Building the Turnpike Road


1790 – The East Kilbride to Hamilton Turnpike Road (later to become known as Stoneymeadow Road) was built., completed in 1791. This important road connected several local villages and would have been a main road of its time. General Thomas Peter (then only a Captain) was involved with the company who built the road. This may only have been in the capacity of being involved with the access arrangements to his estate. A toll was established at the Dalton road junction near the Lee Burn. The site of this toll house is now known as “Meadowville” and has seen many businesses come and go at that location in recent years.

To cross the Rotten Calder river near Crossbasket, a small, stone bridge was constructed in 1790, likely as part of the Turnpike road construction. This was not the General’s Bridge, but a predecessor at the same location. The stone abutment ruins of that old, small bridge can still be seen today on the South Western embankment, only a metre or so from the Generals Bridge.

According to Mr. R.B Walker, who was County Clerk in the 1920’s, prior to 1790 the crossing of the Rotten Calder had to be made in a small basket, or boat. This statement unfortunately gave rise to local myths about how the name ‘basket’ was derived, but I think is unconnected to the name of the area and indeed the river at that point is usually shallow enough to have been forded.

1793 – According to the early historian David Ure, writing that year, “Captain Thomas Peter of Crossbasket was in possession of the lands of Basket and the castle of Crossbasket in 1793.” His account here is also important, suggesting locals were calling the building a Castle by this time, rather than any kind of house or tower.

1798 – During the late 1790’s , several interesting new National taxes were initiated. A tax for having a clock, a tax for having carts, or dogs, or female servants. In 1798, General Peter, (by now a Colonel) didn’t escape this duty, having to pay a lofty £1 in 1797 for having 4 dogs. He was also taxed that year for having 2 farm horses. He also paid a tax for having 1 female servant called Elizabeth Adcroft and 1 male gardening servant named George Hamilton. Having just 2 servants living there was very conservative, by comparison to owners of the next Century.

Words from “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul D Veverka (c) 2015
Pictured is the smaller bridge abutments still visible beside the later General’s Bridge.


Remains of former bridge abutment or possibly an older forgotten mill

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  1. Stunning photos of times past and achievements, of our favourite haunts, especially today as one of Blantyres sons passed away in Hameln, Germany, my Uncle John Pearson, my mother’s brother. He worked and was apprenticed at the clyde bank shipyards, later worked at Annan then conscripted and sent to Germany for two years in the British Army.
    He met and married his wife of 58 years and remained there to bring up his family. He also remained working at the British barracks as a civilian after his time in the army came to a close. He always came home for visits when he could and was my favourite uncle. He will be sadly missed by us all.
    Thanks so.much for posting these incredible photos so much appreciated.

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