In 1936, Mr James Templeton, the Blacksmith at Barnhill discovered a carved stone when the house opposite his own was being taken down. This was at Broompark Road, where the Scottish Special Housing flats now currently are at the corner of Glenfruin Road.
James communicated with Mr. J Jeffrey Waddell of Caldergrove who made an examination of the stone. He stated that it had been reused and reversed as part of the chimney. Now, I know from other evidence that the building in question was constructed in 1818, so if this stone was reused, it immediately dates it to before 1818, and there is suggestion here that it’s much older than that!
The inscription which is in Gothic lettering five inches high with sunken background, has suffered from the heat of the fire. But is is a finely tooled piece of word and the letters are well spaced. Unfortunately, it is only a fragment, with the last three letters of a word ending “ach” followed by “unto” and what seems to be “you”, although the tail of the y is gone and the letters “is” and a curious letter, like a reversed ‘b’. What was he full inscription and where did this stone come from originally?
I’m willing to make a suggestion on this. There are a few REAL old buildings in Blantyre this could have come from. Could it be the former kirk once located at Kirkton, which was demolished in 1793 when a new church was built? Could it be from the tower which once stood at Old Mains, near where Janefield Place is now, or could it have come from the 13th Century Blantyre Priory itself?! We may now never know, but there is a very good possibility.
The former building at Broompark Road is shown here: