Looking back at the 1747 map of Blantyre, I was intrigued to see one of the earliest houses in Blantyre called “Woodhouse”. Pictured here amongst agricultural fields, the property was later accessed from Station Road (later formed from the straight line of nearby field boundaries). Indeed, during this time, there was nothing much else around this property!
Intrigued to learn more, I noticed that Woodhouse was still appearing on maps as late as 1936. It would appear the house and the buildings associated with it were in a row, entered by a tree lined avenue from Station Road. So what of this building?
A William Coates allegedly built the mansion house in the early 18th Century. The Coates family descended from Robert Coutts (Coates), the Blantyre Priory of 1520.
However, the earliest confirmed mention I could find was a hundred years later in 1851 when the property was owned by Mr. John Gibson, a manufacturer whom, on the 7th March that year died at the property, aged 50 years. The building was certainly known to have been standing for over 100 years even by that time. Shortly after, the Lanarkshire Name book of 1859 gave some initial clues including an interesting connection to the Blantyre works area. The comment was made, “A Superior dwelling. The property of Miss Coats. This name formerly applied to the lands now occupied, & known, as “Blantyre Works.” At present it does not apply to anything but the house“
Coatshill being the prominent farm in the area seems tied to this property with the Coats or Coattes family living there for some time. The property appears to change hands to families fairly fast. By 1861, The Patersons lived there.
On 2nd March 1864, the house was let out, the advert reading, “Five minutes walk of the railway station, consisting of 5 rooms and a kitchen with Stable, Coach House and garden. Apply to Mr Burns the Station Master“. In 1899 an army officer named Falconer lived there and prior to the first world war it is known the family owning the property was by then, The Forrests.
I have been unable to find any photos of Woodhouse, although it was still on aerial photos taken in 1945. Now demolished in the 1980’s, the house was once where the current east wing of St Joseph’s school is located, just off Station Road.
The name connection to the house likely gave rise to other properties being called similar names, such as “Woodean, Woodburn” etc.