The Caretaker’s Cottage of the Mausoleum.

Researched & written by Garry McCallum.
Additional notes and research kindly donated by Linda Kaden & Walter Smith.


Mausoleum Construction.Alexander the 10th Duke of Hamilton displayed his wealth in many ways and none so more than in the form of building himself a chapel and family crypt in his back garden. The mausoleum was so grand, and it covered such a large area that the Duke had to employ someone to look after the mausoleum and its grounds.

During the construction of the Masonic chapel, the Duke had to also build a house for his new caretaker so around 1858 the construction of the caretaker’s cottage got underway.
During its time as a functioning job-attached house it had at least four caretakers who got the house with the job, however, the first man to take up this post, and to be employed as the mausoleum caretaker, was a man named Arthur Nisbet. Arthur was born in Hamilton, in the year 1801, and he was the son of John Nisbet who was a general labourer and Marion Hamilton.

He was married to Barbara ‘Rome’ Currie. Barbara was the daughter of William Currie who was a Cotton Weaver and Marion Morris.

I am assuming that the family must have lived a happy life! They previously lived in Dalserf and then lived at Larkhall where Arthur was working as a cotton handloom weaver. They had four children who were called John, Marion, William & Elizabeth.

The family first appeared at the cottage when they were recorded on the 1861 census. Arthur, his wife and his daughter Marion (Known as Minnie) were staying here and along with the residents at the keeper’s cottage, all the staff at the Hamilton Palace appeared on the same page.

Happiness was about to be short-lived for the family when Arthurs eldest son John became ill and had to bring his own family, which included his wife and three young children to come to live at the Mausoleum Lodge.On the 14th of July 1863 John sadly died, he was the first person to die at the Caretakers Lodge and as you will read further on, you will see that more deaths were to follow.

Tragedy struck the family again as only three years later and nearly to the same day as his father on the 16th July 1866 Arthurs grandson died at the caretaker’s lodge, he was only 10 years old and he died of Scarlatina Maligna.

In 1871, Arthur appears on the census return as ‘The Keeper of the mausoleum’ living at Mausoleum Cottage. He not only lives in the small house with his wife but his daughter Minnie, (Dressmaker) Grandson William and Granddaughter Elizabeth are also living at the cottage.

The run of bad luck strikes again on the cold winters morning on 8th of January 1874 as Arthur’s wife Barbara who was the third person to die at the Mausoleum Lodge passed away and the cause of her death was pneumonia. Barbara had been suffering this illness which lasted for 7 days.

Arthur must not have been a superstitious person as he continued to live at the lodge, most people would assume that the house was unlucky with all of the deaths that had happened, but things started to look up for him as his daughter Marion was about to be married.

She had met a man from Larkhall who went by the name of James Anderson. James was an inspector of the poor at Dalserf and his address was 34 Union Street at Larkhall. The couple married quite late on in life, as Marion was 45 and James was 56 but nonetheless, they must have loved each other, so on the 10th of June 1878, they were married at the Mausoleum Lodge by Thomas Simpson, who was the minister of the United Presbyterian Church.

James Anderson & Marion Nisbet Marraige 1878.

It is not documented if Marion continued to live with her father after she was married but Arthur Nisbet continued to work for the Duke until finally on the 6th of March 1879 Arthur also died at the Lodge. He reached the grand old age of 80 and his cause of death was recorded as senile decay. He served the Duke for 21 years. His son William was the person who registered his death, the Mausoleum Lodge now had four people who had died under its roof.

There was now a vacancy for a Caretaker of the Mausoleum but who could fill the shoes of Arthur Nisbet? Arthur’s son William took up the post shortly after his father’s death, the Duke may have had a say in this as many of the Duke’s of Hamilton’s staff were generations of the same family who worked at the Palace.

William Nisbet WM

William had been previously married before he met his second wife Mary, he lived in Larkhall and was married to a lady called Janet McGregor and between them they had 4 children, who were called Arthur, Jane, Barbara and Elizabeth. Their first son Arthur died 10 days after he was born, and the other three children were born healthy, but on the 6th of April 1867 Janet died at the age of 26.

William re-married at Woodend Cottage on Bothwell Road on the 19th of March 1869 to a lady who was from Hamilton called Mary Haddow.

