As a surveyor, I love studying old maps. Looking at Roy’s Military map of 1747, specifically at the High Blantyre Main Street area, I think I have found something interesting and perhaps forgotten to history?
The 1747 map shows the road winding through High Blantyre which was eventually to become Main Street. Zooming in at the Kirkton Cross area, I was surprised to see that the Main Street did NOT follow the path it takes today and that in fact, the Main Street headed towards Priestfield Street coming out in the middle of Douglas Street! (i.e not at Kirkton Cross). This would mean that Priestfield Street was originally part of the main road through the town and you would have to head North back up Douglas Street to get to the
Kirkton Cross! The beginnings of the other roads eventually to become School Lane and Hunthill Road are there and in the correct positions.
If the map is to be believed (and why shouldn’t it, Roys maps were wonderfully accurate at the time), then there is a whole section of modern Main Street that back in 1747 was not there. I’ve highlighted this modern map showing this later section of road with red dots. The green dots represent the 1747 route. The Main Street is shown in it’s modern alignment on 1859 maps and knowing that one of the oldest houses on the red dot route was built in 1823, this would suggest that during the early 1800’s a road was formed from the junction of Main Street/Priestfield Street, up towards Kirkton cross which absolutely would have been a quicker, more efficient route. This added road that eventually became part of Main Street, runs from roughly where the Baptist Church is up towards the Kirkyard.
There is another interesting feature on the 1747 map. A stream running from Shott House, Eastwards towards where the modern Industrial Estate is today. Much of this stream is now where the A725 Expressway is, but even on the 1859 map, the stream is not marked. There is a chronologically close record though when in 1846 Samuel Lewis wrote in the Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, “The tributary streams are, the Redburn, which has its source in the lands of Park farm, and joins the Clyde near Bothwell bridge; and two other rivulets, one rising in the lands of Shott, and one at Newmain, which also fall into the river Clyde.”