Previous to March 2015, the earliest map I had of Blantyre was from the year 1654. However, I have recently been passed a copy of a map from 71 years even earlier than that!
This Lanarkshire map features Blantyre Parish, with scribbled notes and writing in approximate locations. It dates to 1583, not long after the Priory was abandoned. I can only apologise for the quality of this photo, but it is shown in the same quality as it was scanned and can assure you couldn’t be sharpened further. When you click on the image or zoom in, you can read and see things (a little) clearer. Enough to make out a drawing of a rather substantial Blantyre Priory. Enough to see “The Priory Bridge” and the Tower existing at Crossbasket, interestingly, drawn on a raised mound or sitting on a raised crag. There are derivatives of names Auchentibber, Auchinraith, Bardykes and Barnhill, as well as Spittal. However, perhaps the most interesting thing is the drawing and suggestion of a large house or small castle in High Blantyre! It is not shown as a Church and may be the elusive fortalice or tower that allegedly occupied the grounds at Mains House, near Hunthill? This may be wishful thinking on my part, but I’m intrigued by this mark on the map, and even more so with the 1654 map, which clearly shows a small castle marked “Kaldar”! Did Blantyre once have a forgotten or lost castle?!