Blantyre Lodge House

1895 Blantyre Lodge House

1895 Blantyre Lodge House

Blantyre Lodge. Taken in the 1890’s this grand 3 storey house belonged to William Jolly, the Blantyre Works Manager’s House. It was located next to the works mills, in what is now the grounds of David Livingstone Centre. It was the house at the end of “The Dandy” path.

I think the house looked very colonial, and it certainly was out of the ordinary compared to the adjacent mill houses and also very out of character for all of Blantyre as a whole. Indeed, I can’t think of any other home that had a similar appearance in this area. The distinctive criss cross of wood, in a trellis effect completely covered the house, encouraging ivy to grow upon it.

First mention i found of ownership was Mssrs Monteith, the mill owners owning the building. In 1859 it was occupied by J Reid. However, wanting to track down the people in the picture, i jumped to the 1891 and 1901 census information. In 1901, William Jolly, a retired schools inspector age 62 and his wife Mary Anne also 62 lived in the house with their daughter Carolina. Their grandsons lived there too. Also in the house was 2 siblings of Carolina employed as a gardener and insurance clerk. I believe therefore the people in this photo are William, Mary and Carolina Jolly , along with William and Marys grandsons. The timing fits well to the photograph. I’d never seen the photos of the Lodge before and was surprised to see how different in style it was from most other buildings in Blantyre of the era. It appeared very colonial, and very fitting for other parts of the Victorian empire.

Blantyre Lodge House Floor Plans

Blantyre Lodge House Floor Plans

After 1903, the mills fell into decline. There was no great need for a lodge house or managerial home and the lodge fell into disrepair. Even in this old photo, some window panes look broken!

By the 1910s the house belong to William Baird & Co and was home to Belgian Refugees during the first World War from 1914. We know that in 1925 from the valuation roll, William Baird still owned the house and it would seem the 21 rooms were sub divided as up to a dozen families were living there. The last known entry found for people living there is around this year. The house may have rapidly become dilapidated after that time. This other photo certainly would suggest so and by 1929, the house was demolished to make way for the David Livingstone Centre renovations and landscaping. Thank you today to Dr Daniel Rhodes and his archaeologists team from Historic Scotland and to Learning officer Martha Burns Findlay for the time, kindness shown to me and informative conversation had on site back in June 2014.

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