Auchentibber, is a hamlet, one of the original fermetouns of Blantyre in the Parish of Blantyre, Middle ward of the county of Lanark; which in 1846 contained 73 inhabitants. It is situated in the south western part of the Parish, on high ground above Sydes Brae, and on the west, the Rotten-Calder water forms the boundary, and separates the parish from that of Kilbride.
Auchentibber may have been derived from “Achaw, Achan….a species of pear” which connects to the suggestion that fruit was grown in this area. The name may also have been derived from Gaelic, meaning, “field of the healing waters”. There is evidence of healing springs nearby and it is said Victorian tourists came to Auchentibber to take advantage of the healing properties of the spring (likely situated on Park Farm). The are however, most likely took its name from the nearby farm, “Auchentibber”, as the surrounding area already had names such as “Parkneuk, Muirfoot, Sydes Brae”, all marked on early maps.
The small population was mainly employed on the numerous farms, which were well built and many still exist today. By the late 1700’s, however, attention turned to the deposits of iron ore, found all over the area, which ended up being mined heavily, transported to Glasgow where it would eventually become pig iron. Then, in the early 1800’s, mining activity expanded with limestone also being quarried. These activities and eventually coal, kept the population gainfully employed until the early 1900’s. In 1898, there were over 70 homes in the area, whereas today there is roughly a dozen. During the 1800’s, Auchentibber thrived as a community with many homes, shops, a school and several pubs to support this community. A large stone quarry also supported the employment of many people right into the 1950’s. Lighting was at that time done by paraffin lamp and dry external toilets even post World War 2, meant Auchenitbber had some catching up to do. A post war decision by the Lanark 5th District Council not to immediately provide electricity or gas supplies to the area, led to its demise, with many people moving away to seek employment or better accommodation. Many of Auchenitbber’s homes were demolished and it was not for some time until the area finally received electricity and gas supplies.
Pictured is an overlaid 1898 map with a modern aerial to show just how many homes have been abandoned.
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