I’ve not previously written about this little building before as it falls into Cambuslang Parish. However, its close enough to feature on this page as many people will walk past this location if out long Blantyre walks.
The Turnpike Road leading to East Kilbride was built in 1790. This greatly improved the tracks that were previously there and offered a reliable means to move between Blantyre and East Kilbride, as a means to get to further away towns.
By 1793, applications were approved for a Tollhouse to be created on the Turnpike road at the Dalton Junction. There were no other buildings there at the time, so it is likely that this little building dates from the mid to late 1790’s. Built in stone and perhaps once originally with a thatched roof, the Stoneymeadow Toll was constructed to tax travellers with horse and cart going up and down the road. The building was twofold, one part for the Toll booth, and another to house the person working there. In the picture attached it originally was only the two buildings you see whitewashed, with no outbuildings present at that time.
We know the tollbooth was still operating by 1849 when a murder was reported in some detail occurring nearby on the adjacent road. The newspaper reports of September 1849 make a clear reference to the toll point still being used. However, by the early Victorian period toll booths were perceived as an impediment to free trade. During the early 1830’s tolls on turnpike roads were abolished in Scotland (although some continued to operate quite illegally for some years after). During the 1830’s, the Turnpike Trust operating Stoneymeadow Toll, ceased to exist and the building became available for another purpose. It was to be bought by Cambuslang woman Mary Paterson (nee Shearer) and was to be used as a farm building. Mary was born in 1770 and didn’t buy the farm until she was 60 years old. She had 10 children with her husband, who passed away in 1848.
The 1859 maps show this little building was renamed as “Stoneymeadow Farm”. As in the picture, outbuildings were created , presumably to house cattle and other farm animals.
In 1861, Stevenson and Margaret Boyd (nee Dean) lived in one of the cottages, a labourer and his wife. A busy house though, as they also had 10 children and it would appear that they were farming this land for Mary Paterson in her old age.
Mary Paterson was a remarkable woman who lived until she was 3 months short of being 105 years old! On her death on Sunday 7th February 1875, it was noted she had been a remarkable woman of intellect and had retained possession of all her faculties up until a few months before her death. She had spent the greater part of her life in the area of Stoneymeadow and gifted with rare conversational powers, she was well known with people coming from afar to see her. Upon her death she had over 100 grandchildren, 60 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren!
In 1875, the Stoneymeadow Farm went up for sale, forcing some of the Boyd family to move too. Indeed, slitting up some of the family, the Boyd grandmother moved about as far as she could get, to East Gore, New Zealand that same year along with her 7 year old grandson, William Boyd. The other Boyd members continued to stay at Stoneymeadow Farm, presumably acquiring the property from the Shearers.
On 19th October 1878, Stevenson Boyd, a labourer on the farm aged 65, died when suddenly thrown from a horse and suffered a fractured skull. Or so the story goes. The family certainly said he had been thrown from a horse, but a mystery opened up when the Hamilton Advertiser reported, “Stevenson Boyd had attended Hamilton Fair, and in the evening accepted a ride home in Mr Craig’s (of Crookedshields) machine (early motor car). They were joined by other two neighbours, arriving in Stoneymeadow about eight pm., when Boyd was carried into his house in an insensible state, but they explained to his wife that he had got rather much drink, and would be better after a sleep. He lingered on till six o’clock on Saturday morning, when he expired, remaining unconscious all the time. Some slight marks were seen on his head, which may have been the cause of death, but how he met with them remains yet to be explained. The case is in the hands of the Fiscal at Hamilton.” The family story passed down is that he fell off a horse after too much to drink.
It seems fairly certain from Ancestry records that the rest of the family moved out to New Zealand following this incident. With so many family members, there is now an enormous family related to these people in New Zealand.
When a water supply was being considered in 1879 for Blantyre, a proposal from the Lees Burn made reference to the nearby Stoneymeadow Toll (which is likely a reference to the location, rather than the toll still being operated then. Old habits may die hard!).
Around 1900 as in this little postcard, the front part of the building was a little sweet shop.
It is unknown who the next owners were or when the Farm was demolished although aerial photos show it still there post WW2.