Blantyre Parish

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 20.37.39Blantyre Parish is a civil Parish in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, with a population of 17,505. The Parish is situated in the northwest of the Parliamentary district of Hamilton. From north to south the length of the parish is six and a quarter miles long. It extends for six miles in length, from north to south, and varies greatly in breadth, not averaging more than one mile in the whole; it comprises 4170 acres, of which, excepting 200 acres of moss land and plantations, all is or was once, arable.

It should be noted that when referring to Blantyre Parish, that it does not refer to the town of Blantyre. The former village of Blantyre is actually in Blantyre Parish, which comprises of much land in all directions around Blantyre’s populated centre.

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Its boundaries consist mainly of rivers, but also in a few places, by roads and fencelines.  The Parish is bounded by the River Clyde to the north and northwest forming a boundary with Glasgow, Uddingston and Bothwell. To the west the boundary is parts of the Rotten Calder river forming a boundary with East Kilbride and Cambuslang. The boundary to the east is primarily formed by the Park Burn, but also of field boundaries before the Park Burn rises separating Blantyre from Hamilton.  The boundary to the south is the Rotten Burn. It is incorrect to say that the Parish boundaries are all rivers or water.

Whilst Blantyre Parish predates 1845, it should be noted that from 1845 to 1930, civil parishes formed part of the local government system of Scotland: having parochial boards from 1845 to 1894, and parish councils from 1894 until 1930.

The civil Parish of Blantyre can be dated from the 1700’s, after ceasing to be a Barony. Several failed attempted have been made through the ages to make Blantyre a Burgh. However, it would take until 1845, for legislation to be enforced which gave parochial boards power to administer the poor law.

Described in 1846, the parish is in the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; that year, the minister’s stipend was about £184, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £16 per annum. The parish church at that time was not in good repair. Located in the Kirkton graveyard, it was erected in 1793, and only held about 300 persons. The lands formerly belonged to the Dunbars, of Enterkin, in which family they remained till the Reformation, when they were purchased by Walter Stewart, son of Lord Minto, treasurer of Scotland, upon whom, on the suppression of monastic establishments, the ancient priory of this place was bestowed by James VI, who also created him Lord Blantyre. The scenery is, in many parts, exceedingly beautiful; the parish is generally well wooded, and diversified with gently undulating eminences and fertile dales. The rateable annual value of the parish was £8280.

In the 1859 name book, it was described as, “A Parish in the Middle Ward of Lanarkshire, bounded on the west by Cambuslang and East Kilbride; Glassford on the south; Hamilton, and Bothwell, on the east; and on the extreme north by Old Monkland, This Parish at its widest part is not more than two miles, and about six, from north to south, Nearly the whole has been feued off the Right Honbl. [Honourable] Charles Lord Blantyre, who possesses the patronage, The ruins of “Blantyre Priory” is the principal antiquity in the Parish, “Blantyre” village has the Parish Church, and School, as well as an adventure School in it. “Blantyre Works” employ a great number of the population – Copied from Name Sheets of 11 – 14 of this Parish – R. H”

Civil parishes in Scotland, as units of local government, were abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929. By 1975, following the Government Land Act 1973, local councils revised how former Parishes were managed. The geographical area is sometimes still referred to as Parish, however, for purposes to compare and against previously published statistics.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka

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