By 1793, applications were approved for a Tollhouse to be created on the Turnpike road at the Dalton Junction of Stoneymeadow Road, High Blantyre. There were no other buildings there at the time, so it is likely that the first building there dates from the mid to late 1790’s. Built in stone and perhaps once originally with a thatched roof, the Stoneymeadow Toll was constructed to tax travellers with horse and carts going up and down the road. The building was twofold, one part for the Tollbooth, and another to house the person working there.
We know the tollbooth was still operating by 1849 when a murder was reported in some detail occurring nearby on the adjacent road. The newspaper reports of September 1849 make a clear reference to the toll point still being used.
However, by the early Victorian period, tollbooths were perceived as an impediment to free trade. During the early 1830’s tolls on turnpike roads were abolished in Scotland (although some continued to operate quite illegally for some years after). During the 1830’s, the Turnpike Trust operating Stoneymeadow Toll, ceased to exist and the building became available for another purpose.
It was to be bought by Cambuslang woman Mary Paterson (nee Shearer) and was to be used as a farm building. Mary was born in 1770 and didn’t buy the farm until she was 60 years old. She had 10 children with her husband, who passed away in 1848.
The 1859 maps show this little building was renamed as “Stoneymeadow Farm”. Outbuildings were created, presumably to house cattle and other farm animals. In 1861, Stevenson and Margaret Boyd (nee Dean) lived in one of the cottages, a labourer and his wife. A busy house though, as they also had 10 children and it would appear that they were farming this land for Mary Paterson in her old age. Mary Paterson was a remarkable woman who lived until she was 3 months short of being 105 years old! On her death on Sunday 7th February 1875, it was noted she had been a remarkable woman of intellect and had retained possession of all her faculties up until a few months before her death. She had spent the greater part of her life in the area of Stoneymeadow and gifted with rare conversational powers, she was well known with people coming from afar to see her. Upon her death she had over 100 grandchildren, 60 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren!
In 1875, the Stoneymeadow Farm went up for sale, forcing some of the Boyd family to move too. Indeed, splitting up some of the family, the Boyd grandmother moved about as far as she could get, to East Gore, New Zealand that same year along with her 7-year old grandson, William Boyd. The other Boyd members continued to stay at Stoneymeadow Farm, presumably acquiring the property from the Shearers.
The property later became a shop, which you see pictured around 1900. Today, the building is no longer there. Thanks to Betty McLean for providing this image, which was in better resolution than the one I previously had.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
On social media: