Bottom Row & Mill Houses

This lovely photo dates from around 1900 – 1903. Pictured in some detail is the “Bottom Row”, former Millworkers houses. A delivery from Blantyre Co-operative Society is underway. These building were likely constructed between 1785 and 1792, the furthest on the right still there today.

1903 Mill House Bottom Row

The painting below shows the ruins of the mill workers homes of Bottom Row around the time of the First World War. The buildings are located on the right hand side of the picture with Shuttle Row on the left. The Mill House building at the far right of Bottom Row was originally the boardroom of the Blantyre Mills and is now a private house occupied by the Walker Family.The window of David Livingstone’s birthplace is at the top left of the painting.

Bottom Row was a block of five 2-storey tenement type buildings, with homes both upstairs and down. The upper floors were accessed from stone steps at the back of the properties. The nearest 2 houses in the picture also had outbuildings at the back. On the 1910 map, the first 2 blocks and the end block were lived in, but the others were ruined, as shown in the painting, which by the time it was drawn, had all 3 furthest blocks ruined.

By 1936 map, only the nearest Mill House was still standing, the others all demolished. The Mill House still stands today. It was Category B listed on 12th January 1971.


Most of the mill factories were demolished by 1904, with others by 1912. Pictured is the Mill House in 2009, by Jim Brown.


On social media:

Alison Walker-Hill I am led to believe that Mill House was initially the board room for the Mills and one of the first buildings built. It was also used as stables for Jolly’s Lodge (in the grounds of the David Livingstone Centre) I remember the cobbled stable floors at the rear of the property and we still have a water trough and hay rack.

The Blantyre Project i’ll see if i can find out something about the previous occupants, if you want. wink emoticon

Alison Walker-Hill The ground floor was laid out with 4 living spaces, all with traditional big fireplaces, designed for cooking (similar to birth room in dlc), but the first floor was much grander, and the attic space was laid out almost like servants quarters. I’m sure I mentioned before that a piece of wood found during renovation work on the ground floor was labelled “Jolly’s stables”.

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