marked as inhabited property on the 1859 map, some 60 years later.

The house would have been the very last house as you left Blantyre Parish crossing over into Cambuslang Parish and sat on the

1859 Blackmill house

1859 Blackmill house

roadside, (before Glasgow Road was reprofiled). The 1859 map put it in good reference and shows the house sitting in its own field with paths at the front of the property leading down to the waters edge. The nearby Black mill dates back to at least 1748 belonging to the Jackson family of nearby Bardykes and I find it probable that the house was likely the millers house for the mill itself, similar to the arrangement the Miller had at nearby Mavis Mill.

Interestingly, the 1859 map shows the bridge called “The Prior Bridge”, but the area likely took the name later from the nearby Priory becoming known as Priory Bridge which featured on maps from 1898 onwards.

On the 1898 map, both the house and the Black Mill are shown as ruins and not lived in, concluding it’s final days as a house were between 1859 and 1898.

1910 Priory Bridge Map but no house!

1910 Priory Bridge Map but no house!

In 1907, the fate of the BlackMill House was sealed when the Parish authorities demolished it to extend the width of the road leading up to and over the Priory Bridge itself, to accommodate sufficient room for two trams to pass. It was the land to the North of the road that was extended, the Bardyykes Mill itself left as ruins insitu. The new widened road and tramlines are shown on the 1910 map.

In the late 1920’s the area changed completely, when a massive earthworks embankment was placed alongside the roadway to form the new and current Glasgow Road profile. On the map, it would appear much of the road and earthworks were placed in the field to the back of where the house once stood.

Interested to see if there was anything at all left of the house, I visited the site in September 2014, and managed to find a few loose masonry stones in

2014 Remains of Blackmillhouse by Paul Veverka

2014 Remains of Blackmillhouse by Paul Veverka

the field, that looked to be worked as part of a house. Incredibly frustrating though as it was apparent the modern road earthworks do encroach on to the location of the house and this site is well and truly gone for good.

I have been unable to locate the actual house name and the people who lived in this house, during writing this article. If anybody knows more about this property, I’d love to add another piece to this jigsaw.

Update: Since writing this, I have found the house actually belonged to the miller of Bardykes Mill (Priory Bridge Mill nearby). I suspected as much but could not assume. The Hamilton Advertiser 5th October 1867, confirms the mill had a detached small house nearby with a small garden. The house was fitted out as a saw mill for which it was commented it had been very well adapted for. The machinery at that time included a saw and bench and was up for sale too. Mr John Jackson was showing the property at the time , which included the sale of the still functional water powered mill.

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