Pictured here in an aerial photo from 1955, are the greenhouses and gardens of Auchinraith Nurseries. Located on Main Street, at its junction with Auchinraith Road, the nursery served Blantyre well and was run in the early to mid part of the 20th Century by the Pattie family. Frank Pattie in the 1950’s supplied floral tributes for all occasions, the nurseries specialising in growing flowers of all types. Prior to this, the nursery was run by Matthew Campbell.
Matthew was born in 1839. He is not noted as being in Blantyre until the 1881 census, suggesting he was an incomer.
In 1881 Matthew was living at Nursery Cottage, Main Street, High Blantyre with his wife and children, good confirmation that the nurseries existed then.
In 1891, Matthew aged 55 was living at Nursery Cottage with his wife Catherine and their 6 children. Joseph McNich, an elementary teacher was boarding with them. 22 year old James Gilchrist a practitioner lived with them, as did 15 year old Peter Gilchrist, an accounts clerk. 36 year old Minnie Anderson and her 5 children lived with them too, but no Mr Anderson, who was apparently a cigar merchant. The large amount of people suggests Nursery Cottage or cottages were fairly large offering accommodation for everybody.
However, it was all change In 1901, at the age of 62 Matthew was living at Nursery Cottage only with his daughter Jeannie, aged 19. His son’s Matthew Jnr and John were to continue the family businesses at at expanded location working from ‘Milton Burnbank View’. Matthew Snr died at the nursery aged 76, on 20th August 1915. He was buried on Tuesday 24th August 1915.
In February 1915, 6 months before Matthew died, an advert ran in the newspaper for “M Campbell & Son, Nurseries, High Blantyre”, stating they sold ornamental trees and shurbs, privit hedges, roses, wallflowers, primroses, with flower and vegetable seeds available from a catalog.
In the foreground are homes along either side of Auchinraith Road. Main Street is running from the top left to the top right.
We can trace the start of the nurseries back to the 1881 census, suggesting they may have been there even in the 1870s. They are certainly there on the 1898 map, with greenhouses and gardens laid out on extensive fields. Access was from Main Street itself, entering a courtyard area, with a large house belonging to the owner. In 1898, at least 8 large greenhouses existed alongside numerous smaller ones. A pump in the back garden provided water. By 1910, the business had expanded hugely with over 16 large greenhouses, of an impressive size.
By the 1930’s the same number of greenhouses existed, but the open fields surround the business, now gave way to modern homes at Muir Street and the aptly named Nursery Place. Some of these properties and gardens looked directly into the nursery itself. The nursery still owned a large piece of land, including vacant ground at the corner of Auchinraith Road, as pictured.
It is unknown to me exactly when the Nursery was demolished. However, in the 1970’s when the sheltered houses were built on the land, a new road called Braehead was created, leading in off Nursery Place. Braehead is easily missed and leads to a dead end and sits on the exact land where many of the greenhouses were once located. The overlay map attached shows the position of the nursery with a see through view to 2015 modern aerial photos.
Today, modern Kirkton Care Home is located on the very same spot as the gardens, with terraced homes along Main Street, now where the greenhouses were.
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Moyra Lindsay The gate into it was at the bus stop on Main St. I got the bus to school there 59-61. There was a board there with several varieties of roses pinned to it, I can still recognise them in garden centres now. Greenhouses were there then but not a thriving business I would think.