I was recently contacted by Elaine Currie Akelis, saying, “Hi Paul, We have just bought Braehead cottage (Auchentibber), with the intention of starting from scratch and re-building once we have demolished the old property. I wanted to find out some history of the land and property so that ( in some way) hopefully incorporate some of that history back into the re-building of the house, we intend on having there. Any ideas? ….. I guess this blantyre lass is coming back to blantyre to stay. I’m excited for the upcoming project I have to say that much.”
Being offered a chance to let Elaine know some history about this property, in the hope she will use some of that history in her exciting new build home, was too good an opportunity to miss. What a brilliant way to preserve Blantyre’s old history, by incorporating it into future buildings.
Braehead Cottage (pictured here in 2015) is a traditional stone built detached property that sits on the East side of Parkneuk Road, Auchentibber. With two storey’s, its gables point exactly in a North / South direction. It has extensive , level grounds amounting to around half and acre, which are now covered in mature trees and growth. Behind the property are the fields of Newfield Farm, which sits at the boundary of Blantyre and Hamilton.
The name, Braehead is not to be confused with other Braehead cottages in Blantyre, (there is one on Hunthill Road and another on Main Street)
The cottage was built around 1880, with the half acre being sold off by nearby Newfield Farm.
Auchentibber during this decade was a real hub of activity. Mining activity. Especially to the South at nearby Hartfield, Stewartfield and Earnock quarries. There was a growing requirement for miners homes and such a spacious property near to employment sources would have been attractive.
The cottage was originally called “Newfield Cottages“, a name which looks likely to have caused confusion due to the similarity of the nearby Newfield Farm. Indeed, in just 16 years the name of the property had changed to become “Daisyknowe Cottage”. On the 1896 map, the cottage appears as “Daisyknowe Cottage” and looks as though it is divided into two properties, perhaps for 2 families. It would be interesting if during the imminent demolition of the cottage, if any evidence of it being TWO homes could be found. (central divide?) The current symmetrical floor plan would serve to confirm this.
One of the first families to inhabit Daisyknowe Cottage were the McLellans. In the 1881 census, James McLellan, a 37 year old blacksmith and his 41 year old wife Annie lived there. Boarding with them next door, were 2 blacksmiths William Bryson, aged 20 and John McLardie, aged 22 (who was born in Australia). This raises the question if the property was worked on as a blacksmiths, but I can’t find any evidence of that and it is more likely they simply went out to work in the nearby quarries and pits. In 1891, the Latimer family lived there.
By 1910 maps, the cottage is still known as Daisyknowe. A benchmark is allegedly on the North or West gable to measure height of nearby fields and properties. By this date, outbuildings or sheds were shown in the gardens. If you stood in the back garden during this date and looked out over Newfield Farm fields, you would see an extensive row of miners homes called “Dikehead”, which is no longer there today. However, by 1910, the cottage may have been split into 2 names to reflect each home.
Michelle Leonard contacted me saying, “I came across a birth record for the husband of a cousin of mine while doing some research and the address at which he was born was Braehead Cottage, Auchentibber, Blantyre. I thought you’d be interested to know that this birth took place on 16th May 1905.”
By WW1, the cottage was known primarily as Braehead Cottage. This happened sometime between 1905 – 1916 and it’s likely that this happened due to the decline in mining activity in the area. It is my belief that the Barrett family lived there in the 1910’s. The cottages were consolidated into one property and judging by the 1920’s or 30’s dormer windows, looks as through it was extended during that renovation. By the 1939 maps, the cottage is clearly marked only “Braehead Cottage”.
With Elaine moving from East Kilbride back to Blantyre, I think at this elevation she’ll still have snow in Winter, long before us “down the hill” get any! I’m thrilled for Elaine, Kevin and their family and wish them all the best for a happy future at this location.