William continued to live in Larkhall with Mary before he took up the post of caretaker and between them they had a son, who they also named Arthur and again this son died of bronchitis on the 6th December 1870. In these days child mortality was high. Undeterred by the two previous deaths William & Mary went on to have three more children which they named Mary, Arthur & Marion. William was determined to have a son named after his dad!

In 1881 William is living at the lodge with his three children Elizabeth, Mary & Arthur. On the census return Elizabeth’s occupation is a Domestic Servant, so it’s possible that she was working in the Palace at this time.

His wife Mary on the night that the census report was taken was visiting William’s sister Marion and her husband James at 34 Union Street in Larkhall.

William & Mary were expecting a new addition to the family and on the 20th of July 1882 a daughter was born premature, she was named Janet, but the curse of the Mausoleum Caretakers Lodge struck again, when she died only 13 days old. This was now the fifth person and from the same family to die in the house.

Janet Nisbet Death WM

In 1891 they continue to work and live at the Lodge and history seems to be repeating itself where like William’s father, he also has his grown-up family living with him at the lodge. Jane is living here with her daughter Janet after being widowed. Mary, Arthur & Marion are here too.

Between 1891 and 1905 life seems to be going ok at the Mausoleum Lodge, there are no recorded deaths. William Nisbet must have enjoyed the work that he did, where on Friday the 2nd of September he won 3rd prize for the everlasting bouquet in the Lanarkshire flower show.

The 12th Duke of Hamilton died on the 16th of May 1895 and his successor was his son Alfred Douglas-Hamilton. The Hamilton Palace and its lands and servants all had new owners. Times were changing with the turn of the century, but the lodge was to hold one more wedding where on the 17th of August 1906 William’s daughter Marion married her cousin who was called Maxwell Muir Bryce.

William Nisbet continued to work at the Mausoleum Lodge until his retirement. He worked right up to 1911 where he appeared on the Census living with his wife and he also had his grandson George Henderson living with him. When he retired and continued to live in Hamilton, he moved to 64 Dalziel Street in Burnbank. He died on the 7th of March 1912 and the cause of death was pneumonia. His son in law Maxwell Bryce who lived at Saffronhall Crescent was the informant of his death.

William Currie Death 1912

When William retired and left the keepers cottage he was the last of the Nisbet family to have a connection with the Duke of Hamilton.

The Mausoleum Lodge now had new residents, Thomas Kerr was employed as the new groundkeeper for the Mausoleum, he moved in with his wife Violet Annie at the end of August 1911. They lived here with their children.

The happiness of the new home and job was to be shattered very quickly when there was a tragic accident which happened only three weeks after they moved in.

A sad tale occurred on Saturday the 16th of September 1911. Mrs Violet Kerr, wife of the keeper of the Mausoleum at Hamilton Palace, died at one o’clock Saturday morning from injuries sustained by explosion of gas in her house late the previous night.

Her husband had gone out to post a letter, leaving in the house his wife and two children, aged respectively two years and six months. After making some calls, he returned home between ten and eleven, and entering the house a painful scene confronted him. His wife was lying on the stair, leading from the kitchen the coal cellar. Her clothes were practically burned off, and her body was scorched in a terrible manner.

He lifted her into the kitchen, and ran for assistance, Mrs Kerr was still conscious, and was able to say that when she was going down to the cellar fetch coals something went up in a blaze at the gas jet on the stair. The elder of her two children, a bright little girl, was with her, but Mrs Kerr had the presence of mind to push the child down the stair when the explosion occurred. In this way the girl escaped the flames which enveloped her mother.

The younger child was asleep in a perambulator in the kitchen, and was uninjured. Mr and Mrs Kerr are a young couple, who only entered upon duty at Hamilton Palace three weeks ago, having previously lived at Caledonia Road, Glasgow.

Thomas Kerr continued to live at the Mausoleum Lodge and he remarried again to a woman called Frances Helen Bangham. They had two children who were born at the Lodge. The children were named Thomas & Henrietta. Thomas being born in the year 1915 and Henrietta born in 1925.

