Origins of Bardykes Road

From the illustrated social history book…

“Blantyre – Glasgow Road, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 – 2018.

Origins of Bardykes

   Bardykes Road is a main road artery connecting Kirkton in High Blantyre, through Barnhill to the West End near Bardykes. It is today, a busy road bordered on the west by the Calder. Bardykes is likely taken from the word “Bar”- meaning ‘low hills’ and the Gaelic Dike, Dyk, as meaning “a wall of turf or stone”. In the context of the early area around Bardykes Road junction with Glasgow Road, it is a fitting description for this lower part of Blantyre that would have had many stonewalled farm fields.

    The Jackson or Jacksone family were in possession of the lands of Bardykes, (or Bardykis as it was then known) officially from 25th October 1525 although former Blantyre historians have suggested it may be as far back as 1502. Incredibly, with the exception of the Miller family at Milheugh, they are the longest family to have owned land in one place in Blantyre, occupying and owning the land at Bardykes on the fringes of Blantyre Parish for the best part of 400 years.


1859 Bardykes Farm – prior to Bardykes House being built

   Owning mineral rights on their lands, some wealth was accumulated from their nearby estates at Hallside and Spittalhill. They also owned lands in High Blantyre at Greencroft, Barnhill and are responsible for being early inhabitants of Springwell. Their wealth was reinforced in later centuries deriving from their vast tea plantations in Sri-Lanka (formerly Ceylon), conducting their business as merchants Messrs Jackson, Buchanan & Company in Glasgow. They went on to become one of the largest wholesale tea dealers in Scotland.

   Being such a prominent family and as heritors of Blantyre, they owed a duty to Walter Stuart of Minto, the Commendator of Blantyre when he was given ownership of much of the Parish land on 18th January 1598. The land was noted as “Bairdisdykis” as well as other established areas. In 1606, when he became Lord Blantyre, as a gesture and a departure from paying taxes, the Jackson family presented an annual red rose to Lord Blantyre instead as a reddendo.

   A John Jackson died in 1707, his will showing all belongings passing to his family of the same name. By this Century the family were marrying into other large farms in the area, occupying other Blantyre farms like Park, Coatshill, Croftfoot and Old Place. Prior to the current Bardykes House being built near the Westend of Blantyre, a good-sized farm steading was all that was on this land. The Valuation books for 1859 state, “A good Farm Steading. The property of Mrs. Jackson.” Bardykes House today is the home of the Wilkie family. 1871, saw a fundamental change where Bardykes Farm was demolished and the construction of Bardykes House commenced.

    The new sandstone house was to be 2 storey and accessed via a long tree lined avenue, that led off of Bardykes Road, the entrance located near the west end on Glasgow Road. A grand turning circle was created at the entrance and all former farm buildings demolished.

    On 5th April 1957, the Wilkie Family moved to Bardykes. Peter, Margaret and their 3 children, all under 5 years of age flitted from High Blantyre to Bardykes for the first time, in the horse pulled milk float. With them was ‘Dinky’ the Alsatian dog and ‘Minky’ the cat.

    We leave you with this beautiful verse taken from Revelations in the Bible chapter 14 verse 13, which served the Jackson family well. It’s inscribed on the stone Obelisk memorial on their family graves, which can be witnessed in the Kirkton graveyard. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. They rest from their labours and their works do follow them”. Simply put, it means have faith in the Lord, work hard and your efforts will be remembered. By the very fact that this is being reprinted here, the motto has proved its worth and the statement is also very fitting for all the hard working people of Blantyre.

     Today, Blantyre residents still know Bardykes House more commonly known as Wilkie’s Farm. It is officially known however as “Bardykes Farm” and today incorporates “Bardykes Farm Nursery School”. The Wilkie family are still very well known and respected in this town. They are noted too for charitable work, being involved in the fundraising for many community campaigns, including hosting the fondly remembered Blantyre Highland Games from their fields from 1987, with their association with Blantyre Round Table.

    Not actually on Glasgow Road, the house is accessed off Bardykes Road and its detailed history is told in other Blantyre Project books.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,

Elsie Chalmers My late father-in-law, John Donaldson Chalmers, was an under manager at the Spittal pit.
He resided in Greencroft Cottage, Bardykes Road till his death.
Cottage has now been replaced with several modern houses.

Elizabeth Grant Greatrex Harris Spent many a happy holiday visiting Granddad at that cottage. Used to help him feed his pigeons (large loft in the garden). Happy memories eh Bill Napier? x
Bill Napier Elizabeth Grant Greatrex Harris Certainly were Liz, many happy times with all our cousins etc. X

Agnes Wilkie So….Old Place and Bardykes were once one…?

Blantyre Project Agnes No, i don’t think that was the case. The large estate belonging to the Miller family certainly was in the middle of the lands of these two prominent properties. However, as the article suggests, there’s no denying that the Jackson family definitely married into families living at other farms and large houses. The whole subject is immensely complex with so many Jacksons over generations. Indeed in the case of my own house, there were 3 different Thomas Jacksons living there at one time or other!

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