Greenfield Bridges


    The official Blantyre Parish boundary at the east of Low Blantyre is the Park Burn, a stream which rises at Blantyre Park, further and higher to the south west. Other tributaries like the Red Burn flow into it further to the west and it flows in a north easterly direction towards the River Clyde, its confluence not far from Bothwell Bridge. The boundary is marked by a heavy dotted line on some of the previous maps in this chapter.

Greenfield Bridges

    The boundary was crossed by going over either of two bridges. Highlighted in the larger circle below was the main Greenfield Bridge, adjacent to the Greenfield Foundry. Known as the Greenfield Bridge it dated from between 1747 and 1822 and allowed people to cross from Hamilton Parish into Blantyre. This bridge was made of stone with a footpath on its eastern side, that road being the Glasgow Road. It likely had improvements made in 1903 when trams started crossing into Blantyre.

greenfield bridges

Greenfield Bridges at Blantyre’s Boundary in 1898

    Work to improve the bridge appears to have taken place in 1933 when the tramlines in this area were removed, for the 1936 map carriageway looks slightly wider with pavements on either side. Hamilton Town Council agreed on Wednesday 18th January 1933 to ascertain from the Ministry of Transport if a grant would be available for the widening of the road and bridges if it was arranged to proceed with a reconstruction and widening of the thoroughfare from Birdsfield Street, Burnbank to the burgh of Hamilton’s boundary at Greenfield Foundry at Blantyre. In the event no grant being available, the Town Council decided to lift the tramway rails and setts and to relay the roadway in the same fashion as had been done slightly earlier in Blantyre.

    The approaches had earth embankments with the bridge elevated above the burn. The bridge existed post WW2, but was demolished in the second half of the 20thCentury, redundant when the Park Burn was culverted at that location. The bridge would have been exactly where the junction is today into Park Burn Court Industrial Estate. The whole area lies on a low lying plain and it took the creation of the long culvert to finally stop flooding in this region. 

    To the east, a smaller bridge, perhaps made of timber or stone of a less substantial nature existed. This bridge may have been very old as part of the original Glasgow to Hamilton road before the sharp bend and southern more substantial road was created. In the late 19th Century, this bridge primarily was used by miners accessing the nearby Greenfield Colliery and also by families living at the tied Greenfield New Rows beside the bridge. The smaller bridge is also no longer there, its site now where the first junction is within the modern Park Burn Industrial Estate.

From the book “Blantyre Glasgow Road – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017

bridge location

Location of the former Greenfield Bridge, as it is today

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