Abbeygreen Building – is a former building of several homes, which were located at 2 Church Street.
The name first appears in the 1901 census and the construction was likely around that time, the previous homes on that site showing a different configuration on the 1898 map.
Abbeygreen Building is not to be confused by the former adjacent Abbeygreen Manse. It is likely, given ownership by Rev John Burleigh, that he was the constructor and person who created the name Abbeygreen. Strong evidence for this is the fact that Rev Burleigh was born at Abbeygreen in Lesmahagow. i.e. he named his new plot of land, after his birthplace.
The entrance to the houses, crammed into a small space between the manse at the Hall at the corner of Glasgow Road, faced out on to Church Street and looked across to the imposing height of the Stonefield Parish Church. There are no steps shown on the maps indicating the homes located in Abbeygreen Building were likely all on the one storey.
In 1905, according to the valuation roll, Abbeygreen Building was 6 small homes, a shop and a workshop. Five of the six homes were occupied that year. Renting from John were Mrs Grace Lennox, Mr William Garwood (Captain of the Salvation Army), Mrs Mary Taggart, Mr Thomas Westwood (miner), and Mr Alexander McCaig (miner). Mr Robert Hunter was renting the shop and running it as a laundry service. Mrs Nellie Lennox rented the workshop working from it as a dressmaker. Overall Rev John Burleigh was receiving an annual rent that year from his tenants of £72. (Which is £8,000 in today’s money).
By 1915, John Burleigh owned the adjacent halls at 141 Glasgow Road on the corner of Church Street, his manse and also 7 homes, indicating that in that previous decade he had split one of the homes further into two although his rental income remained roughly the same. His tenants in 1915 were Dr James H Naismith, Thomas Steel (labourer), David Russell (miner), Priscilla McIlwraith, George Gray (Clerk), Alexander McCaig (Insurance agent) and David McCaig (miner). There was no evidence of any shop or workshop by 1915.
Following John’s death in 1922, Mrs Janet Burleigh inherited the properties.
According to the 1925 census, the halls at 141 Glasgow Road were by then shops namely a chemist let to Percival M Hancock who lived in Burnbank. The 7 houses were let to Mary Ann Heggison, Mary White, John Campbell and the previous occupants named McCaig, McIlwraith and Russell an arrangement that hadn’t changed by 1930.
The site of the old Abbeygreen Building is now a vacant piece of land, which is partially fenced off and in recent years has started to sprout woodland. The adjacent manse and halls are also no longer there, also vacant land.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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Betty McLean At the top of church street on the left hand side a cottage was used to house Salvation Army Officers.