Fore Row, Blantyre Works


1859-crossrow-village-works copyFore Row – Not to be confused with “Front Row” which was on Stonefield Road. The “Fore Row” was originally named the Glasgow Row. It was a long row of houses at Blantyre Works Village that extended up Station Road from what is now Anderson Gardens, all the way up to Caskie Drive. Another row was located directly behind it. With 2 other lines of tenements, the parallel rows of homes formed one of four sides of a quadrangle that sat directly above the Clyde Braes. Three rows of homes and the Blantyre Works School, stood on the site of Anderson Gardens, completing the quadrangle.

To explain a little more I have attached the 1859 map, highlighted showing Fore Row. The “rows” were the name given to the typical rows of houses by miners throughout Blantyre. Fore Row simply took its name from being at the forefront of the Village. The row was the western part of a quadrangle of terraced miners homes , located in the Blantyre Mill works Village, very close to the birthplace of David Livingstone the Explorer.The houses were constructed in the early 1800’s. The attached 1859 map shows the quadrangle very well with a water well in the middle. One side of the quadrangle contained the Works School, the other sides having Waterloo Row and Cross Row.

The rows were two storey, stone buildings with slated roofs. Whilst the 24 houses were two storey, each storey itself was a separate home, so in fact up to 48 families could have been living there, i.e many hundreds of people at any one time. Conditions were fairly basic, but with so many other homes nearby, there must have been a real sense of community. As the Mill works started to close down in the late 19th Century, the residents of these homes were typically miners and their families in the early 20th Century. Miners would have had a short walk across the suspension bridge to get to Bothwell Castle Colliery Pits 1 and 2. Or alternatively, a similar sized walk, but staying in Blantyre to get to Priory Colliery (Bothwell Castle Pits 3 and 4).

All of the quadrangle buildings were demolished in 1929, famously with Waterloo burning down on 25th January 1928. This also co-incided with the nearby area becoming the David Livingstone Memorial Centre.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)2016

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Ann Crossar That’s very interesting Paul – I always thought Front Row was at Blantyre Works too – never realised it was at Stonefield Road – and I knew I had seen it on a record – it was where James and Catherine Hamilton stayed in 1871 census – their son William Hamilton was subject of one of your recent posts. Here is that census return. X

Ann Crossar's photo.

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