Wallace Blacksmith at Barnhill


1920s-barnhill-wmIn early December 2016, John Sproat contacted me saying, “I ‘googled’ Barnhill, as I have been researching my ancestors, and found your website. My several-times great grandfather through my mother’s side, one John Wallace, was noted as being a ‘Smith’ (blacksmith) from Barnhill. The reference is to be found in Old Parish Records:
OPR Births 624/00 0010 0259 BlantyreThe entry is:
‘1796 Aug 19 James son lawful to John Wallace Smith and Margaret Corse (sic)* his spouse and baptized by Mr (Hendry) Stevenson’Thereafter the Wallace family continued in blacksmithing work. Descendants were John Wallace (John Wallace & Son, Glasgow); Robert Wallace (Wallace of Ayr); James & Robert Wallace (J&R Wallace, Castle Douglas). These were all innovative agricultural engineers. I hope that this helps in your researches. A high level of noise when carrying out metal detection would confirm that a blacksmith may have worked here in Barnhill. Anything you can help me with would be most appreciated. Best Regards, John Sproat”


Looking at the 1859 map, there is only one blackmiths noted on the map (the horseshoe sign shows that). This former blacksmiths’ business was located at Barnhill at 109 Broompark Road, directly across from 2 storey tenements. It was small stone built building, long and narrow, with an L shaped end, which accommodated the smiddy itself. The business was formed in 1850, when the Templetons moved to this location and primarily used for shoeing horses. They may have taken over from former Blacksmiths named Wallace, suggesting that the old smiddy building was a lot older than 1850.

The building had a small upstairs lit by one single skylight and was home and a workplace for the family.

The property, certainly in the 1920’s was whitewashed outside and by then had a slate roof. Mrs Templeton lived to be 100, passing away in 1925. John Templeton, her husband died earlier in 1903, his son taking over and continuing the business.

For much of the initial existence of this cottage, an empty field lay adjacent at Larkfield. The last blacksmith to own a blacksmith business and work there was a Mr Templeton who inherited it from his father. When Mrs Templeton died in 1925, the Blacksmiths was bought by the Bannatyne family of Milheugh.

Mr William Morrison later converted the property into a motor vehicle engineering business when he bought it in 1959. Bill worked on cars in the workshop and formed a company called “Bothwell Bridge Cylinder Boring.” He owned it right up until his death in 2007. His daughter, Mary Marr, survived him. Following new ownership, it was briefly called Barnhill Engineering. The Smiddy was known to have been very old, perhaps even as old as early 17th Century and it was demolished in summer 2013, the land currently at time of writing sitting vacant.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)

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