Blantyre Farms & Agriculture

It has been previously written in 2004 by a respected late Blantyre author that Blantyre had 26 farms. Unfortunately, this is something I don’t agree with. Within Blantyre Parish, I’m proposing there were actually 38 farms. Listing them in alphabetical order, there were/are as follows:

1 Auchentibber Farm
2 Bardykes Farm
3 Barnhill Farm
4 Barnhill Wee Farm
5 Basket Farm
6 Bellsfield Farm
7 Birdsfield (Auchinraith) Farm
8 Blantyre Ferme
9 Blantyre Park Farm
10 Blantyre Muir Farm
11 Blantyre Works Farm
12 Boathouse Farm
13 Broomhouse Farm
14 Broompark Farm
15 Burnbrae Farm
16 Calderside Farm
17 Coatshill Farm
18 Craighead Farm
19 Craigknowe Farm
20 Croftangreen Farm
21 Croftfoot Farm
22 Crossbasket Farm
23 East Haughhead Farm
24 Edge Farm
25 Greenblairs
26 Greenhall Farm
27 Laighlyock Farm
28 Lodgehill Farm
29 Newhouse Farm
30 Newfield Farm
31 Park Farm
32 Priestfield Farm
33 Shott Farm
34 Stewartfield Farm
35 Stonefield (Hasties) Farm
36 Townfoot Foot
37 West Haughead Farm
38 Wheatlandhead Farm

I’ve started writing some detail around these farms, uploaded to the main Blantyre Project website. Agriculture played (and still does) a large part in Blantyre’s economy. The surrounding fields in the Parish were ideally suited for farming, not only crops but primarily in the use of beef farms.

The soil is of various types. Some fields, adjacent to the Old Parish Church, are a fine rich loam. From the church to the Clyde, towards the north-east, the soil is in general a strong deep clay; and when properly cultivated is exceeding fertile. At the northern extremity, which is surrounded by the Clyde, and where the banks become low, there is a flat that consists chiefly of a sandy soil. From the church, towards the south-end of the parish, the soil is clay, but more light and free, than that in the lower part; and is in general of a very poor quality. In advancing farther from the church, towards the southern extremity, the soil becomes gradually more of a mossy nature; and, at last, terminates in a deep peat moss.

Laighlyock Farm Blantyre ruins 2014 by J Brown

Laighlyock Farm Blantyre ruins 2014 by J Brown

The 1791 statistical account gives an insight into the kind of crops and produce available in Blantyre. “The parish consists, for the most part, of arable grounds; and oats are the crops most frequently raised. Pease, a few beans, barley, and wheat are also raised; but the quantity of these kinds of grain is but small, when compared with oats. Potatoes are also cultivated by almost every family, whether of farmers or labourers, for their own subsistence; and the practice of feeding cattle with them is become pretty general. Of late, more attention begins to be paid to the potato crop; because a ready market is found, for a consideration quantity, at the cotton mill. The old Scots plow is almost universally used. There are few sheep kept in the parish, not much exceeding 100. Flax is seldom raised, in any greater quantity, than what the farmer thinks sufficient for the use of his own family. A very considerable quantity of rye-grass, and clover hay, is cultivated in the parish, and carried to Glasgow, about 8 miles distant; where it always finds a ready market, and in general sells at about 5d. per stone. Considerable quantities of butter and cheese, used also to be carried to the market at Glasgow; but there is now a great demand for these articles at home.”

Pictured are the ruins of Laighlyock Farm in 2014, captured by Jim Brown.

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