Forgotten Craighead Weir, 1700s

A little piece of really old history for you today! I’ve found evidence of a former weir, that seems to have been forgotten about. Spanning the River Clyde between Craighead and Bothwell, I only noticed the ruin of this weir on the corner of an old 1806 Architects plan drawing for the then new weir at Blantyre. The former weir however, wasn’t in the location of where Blantyre Mills were, but instead ran north to south between Craighead in Blantyre and Bothwell.

The Architects drawing, now over 216 years old was commissioned on behalf of Monteith who proposed the upgrading of the weir at Blantyre at their mills. However, on the very far top right, very faint and much further to the east of the river upstream is what looks like a dam.

On closer inspection the mill on the Bothwell side was even then noted as being in ruins. Now, i’d known about this mill as it ruined location appears on more modern maps, but whats not shown on any subsequent map was a weir dam at that location and what appears to be the remains of a lade and island. Even in 1806, the Monteiths drawing notes the broken or ruined weir was nothing more than stones and ‘piles’. Was this a former crossing, ford or simply a weir dam to channel more water into faster spate into the lade?

The mill must have been old. In ruins even half a century before Queen Victoria took the throne.

Today, there are no stones or piles remaining, certainly at times of heavier rainfall and neither are there signs of the mill lade, which is now a private riverbank for homes above. Today it looks like this nearing midway between the former Craighead Viaduct location and Bothwell Bridge, but this post should serve as a reminder, that interesting features once existed where today there are none.

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