I’ve recently posted about the Livingstone family members gravestones which were moved from the old Blantyre Works Cemetery to the David Livingstone Centre Grounds during the 1960s. During a visit to the centre in June 2015, I went to see the gravestones (located at the lower end of the gardens in the centre) but was disappointed to find they were so worn that it was difficult to see what they said.
Exploring around a little further, I noticed a flat stone near the side of woodland, but being worked and tooled, it looked itself like a gravestone, laying flat on the ground. Broken, it took all my might to overturn it the right way round and I was surprised to see writing, that was nowhere near as worn as the others. This isolated stone was clearly a gravestone (although obviously was no body below, given the stone had been earlier salvaged). I cleaned up the stone and with a little stick, cleaned out the inscription. To my surprise, confirmation of a Livingston family member was evident! The words I could make out were “in memory of ? Livingstone, his spouse and children.” No dates, no first name that was readable. Was this the elusive stone belonging to Livingstone’s own grandfather, Neil? I’m uncertain, but one thing is for sure. It is known that graves of at least 2 members of David Livingstone’s own family had been buried at the works Cemetery and moved to the centre grounds. Had this stone been laying face down, forgotten about for 5 decades? It seemed quite disrespectful for them to be simply laying around, broken and I hope the National Trust take heed of this during the forthcoming renovation. I turned the stone back over to preserve it as best as possible, and the staff were made aware of this. Livingstone’s parents are buried in Bent cemetery, also the rumoured resting place of Blantyre Works graves.
Pictured also nearby to this location is a Blantyre Works large Millstone and another gravestone, this one illegible.
On social media:
Alison Walker-Hill The stones have only been there since the garden was turned into a jungle garden…..not sure where they came from, but their initial setting was tastefully done. Vandals regularly use them to smash bottles on and they have previously had to be removed from the pond……absolutely no respect!
The Blantyre Project sorry to read that Alison, but good to know they were a feature at one point. Sadly, they look very much abandoned amongst woodland now. I’m sure these are the Blantyre Works cemetery stones.