You may be forgiven for not knowing where this property is. It’s very secluded in it’s High Blantyre setting, and entirely hidden from sight by a beautiful walled garden. Pictured here in 1952 is Shott House, a property that still stands proudly today.
The old Farm house is just off the Main Street leading up to Greenhall, with the entrance being directly opposite modern Ellisland Drive.
The house was built in 1603 but the farmhouse and it’s outbuildings are much older, making them a possible candidate for the oldest inhabited house in Blantyre.*
The stone gables had the traditional “crowstep” feature, a sure fire indication that the building was built previous to 1850s.
During 1967, ownership of the property transferred to a Mr Barr, a relation no less of the famous Irn Bru manufacturer. On 12th January 1971, the building became a grade B listed property, one of 14 houses and structures throughout Blantyre that are currently listed. Having such accolades has meant that property owners can often be restricted in any renovation they do, and usually have to ensure at their cost, the historic aesthetics are maintained.
On the British Listed Buildings website, there are two comments made from people with ownership connections:
“Shott House was owned by my great-grandfather William Adam, who died on 17 Aug 1919 at High Blantyre. My paternal grandfather Clarence Ross married Jeanie Adam on 24th Sept 1901 and we have a photo of the wedding guests in front of Shott House. The obituary for William Adam reads:-
We regret to announce the death on Wednesday last week, at his residence in High Blantyre, of William Adam JP. He reached the ripe age of 78 yrs, and was one of Blantyre’s grand old men. Mr Adam was one of the familiar and well known men at all the trade gatherings; his business embraced both the foreign and home wood departments, his saw mills being situated in the heart of the mining fields of Lanarkshire, giving a wide scope for the cultivation of a colliery trade, which has always formed a large part of the business. His familiar figure and pleasant disposition will be missed be a large circle of the trade. A native of Rutherglen, he went to Blantyre 45 yrs ago, and founded the present well known business of William Adam and Son, timber merchants, High Blantyre. He took a keen and practical interest in the affairs of the parish, and was actively associated with many of its activities. From being a member of the old Parochial Board, he served for a time under the new administration of the Parish Council, and he was also a member of three terms of the Parish School Board, in all of which capacities he rendered, in a quiet, yet effective, way, much service to the ratepayers. In the recreation of curling and bowling he took a prominent part. He was especially noted as a curler, and was a member of the rink that some years ago won the Scottish championship and also the Caledonian Cup. About ten years ago he was appointed to the Commission of the Peace for the County Lanark, and as JP sat as a member of the Licensing Court for the district. Mr Adam was warmly attached to the Church of Scotland, in which he held the office of elder. He leaves a widow and grown up family of four sons and two daughters.” Colin Ross, 14 June 2010
“My father sold Shott House to one of the Barr family (presumably of Irn Bru fame) circa 1967. We only lived there for about two years. I thought the place wondrous – a real adventure for a young skiff up from the suburbs of London. Trees to climb, fields with bullocks to tease, Greenhall pitch and putt just up the road, two acres of land to play in, disused red brick viaducts, slag heaps. Just think, there used to be steam trains just over the field – Wow!! From my bedroom window I could see all the way up to Motherwell. I distinctly remember the ‘Coalville’ sign in the distance and shimmering lights of the metropolis. Another world. My mother LOATHED AND HATED the place and everything associated with Blantyre beyond words. Our first summer there it rained. And rained and rained and rained and rained. Probably nothing unusual for the West coast of Scotland, but certainly a shock to one acclimatised to the milder climes South of England. She had no escape. She didn’t drive. She had nothing in common with the local people. Few visited her. And my father was married to his confounded job. No escape. Other than the bottle. It broke her spirit and she was NEVER the same again. Rumour had it that Shott House had seen one suicide in historic times. I am inclined to think that recent times saw it consume another life by less dramatic but equally sinister means. Ambivalence. Wonderful potential but a harsh reality.” The Laird Of Shott, 14 May 2012
Today, Shott House and it’s extensive gardens form a half million pound property, amongst the finest in Blantyre. The house was recently up for sale when this modern photo was taken. For many, including myself, it is truly a wishful, dream home.
You can read an amusing tale about the Laird of Shott here. https://blantyreproject.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/whos-shott/
* Sidenote: I’m increasingly growing suspicious of Aggie Bain’s house in Barnhill being reported as the “oldest house in Blantyre” for despite a rather modern looking 1536 above the door, there’s no mention of it in old records and not shown on the 1747 map. Evidence of older habitation in other places is coming to light, like for example the tower at Crossbaskets, which is much older. This is something I’m keeping an eye on!