Parkhurst, Main Street

I’ve found lately that if a house has a name, rather than address, and its kept that name for some time, I can usually find out a good history about it from old records, census and valuation roll. One such example of this is:

Parkhurst, which was as a former detached stone house at 306 Main Street with sizeable ground, which in the latter part of the 20th Century was more commonly referred to as “Matt Boyles House”, even when it became derelict.

It was built between January 1909 and March 1910 and was located on the north side of Main Street on a large triangular plot of land.

On 18th November 1908, Mr James Jackson owner of nearby Croftfoot Farm legally sold a triangular area the size of 2 roods, 16 poles and 12 square yards to Mr. William Adam (junior), residing then at Archers Croft, further along Main Street at Kirkton. (Feu disp records 6402). The deal had been proposed on 16th November 1908 and it was made clear that Jackson retained the mineral rights.

The garden boundaries were Main Street to the south, a driveway leading to Croftfoot to the east and School Lane and its buildings to the west. It was originally accessed from School Lane opposite the former Parish School, but by the 1930’s a main entrance had been created off of Main Street. A large greenhouse once sat at the western boundary of the garden, which was enclosed on the west by a five-foot high stone dyke at School Lane.

By 1915, owner William Adam Jnr was living in Ontario Canada, but he continued to lease the house through a relative, John Adam of nearby Archers Croft, leasing the house out to Mr. James Brown, the subpostmaster for £26 per annum. This arrangement continued until sometime between 1920 and 1925, by which time William Adam had sold the house to John McGregor, an engineer.

According to the valuation roll of 1930, Mr. Andrew Arbuckle owned it at that time, who may have been a butcher. In 1930, it had address of 336 Main Street, which was either a typo in the census, or meant that in future, the address changed to become 306, perhaps with the subsequent demolition of the Main Street shops and houses nearby.

During the 1940’s a lady, of unknown name, owned the house and may have changed the original name.

It is alleged that later, Elizabeth Fenton, the wife of the late Matt Boyle a wellknown publican named the house in the 1950’s chose the name “Parkhurst”, and changing it from a former name. However, she was simply renaming it back to its original name of Parkhurst, noted in the 1915 Valuation roll. The Boyle family moved into the house from Morris Crescent in the early 1950’s.

The church nearby had tried to purchase the house as a manse for their minister but they failed to gather enough money to purchase it and it was then that Matt Boyle took ownership.

When he became elderly he decided to move for his own security and safety. Across the road in the 1960s was Mrs Skelly’s shop on Main Street.

Parkhhurst was entirely demolished by excavators during the last week in May 2008, making way for the commencement of 12 brand new modern flats, named Lomond View. Prior to that the house had sat for quite a many years, succumbing to vandalism and becoming a talking point in the town. The gardens were extensive on a large piece of land where an abundance of wildlife lived, including foxes and squirrels.

Pictured is a less common view of the house taken post Millennium kindly shared by Gordon Cook. The photo shows the back of Parkhurst from nearby Croftfoot, looking towards Main Street.

DCF 1.0

Parkhurst, (Matt Boyles old House) Main Street, High Blantyre. Photo by G Cook

On social media:

Steven Lightbody Terrible shame such a beautiful house had to be knocked down, used to pass it all the time, wonder why it was never restored?

Anne Mackie Me too Steven Why it lay so long till it became derelict xxx

Wade Alan Whittal Interesting piece of histort Paul great work

Moyra Lindsay My shop was there too, Paul, Mrs Skelly lived above the shop and was a great character. Dickensian in fact!

Catherine Murphy This was a lovely house my girls used to say you should buy that house it is lovely they loved the big garden

Alan Baird a crying shame , what a waste , i was in that house once or twice when young mr boyle stayed there , it could have been made beautiful

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  1. My father Andrew Arbuckle lived in Parkhurst as it was called until he was around 11 years. His father Andrew Arbuckle lived there with his first wife who was sickly and was nursed by the lady who would become his second wife, my Dad’s mother. Andrew Arbuckle, grandfather, did have a butcher’s shop in Blantyre and a thriving business but due to ill health, rationing during the war, gave the shop and away and sold Parkhurst, probably around 1943. In my childhood home we had some of the furnishings from Parkhurst and my Dad used to talk about living in the house, the gardens etc. We still have old photographs of the house somewhere.

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