In 1915, the Trustees of the Hamilton Palace agreed to permit the colliery company to work the underground coal seams immediately beneath the Hamilton Palace and the Mausoleum, which resulted in the surrounding areas sinking to an extent of some 20 feet from its original level and taking the buildings with it. However, while the main palace building eventually became so damaged as to be uneconomical to repair, the excellent workmanship and the heavy dove-tailed stones of the Mausoleum resulted in the complete building sinking more or less vertically and the binding of the stones was such that only one vertical crack has appeared in the complete structure.

This sinking, however, resulted in the crypt section of the Mausoleum being subject to flooding, caused by the annual overflow of the River Avon on its junction with the River Clyde between Hamilton and Motherwell, and for many years the crypt section of the Mausoleum was closed to the public, only being reopened on 10th May 1971.

As I previously mentioned, times were indeed changing at the Hamilton Palace, the palace remained the seat of the Hamilton’s until 1920 when it became uninhabitable owing to the extent of the deterioration and damage caused by the underground extraction of coal.

It was, however, used as a temporary hospital for naval personnel during the First World War, by which time the Hamilton family had moved to the town of Dungavel in Strathaven.

The Hamilton palace which was first constructed in 1695 was eventually fully demolished in the year 1927, it was the end of an era for Hamilton. All that was left of the Hamilton families legacy at the palace grounds was the Mausoleum and the mausoleum keepers cottage.

The little house next to the Mausoleum must have now felt like a lonely place to live. When the Palace was there, people would have passed the cottage every day but now it was isolated, and the area would have been very quiet. Thomas Kerr continued to live at the Mausoleum Lodge until his death. He died there on the 8th of July 1947, he was the Sixth and final person to die in the house.

One thing that I have to note, was the title of Thomas’s occupation on his death certificate. He was no longer referred to as the keeper of the mausoleum, he was titled as a ‘park ranger’.

With the recent flooding and the underground coal mines the Mausoleum and the cottage were in danger of following the same path as the Hamilton Palace. At some point in the 1960s, the cottage had subsided so much that Thomas Kerr had to be evacuated and rehoused. He was rehoused at the newly built Mausoleum cottage which was built at the foot of the hill next to the golf course. These houses are still here to this day and are privately owned.

Mausoleum Cottage.
The role of Keeper of the mausoleum was eventually made redundant when Strathclyde regional council took over the maintenance of the of the whole area. As the old Mausoleum cottage was left to rot, all the care and attention was directed to the Mausoleum itself.

Strathclyde regional council did a great job of maintaining the Mausoleum – one notable bit of maintenance that was carried out was when the glass dome had to be replaced. The original glass dome remained in place until July 1971 when it was replaced by Perspex which was lowered into position by helicopter.

This repair and replacement was necessitated owing to damage caused by birds pecking at the putty securing the original glass dome, in order to get at the linseed oil content of the putty, thus breaking through the original seal and permitting the entrance of the elements which would have caused damage the building.

Dome being replaced in 1971.WM.

At the start of this story I quoted “Masonic Chapel” Alexander, the 10th Duke of Hamilton, was Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland during the years 1820/22, and although the mausoleum was not designed or intended to be a building of purely Masonic significance, the many instances in which symbolic Masonic teachings have been incorporated throughout the construction cannot fail to impress the Masonic visitor, or be merely a coincidence.

In September I was contacted by Alex Johnstone who, at the time was a park ranger at Strathclyde Park. Alex told me some invaluable information on the old mausoleum cottage. The following words are from Alex:

“ In the early 1980,s i was privileged to work on the bowling greens tennis courts and Hamilton municipal golf course during my time working there along from memory along with one or the park rangers i entered the old caretakers cottage to clean it out then there was subsidence inside as when you entered you walked down a slope and went below to a floor below where the founds had subsided at one end and your feet forced you to slide from one end of the floor to the other so please beware if you or anyone enters the building.

Keepers House1 (2)

At that time Joe Smith was park manager, Ronnie McCormack was assistant park manager. the park rangers who i knew and worked alongside during winters were Eric Dunsmuir head park ranger, Robert (BOB)Reid, George Elliot, Tom McGregor, Campbell Bryant and Matt Mitchell.

Again, from memory some of the stuff we took out of the cottage was placed in a pre fab at the Bothwell haugh end of Strathclyde park some of the bits and pieces we took out may still be there it lay adjacent to the M74 across from the ash football parks.

