People in Blantyre may be aware of an old, detached stone built property called Aller’s Farm, located just off Stoneymeadow Road, High Blantyre.
The name Alders appeared on old maps, but Alders and Allers are essentially the same name, and both signify the Alder tree which grows at the Lee Burn nearby. During the 1800’s both Allers, and the aptly named “Doghillock” names were used intermittently so there appears to have been no preference.
The name Doghillock and its connections with Dogs relates to the fact that the building used to be used as kennels for the Maxwell’s Calderwood Estate, of which Allers/Doghillock was part of. The farm sits on a large mound of earth, hence the name hillock. Today, the farm buildings are used as a modern home and a kennels business belonging to Alan Reardon. Alan told me that animal bones were found in the gardens after he moved in.
Chris Ladds, EK history enthusiast told me, “Doghillock aka Allers or Alders came into being sometime between 1725 and 1750. It is not mentioned on any of the Teinds, legal disputes, rentals, or correspondence for the entire lands of Calderwood, but ALL the other farms/crofts that were there are, because these are detailed itineraries. Even the 80 page decree I found makes no mention.
The land it is on was within the Blantyre Parish boundary founded as late as the 1500’s, but probably earlier. Those lands were not part of Kilbride Barony, and if they were a ‘Bonnet Lairdship’ there would at least be mention in testaments, marriage documents, births, Sasines (Glasgow & Edinburgh), all of which I have checked and there is no mention. 1725-1750 makes a lot of sense as the replacement trade road should date to about that time which passes the old farm. The older road was the ancient Peddlars Way further west. The names Doghillock, and Allers are both Scots/English origin and not Brythonic/Old English like many of the older areas around here, so its a newer name(s). There is a mention in the old rentals of a place called Hillmaleel, also spelt Hilmaline, Kilmaline, Hillmilne, etc… I believe it derives from Hill Mailing, but this place name could easily relate to several different areas on the old estate, and so we can’t conclude it relates to Doghillock.
The layout of the buildings and the older stonework are all 18th century local vernacular with little hint of 1600’s unless they replaced an older building. The draining of the lands didn’t begin here until the mid 1700’s, around which time Renfrewshire and Kilbride hunts became popular. It was too boggy and Moorish before that. I would say that all the facts point to Doghillock being 1725-1750, and indeed the facts seem to exclude the place as having existed prior to then. The later 1750 end of the range is because this area was surveyed c. 1750 by Roy and Paul Sandby and Crew for the Military Map.”
Today, the Kennels business offers far more than just boarding. Hydrotherapy for dogs helps animals through recovery processes, and is a great way to keep dogs fit, lose weight and stay healthy. A short video of this can be seen here:
On social media:
Christine McClenaghan Family on my mothers side lived and worked at Allers Farm for many many years. The farmer was Robert Chalmers. He was like an honorary uncle. We would always visit in the school holidays and my great auntie, who was housekeeper, would always make me a clootie dumpling complete with coins for my birthday which is in the October holidays.I have a lot of happy memories. If the bones in the garden were from dogs I may even be able to put a name to two of them….
The Blantyre Project I think Alan mentioned the bones may have been horses.
Alan Reardon An interesting article Paul but while I agree the house at the Allers is from around the 1700’s the original building that now forms the office is from much earlier it consisted of a small house with a building attached for the animals. There have been buildings added later including what was a byre where the hydro pool and grooming parlour now are and a small building that was used at one time as a place to cool the milk when it was farmed that had slate shelving for the cooling pans. As methods changed other buildings were added that when I bought the Allers were in a fair state of disrepair and demolished these were attached to the front of the original building and comprised of a dairy building and a single room workers bothy. Bob Chalmers and Chrissie his house keeper and Christine’s great aunt added a building to the front of the 1700’s house to form a bathroom and kitchen probably some time in the 40’s but when we bought it they had still retained the long drop in the midden for the workers. I have a copy of the deeds and I am sure an old map that I will look out. The animal bones were from a horse more than likely a Clydesdale.The Blantyre Project Thanks Alan – Thats some great information to add. All pieces together a very interesting jigsaw. Allers must have seen many, many owners over the Centuries, and im not surprised in any way to know that buildings may have been there earlier than 1700. Think a lot more investigation is needed, but thats not something i’ll get online. A library visit is perhaps now required