Croftangreen is a small former, remote farm steading on the very southern tip of Blantyre Parish. There are no taxes shown in any rolls of the late 18th Century, so the little property may have initially been a small house, rather than associated with farming.
Built of stone, it was of small size, single storey with a thatched roof. It is unknown when the property was built but likely hails from the 18th Century.
Described in 1859 name book as, “A thatched house at the southern extremity of “Blantyre Muir”. It is principally kept for cutting peat from the muir. The property of the Right Honble [Honourable] Charles Lord Blantyre. This name is usually pronounced according to the last named Authorities.” During that time Mr William Young rented and occupied the property, presumably the peat cutter and had certainly been there from as early as 1855.
The little farm steading sat in a high position, high above Blantyre and Auchentibber. It was incredibly remote, just south west of Torrance, initially with no real road into it. The 1859 map shows a small building outside either a store or toilet. A small path led down to the Rotten Burn nearby to the south, the burn actually forming Blantyre’s Boundary with Glassford Parish. At the burn was a small well.
The name has a different spelling in the 1875 valuation roll as “Croftongreen” and indeed the namebook calls the farm by that name in the following decades. At that time, still owned by Lord Blantyre, it was being rented to farmer James Henry.
In the 1881 street index, it is shown in Blantyre Enumeration district 1. James Baird was the farmer by this time, taking over from James Henry between 1875 and 1881. Croftangreen had 25 acres of land at that time, so it was still fairly substantial.
By 1885, James Baird still the farmer was paying an annual rent of £25 per annum. James was still there in 1895, the valuation roll noting incorrectly the property being in East Kilbride.
By 1896, the small footpath also had a footbridge crossing the burn over into Glassford Parish and a proper track had been established into Croftangreen, accessed over a Ford crossing the Rotten burn. James was the likely constructor of the footbridge. The bridge may have been constructed to access a well on the Glassford side, for by 1910, the well at Croftangreen is no longer shown, but a new well is on the opposite side over the little bridge. Between 1896 and 1910, a further building, half the size of Croftangreen had been built to the east, perhaps a store.
The 20th Century
Following the death of the last Lord Blantyre in 1900, his son in law Major William Arthur Baird inherited much of Blantyre’s Estate. This included Croftangreen Farm. Hugh Ross & Son were the farmers there in 1905. Hugh and John Ross were dairymen, indicating that the steading had changed use, no longer for peat, but was likely being farmed to produce milk and dairy products. This was still the case by the First World War years.
In 1920 Thomas Richard and Neil McNeil, had acquired the property from Major Baird, as well as nearby Edge Farm. Agnes Ross, a widow was living at Croftangreen.
According to the 1930 valuation roll, the farm was still owned and occupied by Thomas Richard and Neil MacNeil as well as Edge Farm. James Adams was a farm worker occupying the cottage, but a rateable value of £20, some £5 lower than it had been 45 years earlier, is telling that the property was showing signs of age and deterioration.
During 1955, Mr. George Raeburn owned and occupied both Croftangreen and nearby Edge Farm. At some time following this, Croftangreen was abandoned and left to ruin. Most likely the ongoing maintenance of a thatched roof would have been impractical, and the building too small to serve any real use for farming of a modern post WW2 era.
Today, Croftangreen is just a ruin. There are still significant parts of the walls to be seen, but young trees are growing both within and around it. Around the farm in the nearby fields grows bogcotton, white buds visible in summer. At the ruin, shaded by young trees, it’s still possible to see where the door was and if you ever visit this area, provides a good context of how remote this little farm actually was.
Photos taken in May 2017, courtesy of Alex Rochead.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
On Blantyre Project social media, with granted permission. Strictly not for use on any other website or publication:
Chris Ladds Excellent couple of articles Paul – and I would say your supposition on the track is on the same line of thought as me. The area was used for travelling countryfolk on foot to fill up a handbasket with coals for a pittance due to the poor quality. There is an indication that they may have circuited the route via Holbarns/Newhousemill Road depending on who was travelling from what direction.
The Croftangram (original spelling) was involved with the lands being exchanged (Excambion) between Lord Blantyre and the Stuarts of Torrance from the period 1670-80 and apparently has records relating to it being a croft of Mauchlinedge going back to the 1500s or earlier – but I have not examined those documents yet. 🙂 The entire minerals under those lands were exploited, but the audits and shafts are not known from readily accessible public records. The full plans are held by the NRS though (again – not checked these yet either).