From what i remember all the furniture had been removed and we took pick handles, spades, axe heads and bits of lathe drill bits. As i went inside the building i can remember turning left and going down some steps to the underground part then coming back up and clearing theough the ground level part, the building was in complete darkness, so we were using torches.

Keepers House. (2)

There is no problem using any of the info i give you in any articles you do. Seeing the state of the place this morning it is in a very sad state for our heritage, back in the 80,s there was a squad of men in huts beside the municipal golf course and every week the grounds were cleared of litter and both sides of the mausoleum were well maintained by the squad.

The grass cut both sides of road, paths regularly weeded and I remember when back then, the Winters were bad and as there was very little work could be done in any parks or football fields so the squads were sent down by the foreman with chain saws etc to keep the entry road to the innkeepers cottage clear for entrance from emergency vehicles and park security staff and all the rubbish taken away and dumped in coups.

In the late 70,s Harry Kerr was the guide for the Mausoleum and he stayed at No 2 Mote Hill the cottage beside the golf course and next door in No 1 was Wullie Sloane the golf course green keeper who i worked with under Hamilton district council before we transferred to Strathclde region as Strathclyde park had taken over the running of the complete Hamilton side of the palace grounds.

The Keepers House.

From memory Harry Kerr retired around 1976 to 78 and Wullie Sloane around 1980 around just after then was when i went into the cottage with Ronnie Mc Cormack and the park rangers and cleared out the remains taking most to the prefabs and some bits to our units at Strathclyde park in the water sports centre in Motherwell.

The park was run by the region until North Lanarkshire took over the running of the Motherwell side of the park and the Hamilton side was taken over by South Lanarkshire and from then on is when the Mausoleum and grounds have went sadly backwards.

Due to ill health i left the park in 1984 but still love to go a wander.

Where you have marked on the photo is exactly where we emptied all our finds back then were placed at present who has the keys to that prefab I have no idea but as i sometimes see Eric Dunsmuir in Burnbank on my travels if and when i see him i.ll ask him if he can help me any further also next time i am down that way will drop in at John Turnbull the ex Park manager s house ( 2 Mote hill ) in the 90,s house and ask him if he possibly knows any more.

While i was down this morning met a South Lanarkshire employee talking to him he was a building inspector his job to check safety of buildings he had a camera and as i left was going in the direction of the innkeepers cottage.

As i am unfamiliar with countryside laws nowadays at one time then the countryside commission gave out grants for renovations on old buildings could this possibly be a way forward of a clean-up or could it not be done on a volunteer basis like what happened a few year back in Parts of Chaterhault.

All the best, Alex”

Today there is a group of people who are taking a stance and are putting pressure on South Lanarkshire Council to take more care of the Mausoleum and the Mausoleum Cottage. people such as Walter Smith & Robert Reid are currently in talks with SLC and I am sure that most of you will agree that the keeper’s cottage must not be left to deteriorate any further. The Keepers cottage should be given the same status as the mausoleum and could be a great asset to the people of Hamilton.

Today the little cottage sits in the woods and is surrounded by overgrown shrubbery, but if you look beyond this, then you will see that this can be cleared very easily. All that would be needed would be a JCB to scrape all of this shrubbery and weeds and the cottage would be once more on proud display sitting side by side with the grand mausoleum.

I ask South Lanarkshire Council to consider this one thing? For the time being, can you please fix the roof, secure the building and make it watertight and at least for now, can you make it a focal point and part of the Mausoleum. The architecture of this house cannot be lost, this is our history and our inheritance from the Duke of Hamilton. It will cost less than the price of building a new car park to make the cottage safe and secure for us all to enjoy.

Historic Hamilton. © 2017

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THE ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND IN CADZOW STREET TO CLOSE AFTER 115 YEARS IN THE TOWN.

Royal Bank Of ScotlandWM

THE ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND TO CLOSE.
 
It has been announced that the Royal Bank of Scotland is to close 62 of its branches throughout Scotland. Our branch which has stood in Cadzow Street for 115 Years has been confirmed as one of these branches. The new age digital world of online banking has brought the demises of high street banks and for this reason, Cadzow Street will lose an old familiar shop.
 
