Afton Cottage – houses at previous addresses 32 and 34 Victoria Street.
Afton Cottage first appears on the 1905 Valuation roll, being owned and occupied by John Barr. Afton means a small Scottish river, which may have been a reference to a small former burn nearby that led to Stonefield Farm and beyond to what would become the park.
At that time Victoria Street had not yet been named and the street was previously called “The Clay Road”. Between 1905 and 1915 ownership and occupancy transferred to family member, Miss. Margaret S. Barr who by 1915, also owned 2 houses nearby in Hospital Road. Victoria Street had also been named by then.
By 1920 Afton Cottage at 34 Victoria Street was owned by Samuel MacEachern although Miss Margaret Barr was living at 32 Victoria Street next door in 1925. Margaret Barr still owned 32 and 34 Victoria Street during 1930. The 1930 Valuation roll also for the first time mentions Afton Cottage also being associated with 28 and 30 Victoria Street owned by widow, Catherine Russell and let out to others.
The homes still exist today, single storey, stone built homes with slate roofs directly across from Blantyre Police Station. The numbering of homes in this area is somewhat confusing.
Like Bardykes Road, it is likely that the addresses of these houses on Victoria Street were renumbered very shortly after 1930, on account of the many changes on that street, and today look to have numbers 22 – 26 Victoria Street, with one of the homes having an upper dormer window added.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017