Referring to a little souvenir booklet from 1909 written by the workers who created the Auchentibber Quoiting Green and surrounding gardens, these words describe the vision and events leading up to the creation of the lovely gardens.
“A Theory in Practice – About 10 years ago (1899), Auchintibber Inn came into the market and the present proprietor (Mr. JB Struthers) realizing that here was a place where some attempt might be made to put into practice certain ideas where he entertained, purchased it. Auchintibber and its Inn – surely nowhere in all Scotland could a place have been found more suited to this purpose. The village is small and isolated, at first sight commonplace. The Inn itself, to put it mildly has seen better days, indeed its one redeeming feature was its possibility for improvement. After spending a few months in bringing the interior more into keeping with modern requirements, he turned his attention to what he intended to make one of the main features of the place, the garden.”
Struthers acquired the Inn from the estate of the previous owner, Flora McIntyre in 1899. The Inn was allegedly in a deplorable condition, damp and with inadequate heating. Struthers, during the period from 1900 – 1909 upgraded the Inn both inside and out. A new chimney was a good indication that further heating had been added to the building and it is known the concrete skews on the roof, pointing and tiles were replaced. There are photos of the external renovation of the building exclusively on Blantyre Project.
Meantime, this photo from 1909 has never previously been seen online. It shows the wooden Stairway to the Rustic Roof Garden, which was located immediately behind the Inn, approximately where the Auchentibber War Memorial is today. The ornamental arch was made of timber, clad in small pieces of bark. This elevated area was not only close to the Inn, but offered a brilliant vantage point for observing the quoiting matches below and faced uphill.