Field of Wheat, 1820

Did you know , not only did Montieth, (the owners of Blantyre Works) build houses, a church and school for their workers in the early 19th Century, but attempted to feed them too.

The Scotsman Newspaper reports on Saturday 24th June 1820 that “A field of wheat is now in full ear in the Parish of Blantyre, belonging to the proprietors of the Blantyre Works.”

The following year in the same newspaper, Saturday 30th June 1821 on Page 5 states “A field of what in the neighbourhood of Blantyre, belonging to Mr Monteath, is now in full ear. Various fields below Glasgow are equally forward”.

This what would have been harvested and either likely sold direct to workers for bread, or put into the Village shop, for workers to buy using their tokens. In either case, Monteath may have had a monopoly on his workers and may even have employed local farmers to tend to and harvest his crops. The field could have been connected to the Blantyre Works Farm.

Looking at the 1859 map, a large ploughed field can be seen within the confines of Blantyre Works at the Village, to the west of Station Road. Today this field would be Ness Drive and Beecroft Place, with nearby Viewfield Avenue, likely named in the 1930’s because of its vantage point to that very same, historic, productive field.

I would love to know if anybody in that Village area has seen any wheat growing wild either in woods, in gardens, or fields near Livingstone’s grounds, which could possibly have been a legacy of that time 200 years ago.

Photo: For illustration only (not Blantyre)

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