Hamilton Cadzow Street branch opened as an office of the National Bank of Scotland in October 1902. Hamilton at that time was already a thriving and important town with a population of around 7,600 people. Serval successful decades of coal mining brought considerable wealth to the area, as shown in the numerous fine buildings which were erected in Hamilton and particularly in Cadzow Street around the turn of the twentieth century.
 
The bank agreed to open a branch in the town at the request of William Dykes Loudon who was a local solicitor and town councillor, who believed that Hamilton could provide enough banking business to support another branch, in addition to the several which were already open in Hamilton.
 
National Bank of Scotland had been founded in Edinburgh in 1825 with more shareholders than any other bank in Britain. By the beginning of the twentieth century, it was operating around 125 branches in Towns and Villages throughout Scotland.
National Bank’s Hamilton branch first opened on the 20th of October 1902, with William Loudon himself as its agent. In its early years, the branch operated from Hamilton’s Masonic halls, originally near the bottom of Cadzow Street and Lower Auchingramont Road.
 
Just as William Loudon and the Bank’s directors had expected, the new branch was an immediate success. It was located in a thriving area of the town, with trams beginning to run along Cadzow Street in 1903, and the impressive new Municipal Buildings being opened in 1907.
 
Nevertheless, difficult times were on the horizon when the first world war broke out in 1914, the banking industry found itself facing new challenges. Levels of trade were reduced, money market rates were low, and staff shortages became severe as many Bank clerks of military age enlisted. William Loudon and two members of his staff from the Cadzow Street branch were among 439 employees of the National Bank of Scotland who left their posts to join the war effort.
 
After the war, business returned to normal, but Hamilton itself was changing. The coal mining industry had been severely affected by controls on exports and a shortage of workers during the war, and it never again returned to the levels of productivity that it had experienced at the turn of the century. Numerous Pits in the area were closed during the 1920s and 930s.
 
When the second world war began in 1939 the Banks resumed the special duties which governed their activities in wartime. Five men from the National Bank of Scotland’s Cadzow Street branch left to join the war. Meanwhile, the premises of the branch were also undergoing a change wherein 1942, the bank bought the site of 50 Cadzow Street and set about preparing it for use as a bank branch.
 
In fact, this was not the first time that 50 Cadzow Street had housed a Bank. In the 1860s and 1870s, the building had been owned by the Hamilton branch of the City of Glasgow Bank. This bank collapsed with huge debts and much publicity in 1878, leaving many of its shareholders, including serval citizens of Hamilton financially ruined. (Lewis Potter of Udston House in Burnbank was one of the men who went to prison as a direct result of the collapse of the Bank.)
 
In the early years of the twentieth century, the building had been occupied by a branch of Mercantile Bank of Scotland. More recently it had served as a shop of Peter Wyper & Sons but by the end of the war 50 Cadzow Street had become a bank once more and National Bank of Scotland’s Hamilton Brach was, at last, the sole occupant of premises of its own.
 
The Cadzow Street branch continued to trade successfully throughout the 1940s and 1950s, as new industries moved into the area replacing the old coalmining jobs. New housing was also built around the Town.
 
In 1959, the National Bank of Scotland merged with the Commercial Bank of Scotland, and 50 Cadzow Street branch became part of the National Commercial Bank of Scotland. In 1969 another merger occurred, this time between the National Commercial Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The new bank, with 693 branches enjoyed over 40 percent of Scottish Banking business.
 
The Royal Bank of Scotland now found itself with three branches in Hamilton, all located on Cadzow Street, there was the old National Bank at number 50, a former Commercial Bank Branch at number 88, and the original Royal Bank Branch at number 105. All three branches remained open, although the branch at 88 Cadzow Street was relocated in 1972 to Duke Street, in order to give a better geographical coverage of the town, particularly in the growing shopping area.
 
The branch at 50 Cadzow Street remained in its own premises and in 1980, a cashline machine was installed for the first time. The interior of the premises was also refurbished in the early 1980s and again in the mid-1990, but the exterior remains as much as it did when the branch first opened here in 1902. The branch absorbed the business of 105 Cadzow Street branch upon its closure.
 
