Forrest Land Ownership

Christine Forrest enquired, Jock Forrest my Great, Great Grandfather and his brother Andrew Forrest, may have owned land in High Blantyre and around Udston area? I met my Grandad’s elderly cousin Jean Forrest O’Neil about 20 years ago and she said she saw property papers as a child. Anyway of finding out? 

I was able to reply with:

John Clark Forrest (JCF) is known to have owned land from the junction of Stonefield Road right along Glasgow Road to at least and including the Stonefield Farm (which became Hasties). He also owned the fields that became Stonefield Public Park and land that stretched as far west up to an including the site that St Joseph’s Chapel was built on. The Forrests bought 59 acres of Stonefield fields in 1851, much of it swampy and needing drained, it was bought for a cut price of just £2,700 rising from a starting price of £2,000 due to a biding war A prudent investment given the population that was about to arrive in Blantyre. It’s fair to say that by the early 1860’s, JCF owned much of what was to become Low Blantyre. This continued until his death in the 1890’s, by then also owning Blantyre Bowling Club land, the tollhouse and much of Auchinraith.

I did not find much ownership by Forrests in the 20th Century other than land still owned by the Trustees of John Clark Forrest. I could not find connection or ownership of land by Andrew or Jock Forrest. They were always leasing according to each valuation roll. However, Robert Forrest owned the house at Barnhill outright, prior to Jock living there, some of the family being at Barnhill since at least the early 19th Century.

Andrew Forrest Junior was secretary of Barnhill Quoting Club in 1909. The Blantyre Lawn Tennis Club was established just before WW1, bought from the trustees of JCF. In 1930, the Blantyre Bowling Club was being leased from Jane Wilson Forrest, a trustee of the late John Clarke Forrest. 

Mrs. Jane Wilson Forrest along with Trustees of John Clark Forrest owned mineral rights at Forrest Street and parts of Auchinraith, which during 1930 were leased out to coalmasters Messrs Merry & Cunninghame Ltd. In the same era, she also owned a workshop at John Street, grazing land at Auchinraith, including grass parks of East Park and West Park and a grass park at Victoria Street. She was clearly an influential property owner for as well as this, she also owned a grass park at Station Road, Poultry Run land at Station Road and Clayholes. She also owned fields at Blantyre Braes, the football park at Craighead (leased out to Blantyre Celtic to play), land at John Street, land at Westerpark and Auchinraith. That same year she owned land at 19 Calder Street near the Miners Welfare and Calder Street School and also a house at 240 Glasgow Road directly opposite the junction of Victoria Street. She also owned the former Woodhouse at 19 Station Road. In 1930, she also owned the Blantyre Bowling Club Green at Stonefield Road and was leasing it out to the Blantyre Bowling Club. 

JCF owned land at Udston and indeed made that his home, for a short time in the early 1890’s. The Trust of the late John Clark Forrest is still active, although quiet in recent years

Udston House is pictured.

Leave a Reply