Fatality at Blantyre Priory

A story next from 1913, reminding everybody of the dangers of Blantyre Craig, the precipice overlooking the River Clyde which Blantyre Priory ruins rest on.

In October 1913, a Colonel Ritchie of the Army Medical Corps was back in Scotland recuperating from an injury in India. Staying at Helensburgh, one weekend, he decided to visit his sister in laws house at Uddingston.

After dinner on the Saturday afternoon, his sister in law who was a well known botanist in Uddingston, decided to show him the ruins of Blantyre Priory. They were examining the ruins when suddenly, the Colonel slipped and disappeared over the edge of the steep embankment overlooking the Clyde.

On looking over, the woman saw him lying on the edge of river far below. Horrified, she ran to raise the alarm. Help was soon found and a rescue party arrived on the scene to find the Colonel unconscious with injuries around his head. He was taken home to Helensburgh, then taken shortly after to a care home in Glasgow, where he sadly died on the Monday.

The story serves as a warning to those exploring the Priory. I must admit, i’ve stopped going there alone for this very reason. Whilst remaining a place of great interest, it IS dangerous, especially when the weathers been wet. The cliff overlooking the Clyde is high and treacherous. If this story serves even only as a word of caution for the modern age, then all the better.

The Priory ruins are pictured in the early 20th Century overlooking Bothwell Castle across the River…the Priory still exposed and considerably more intact than now. A time before the current woodland at the playing fields sprang up around it.

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