Priory Tunnel Reference, 1911

In July 1911, somebody or some organisation called “T.C.F.B” drafted a sketch which appeared in the Evening Times about Bothwell Castle and Blantyre Priory. I don’t have that sketch, but there is a good account of what he wrote as transcribed here as follows:

“Tradition has it that there is a secret passage between the Priory and Bothwell Castle below the bed of the River Clyde, along which the monks of old were often called to afford ghostly consolation to the warrior on his death bed. It must have been an eerie journey through this darksome passage, where the drip of the water formed a dreary accompaniment to the hollow echoes the monkish step.”

“Priory and the passage are now mere phantoms of their former selves. Wild flowers bloom on the Worn [Priory] walls, and grey stems of ivy have sapped right through the crumbling masonry. It is a quiet spot today, a veritable haunt for ancient peace. Rest and calm now brood over the rude dwellingplace of the monk, and the stones which he hewed and fitted are seared and worn by the storms of centuries. It is worthy a day’s wayfaring to gaze upon the grey ruins, and his must be a dull soul who, when the sun sinks to sleep in the golden west and the gloaming creeps over the scene, cannot people the old Priory with shadowy figures and shapes of who are lost in the purple mists and the dusk of centuries gone.”

Upon reading this, I realised the sun doesn’t set on the Priory anymore now that there’s a woodland sprung up around the ruin. To see the evening sun dance off the masonry must have been quite a sight! PIctured in a time even earlier than this account is our town’s oldest building, Blantyre Priory.

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