Neilson Family Life 1912 – 1918

An extract from the book, “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c)

1912 – Norah Mary Neilson (nee Addie) and Thomas Paterson Neilson, one of George Neilson’s sons had been living at Crossbasket from 1904 until 1912. The couple had married in Uddingston on 17th August 1904 living at Crossbasket with George immediately after.

1913 – In 1912, they moved from Crossbasket to Summerlee House, Coatbridge where 2 children were born. George Neilson, the owner had been absent in London and this seemed liked an ideal arrangement. For years immediately prior to 1913, she had great cause to complaint due to Thomas addiction to alcohol and suffered much abusive language. In 1913, Norah did a “midnight flit” from Scotland to Ireland with her sons, determined not to live with Thomas again.

Thomas, with nothing left for him in Crossbasket, moved back to Summerlee (also known as Summerlea) House in Coatbridge. Crossbasket was now vacant with nobody living there.

It is unknown if during the Great War, like the other grand homes of Blantyre, if Crossbasket was used as a hospital or home for injured soldiers. I am suspicious of this due to the following picture by David Ritchie confirmed as 1915, which appears to show a woman dressed in nursing clothing in the grounds. The photo also shows off to good effect, the new, clean stone of the recent 4th extension to the right hand side of the property. The tennis courts pictured in the foreground, beyond the sundial (replaced after the original had been taken to America 150 years earlier)


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