Today and 115 years after it first opened its doors for business, Hamilton’s Cadzow Street branch continues to offer a full range of Banking services to our community, but for how long?
Royal Bank Of Scotland1

The last poem of Walter Wingate.

Following on from our earlier post on Walter Wingate, Iain English sent us a poem that was written by the Hamilton Poet in 1917.
 
This poem until today has never been published and is the first time that it has been read by the public as it has been in the families possession since 1917.
 
Iain told Historic Hamilton:
 
“Walter Wingate (famous Scots poet) knew the Dawson family (and my Grandmother) and wrote this poem dedicated to Robert Dawson who was tragically killed in Passchendaele”
 
Here is Walter Wingate’s poem which was dedicated to Hamilton soldier Robert Dawson, which was to be one of his last poems written as he died the following year (1918)
 
 
“Corporal Dawson died of wounds”
That is all the story.
Brief and poor the notice sounds
Not a word of glory.
 
Sits Etaples by the sea:
There when war is over,
We may find where such as he,
Last have taken cover.
 
Two, whom none are left to call,
Father now or Mother,
Into lonelier years must fall,
Comforting each other.
 
And a symbol, meant to show,
Lovers newly plighted,
Rings a finger with the woe,
Of sweet promise blighted.
 
Shrapnel tore the soldier’s limb,
Here at longer ranges,
Spreads its havoc: reft of him,
Life’s perspective changes.
 
Let consoling Duty say:
“Would you have desired him,
Though you loved him, to say nay,
When my call required him?
 
God accepts your sacrifice,
Pleased with gift and giver,
And in him your comfort lies:
Death is not forever.
 
Walter Wingate 1865 – 1918.

Jotters….

JotterWM.

Thank you to Sandra Fox who took us on a wee trip down memory lane when she sent us a picture of her old Jotter which she found up the loft.

If you were at school around the 1980s and early 90s and before the region broke up this is what the schools in Hamilton were issued with.

Do you have an old school picture that you would like to share?
Send them to us and we will share with everyone on Historic Hamilton.

LEST WE FORGET…..

LEST WE FORGET…..

In one way or another, whether being directly or indirectly involved, most of us have been affected by war. For me, I would like to keep the memory alive of two people in my family who were killed in action.

Michael McNamee WM.

The first person who was killed in action was my second great uncle who was called Michael McNamee. Michael was born at 35 Church Street to parents Thomas McNamee & Jane Adams and after leaving school he worked as a coal miner at Ferniegair Colliery.

Michael enlisted in the army on the 7th of June 1915 and was part of the 17th Battalion with the Royal Scots. He was 19 years and 11 months when he joined.

He was not a large boy, being only five foot four inches tall, and he weighed 98 pounds. Michael spent around three years in the army and he was based in France when he was killed.

His division was engaged in the battle of Ypres when he died of wounds on the 19th of October 1918 at No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearance Station. During Michael’s Army Service he had been awarded the Military Medal.

robert-thompson1

My second family member who was tragically killed was my mother’s cousin, Robert McNamee Thompson, who was killed in action during the troubles in Northern Ireland. Robert was a Whitehill man and a father and husband.

Robert enjoyed his time in the army and his regiment was the Royal Highland Fusiliers and his life was brought to a devastating end when on the 27th of July 1980, he was on patrol at Moy Bridge, Maughnahan Road, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone and was killed by a remote-control Bomb. Robert was only 26 years old.
Today there are still former soldiers who either served in the army or survived war. You will see them out in the shopping centres and standing in the rain collecting money and handing out Poppy’s.

James Poulton.123

One of these men is called James Poulton who served in the Army and never misses collecting money for Remembrance Day. You will find James standing in the doorway at Morrisons superstore over in Whitehill.

Remember to stop by and donate what you can, and wear your poppy with pride, to remember the men who fought and died, not only in both World Wars but in every other war that happened after.

Did you have an ancestor or family member who was killed in action? Send us their picture and we will add it to our ‘Hamilton Folk’ Album and have your picture proudly displayed on Historic Hamilton which is viewed all over the world.

Haud yir weesht!

In memory of all the steel work jobs
that migrated south.

Ravenscraig.

Haud yir weesht!

Haud yer wheesht ya we
bit man a’ll tell ye this
am no a fan. Ye micht
hay dun it when ye
waur 22 but it’s
nay yoose at
40 an yer oan
the buroo.

