Road Splits & Bends
When we think of this area in a modern context, a long straight road at this point, certainly does not come to mind. Where Blantyre now merges into Burnbank, it’s quite evident there’s a huge awkward bend in the modern road near the modern Parkburn Industrial Estate.
The bend is easily explained and was not there on Roy’s map of 1752. The road originally ran in a straight line directly into the village of Burnbank, but today is in a different more westerly position, branching off from the former straight road now with that awkward sharp turn. The following graphic shows a black dotted line for the former Burnbank road overlaid with modern road map. The split in the large circle, is the boundary. So why did this happen?
Well, to answer that, we need to go back to the former farm, ‘Nitherhous.’ which could be found in land tax rolls for Hamilton in the 1600’s. There is no reference to this farm by the tax rolls of 1797 and one can only assume it was demolished. Instead later in 1859 maps on that exact land, still slightly outwith Blantyre and within the enclosures formerly denoted on Roy’s map, is the farm of ‘Greenfield.’ i.e. Nitherhous became Greenfield, most likely due to new ownership or a rebuild of the property.
During the early 1800’s, the main Glasgow to Hamilton Road split at the Blantyre boundary. No longer just one road, but now with a main southern road leading to Burnbank (as we know it today) and the northern road leading into Greenfield Farm and later into Greenfield Village, a road no longer there. In 1859, the configuration at the Blantyre boundary looked as shown above.
To the north where the roads crossed the Park Burn at the Blantyre boundary, they were bridged with stone bridges, the larger one being the Greenfield Bridge to the south. Benchmarks or Masonry marks on the map indicate the bridges were likely built of stone, perhaps from the nearby former quarry behind Limetree, to the left of the southern road.
On the Blantyre side of the boundary to the north, the split can be seen more easily on the 1859 map. A footway to the north of the road, which even then would be just a rough dirt track, barely large enough for two carts to pass, crossed the split and continued on the southern road to Burnbank. We see the bridge locations at each point, the road crossing over the Park Burn, the dotted line signifying the Parish Boundary. The map suggests some woodland around either bank of the burn.
From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017