The Hamilton Mausoleum at Hamilton Palace commenced construction in 1842, but it would not be completed fully until 1858, Architects putting the final touches on it even 4 years after the Duke of Hamilton’s death.
Blantyre’s Caledonian Railway was open by that time and so excursions were launched from Glasgow for people to come and visit the new building. Glasgow Abstainers Union organised Saturday afternoon trips by railway through to Hamilton, of course calling at Blantyre. One such trip was on Saturday 31st July 1858 where a ticket cost 9d or 1s 6d if you wanted to travel in the first class compartment.
The Policies around Hamilton Palace and the Mausoleum were opened on short term to the general public. How wonderful this would have been to travel from what was still a weavers village by locomotive to Hamilton and alight, walking down to the Palace grounds and see those normally private buildings up close! It would have been well worth the 9d fare!
Pictured is the advert of the era for the excursion and also a modern day photo of the interior of the mausoleum.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018
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