A wee durty fiver tae git
a drink, am a made
o’ money wad dae
ye think. Ma moneys
aw goan tae monday
week, anywise ye’d
pish yer drawers
an then ye’d reek.

Whaurs yer suit, it’s in the
pawn, nae yoose you
haudin oot yer haun.
A bocht sum tatties
an sum mince fur
wir dinner there
thi nicht, why
don’t ye git
yirsel a joab
an gie us aw
a fricht.

They shut thi Craig thirs nae
Joabs left, thi street
cleaner’s goat a degree.
Thi man in buroo saes
thirs naethin
tae dae an
it’s aw up
fur me.

Am no trained fur nursing
tae lay bricks isnae me,
am only trained as a
hoat bed slinger an
the only bed thas
hoat noo is
the wain’s
when she
pees.

Ifn thirs nae work tae be
hud wits a man tae dae,
thirs nae yoose prayn
tae God he’s been pyed
aff tae.

Aw the factories thas left
it’s weemin they want tae
employ, that an fur sweepin
up jist a young wee boy. A’ll
need tae get a license an
learn tae drive a truck,
mibies a’ll get a joab
then if thi tories don’t
F*** tha up.

Ravenscraig1

Written for Historic Hamilton by Kit Duddy.

Woodside House & Dr John Dykes of Hamilton 1786-1863.

Dr John Dykes of Hamilton and Woodside House. 1786-1863.

Researched and written by

Garry McCallum – Historic Hamilton.

 

Doctor’s in Hamilton during the 19th Century were usually men who were from an upper-class family. The family doctor in the 1800s was a well-respected gentleman, who people looked up to and were respected by many families across the social classes.  Unlike today’s doctors, most were surgeons and did amputations, helped with childbirth and were really hands on.

 

One of Hamilton’s doctors in the 19th century was called Dr John Dykes who was born in Hamilton on the 27th of June 1786, and was the son of John Dykes, who was a captain in the Royal Navy, and his mum was Isabella Miller.

 

Dr Dykes was indeed a well-known doctor and surgeon in Hamilton, and information provided by the 1841 and 1851 censuses, suggests that Dr Dykes could have possibly spent some time working in Edinburgh, or did his training there.

Woodside.

He owned a country villa called Woodside House, which was just off Woodside Walk in Hamilton and Woodside house was a ‘fine dwelling house’ which had a large beautiful garden. The garden and house were surrounded by lots of lovely trees and as – at the time, Woodside Walk was quite far away from the centre of Hamilton, it would have given the feeling that one was living out in the country. Woodside house also had a feature that I had not seen before. At the bottom of its garden there was a small pool of water that is recorded as a ‘Bath’. The ‘Bath’ also had a small building next to it and a set of steps leading down to the water.

Woodside1

I am unsure as to what exactly this ‘Bath’ was used for. As I said previously, I have never seen one and to the best of my knowledge, it has been the only one, in an old Hamilton building. I first thought that it could have been an old well, however, a well would not have steps leading in to it and looking at the 1858 map of Hamilton, it seems to be quite close to the Butter Burn, so I am guessing that it was connected to the burn in some way. This is just one conclusion that I have come to but the stone steps and the small building next to the bath may indicate that it was used for sanitary purposes.  Another theory that I have is that it could be an old Roman Bath, which was uncovered and put on show.

 

If it was used as a summer outside bath, then it could have been a feature used to impress his guests. These types of garden features were uncommon in Scotland, so it would have been built as a status symbol for the visitors who were having tea in the garden of Woodside House.

 

I took a drive over to the area where Woodside House was situated on Saturday the 13th of August 2016 just to see if any remains of the bath were still there and I am glad to say that the old bath still exists!

 

 

The bath that was once situated at the bottom of the garden at Woodside House is now in an enclosed corner of the car park for the Mercedes Benz garage on Johnstone Road.

 

The bath has been fenced off and still has a stone dyke wall surrounding half of the south side of the pool. The water seems to be stagnant and didn’t appear to be running, so this could indicate that it is no longer connected to the Butter Burn.

Woodside3

 

To put things in to perspective for you, Woodside House stood where the flats on Woodside Avenue are today. It occupied the land from at least 1822, and it was demolished between 1925 and 1930.

