Burnbrae Farm was a farm on the Eastern Parish Boundary, next to the Parkburn. It was located within Blantyre but was very close to the Hamilton Boundary. I’ve now started to collect some history on this property.
Burnbrae Farm was often associated with a trio of Farms, Bellsfield, Birdsfield and Burnbrae. This was due to various land acquisitions that took place, concerning the business and extent of each of these farms. The first mention I see of any of these names is in November 1769, where the Caledonian Mercury reports on the sale of them. Land amounting to a sizeable 129 acres belonging to Mrs Hamilton-Nisbet of Pentcairland. They were first let for a duration of 19 years at which time, I believe the 3 farms were constructed. One of the first few leases of Burnbrae expired in March 1806 where a report was made that the land and soil was in such good quality, there would certainly be interest in extending leases. It was noted that at this point through further land sales and acquisitions, Burnbrae Farm and its lands had 118 acres.
By 1848, I could see sales of cattle from the farm belonging at this point to Mr John Craig.
This map from 1859 shows the position of Burnbrae Farm in relation to the High Blantyre Road. The fields between Birdsfield and Burnbrae were later to become the Industrial Estate. An account of Burnbrae is provided in the 1859 Parish records stating, “A good Farm Steading near “Park Burn”. The property of Mr. Craig, Glasgow”.
Sometime during the 1870s, the property was sold to Mr John Shanks. In August 1892 John Shanks husband of Maggie McDowall died at Burnbrae Farm, aged 34. The following year in March, Rose Shanks, brother of John also died at the property.
The farm then was bought over in 1893 by the Atkinson family, the principal householder and farmer being Robert Atkinson. Robert was only to have one son who suffered a terribly short life. On 26th November
1914, whilst war ravaged Europe, Dr John Atkinson, son of Robert, accidentally drowned on Western Africa’s Gold coast. Sarah Atkinson, his brother also suffered a wartime loss when her husband Thomas Thorburn died in Egypt.
Today Burnbrae Farm is still a house, but no longer a farm. It now has an address of East Avenue on High Blantyre Industrial Estate. A business owned by CC Ferguson Haulage occupies the premises with much of the land a storage yard. Several other minor businesses are located there including Bellstane Racing Stables. To the south there is a wooded area that contains the Park Burn watercourse and thereafter (minimum distance of 35 metres or thereby) the residential properties of Warwick Grove. In addition, the site is bound to the north and west by long established industrial properties within Blantyre Industrial Estate
Current owner William Greenan told me, “Burnbrae farm is now owed by William and Caroline Greenan and their 7 children Stacey, Paula, Amanda, william , Vicky Conor and scot from 2008. Since we bought the property we have done a complete renovation to it including a 2 storey extension, sunroom and utility room, also a new vehicle access to the property.”