Blantyre Priory Ruins

It’s the oldest building in Blantyre, likely where it all started. Blantyre Priory. Or more specific the ruins of the Priory. Dating back to the 13th Century, Blantyre’s humble beginnings emanated from this former building on the edge of the Clyde, now lying derelict.

The black and white photo is shared by Jean McLean, taken in the 1960’s and the colour photo in the same location taken by myself in 2015, over half a century later. You can see just how much nature has overtaken the ruins, reclaiming it decade upon decade. Trees have sprouted from within the ruin walls, their roots already causing the ruin to burst apart.

These trees will be substantial in the coming decades and looking at these photos, it doesn’t take any stretch of the imagination to picture how Blantyre Priory will look in another half century. This is a ruin which is going to disappear, in time reduced to a mere pile of stones on the ground. Everyday photos such as these and others taken when walls still existed will become important in future years, not just to future historians, but residents of Blantyre itself to see how things once were.

I keep a little piece of slate roof found at this site, in an empty matchbox at home amongst my collected items. Just solely, so it can be said Blantyre Project has a tiny piece of the oldest ever building to have existed in Blantyre.

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