Archie’s Holiday at Blantyre, MA

Today, I received a flurry of emails from Blantyre Project Archie Simm, who is currently on holiday in America. He’s staying at the MOST AMAZING venue!

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After a recent operation, Archie was taking some time out to holiday with his wife for their 40th Wedding Anniversary and decided to spend a 3 night stay at Blantyre, a five star luxury hotel in Lennox, MA, USA. Thrilled for him, as this is something I would have loved to have done too.

Archie found out he is the first guest there known to come from Blantyre, (well at least since the days of its constructors) and received a warm welcome.

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The large Hotel by name of Blantyre has recently changed owners and changed name from Blantyre Castle, to Blantyre (Hotel, Restaurant & Spa). Archie told me, “The far left bay window is Laurel Suite bedroom. The spiral staircase leads from the two inner dressing areas between the bedroom and the bathroom. It cannot be used to access the gardens”

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On their website there is a phrase that always puzzled me. The house is said to be “modelled after Mr Paterson’s mother’s ancestral home in Blantyre, Scotland?” I investigated this in 2015 and concluded the following.

Any reader from Blantyre, Scotland will know no such grand house exists at present, and it didn’t either. There are no records of any such building of that appearance existing in Blantyre (South Lanarkshire) history. However, I recently put forward the suggestion that the the turrets are modelled on the fashion of the time of the 1890s and 1900s, which were simply copies of the turrets on the modest tenement homes in Glasgow Road, being constructed at the time. I suspect, that Paterson liked the look of them, or had business acquaintances in Blantyre as his family lived in Dunfermline, not here. It’s certainly a romantic notion that he modelled the American grand house on his ancestral home, but I believe that not to be the case and was perhaps used to romanticise or sell the hotel to guests with interesting tales.

You need only look at the corners of tenements in Blantyre’s Glasgow Road being constructed at the same time, to see the similarities in the tower design (e.g Castle Vaults). The long narrow tenemental windows of a 2 or 3 storey building, the pitched slate roofs, the colour of the sandstone, the flat large and tall chimneys. But thats where the Scottish design ends, with the Blantyre resort very much having other lovely American Architectural influences.

It looks a wonderful place to rest, relax and pamper yourself. Have a good holiday Archie!

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