Demolishing the Steeple, 1922


1903-glasgow-road-wmExploring the demolition of the Stonefield Parish Church Steeple a little further.

Attached is a photo of Glasgow Road from 1903. In the middle of the picture, Logan Street leads off to the right (which now would be the road leading up to ASDA petrol Station.

The Priory Pub is a notable feature as is the tall Turners Building at the corner of Logan Street, which later would become the site of the post office in the 1950’s. Turner’s Building in this era had Brown’s Grocery on the ground floor.

The prominent Stonefield Parish Church at the corner of Church Street is in the background, still complete in this photo with ill fated steeple.

I’ve previously thought the steeple was removed in 1921 but recently had to correct that to early 1922.  The story of how it was in trouble was told to me by Gordon Cook:


The Scotsman on Wednesday 28th September 1921 revealed some things about problems at the Stonefield Parish Church. The serious position in which the congregation of Stonefield Parish Church, Blantyre, now find themselves was the subject of discussion yesterday at the monthly meeting of Hamilton Presbytery.

The fabric of the church was wrecked by underground workings; and for some time back the congregation have been worshipping in temporary accommodation, which in turn is now declared to be not wind and water tight. A proposed restoration scheme of the old church at a cost of about £4000 has met with frequent delays on the part of the Baird Trust and the Home Mission Committee, who ask for guarantees of security for the future. The reply to this is that to ask for secure foundations in a mining area like Blantyre is equivalent to asking for the moon.

A remit has once more been made to the Committee already appointed by the Presbytery to consider the whole matter, with power to take expert opinion if thought desirable, also to estimate what financial assistance ought to be given by the Presbytery, and report.”

I’d recorded that the steeple was removed in late 1921, but the following discovery made me alter that date to early 1922. On Saturday 7th January 1922, the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser ran a tiny story about the steeple, tucked in away amongst other news, but it was clear, and I quote:

“Workmen are now engaged on the work of demolishing the massive spire of the Stonefield Parish Church, which is 100 feet high. The building of late years has suffered badly from the effects of underground workings and a year ago the congregation were compelled in the interests of safety to vacate the building and are now worshipping in a church formerly owned by the Methodists. With the view of lessening the great weight, 150 tonnes of masonry will have to come off the great spire and soon, a prominent landmark will have disappeared. The reconstruction of the building will cost £4,000 which has been guaranteed.” 

Now in “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2019

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

John Dunsmore Sadly all gone move with the. Times too see it know wase ground. Asda

Robert McLeod-Wolohan that was my local, as i lived in logan street at the time lol i loved that pub, i was in the darts and dominoes team.

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