Woodside2
This is the site of the former Woodview House.

 

Back to Dr Dykes.

 

Dr Dykes was also a naval doctor, and this family were all professional upper-class working people. He had two brothers named Thomas Dykes Esq, and he was a procurator fiscal; and Dr William Dykes of Woodview House in Burnbank Road.

 

Dr John Dykes was known for being a kind and obliging person and it was documented that he was well thought of among the working classes.

 

He was living at Woodside House from a young age, and the House belonged to his parents before John had inherited it. His mother Isabella died here in January 1822, and his dad had died sometime before this.

 

I first found Dr Dykes documented in the 1841 Census record, he is living at Woodside House with a man named Robert Cuthbert, who was born in England, Betsy Cotton who was his house servant, Ann Cotton who was listed as a support worker and a man named Andrew Pollock age 20.

 

Moving on ten years to the 1851 census, John is still at Woodside with his servant Betsy Cotton and he still has his “Boarder” Robert Cuthbert living here and this man’s occupation was a listed as a “Gentleman”. I can’t find any other info on the Robert Cuthbert who lived with John, but this man did seem to have been living with Dr Dykes for at least 10 years. It seems that Dr Dykes went away on holiday during the summer of 1851, as I found a To Let advertisement in the Glasgow Herald which read: “WOODSIDE HOUSE – HAMILTON, for the summer months or a longer period if required. The house is of moderate size and commands a fine view of the surrounding country, for particulars, apply to John Ellis Esq, 68 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, or at the House.

Woodview Advert.

 

 

In 1861, John is 74 and is now living on his own with one servant living with him named Mary Thomson. I should mention here that in all the documents that I have read over, Dr Dykes seems to be living separately away from his wife. At first, I thought he never married, but when I looked at his death certificate, and his will, a wife is mentioned in both.

 

It seems that his wife was called Janet Fraser, and it is a mystery to me as to why they were not living together. I can’t find any trace of her and she was still alive after Dr Dykes had died. I have this information as she was recorded on his death certificate as “married to” and Dr Dykes wasn’t listed as a widow of Janet.

 

Fatal Railway Accident Thursday the 19th December 1863.

Dr Dykes Death Cert 1.5

Melancholy and fatal accident on the Monklands Railway, on Thursday morning, of the 19th of November 1863 shortly after nine o’clock, an accident’ occurred, near Calder Iron Works, by which Dr J. Dykes, of Woodside, Hamilton, a gentleman about 80 years of age, lost his life.

It would appear that Dr Dykes had been visiting at New Carnbroe, and had left there for the purpose of catching the train at Whifflet Station on the Caledonian Railway, and was passing along the Calder branch of the Monklands Railway for that purpose.

An engine, with a long train of waggons laden with coal and ironstone from Palace Craig to Gartsherrie, was proceeding in the same direction; and the engine driver, on observing a gentleman on the line at once sounded the whistle. Deceased, seeing his danger, stepped onto a side line of rails to be out of the way of the approaching train; but, unfortunately, three coal waggons had to be shunted from the latter end of the train into the same siding.

This was done by the engine driver in the usual way, the fire man shifting the switches, but the impetus which the three waggons received sent them well up into the siding where Dr Dykes was standing and he was instantly knocked down and killed on the spot, the waggon wheels having jammed his neck and head to the ground. (It was reported in another newspaper that “he expired in the course of ten minutes after”)

The deceased was one of the oldest and most respected inhabitants of Hamilton. He was unmarried, and was a hale and hearty old gentleman, but has not, we believe, practised for many years. The deceased by whom his loss will be much felt. (Ref: Caledonia Mercury 21/11/1863)

 

On the 11th of March 1848, Dr Dykes had already written his will, and when the will was executed in 1864, it was found that he left Woodside House and all his belongings to his brother Thomas Dykes. In his will, he instructed his brother to oversee all his debts and have them paid off. The will also included his brother Thomas’s son.

Dr Dykes Will 1.5

 

Secondly, he instructed his brother to look after his wife by giving her no less than 1 Shilling per day so that she could “procure all the necessities of life” he was to also have her lodgings paid for, and instructed his brother to buy his wife clothes and give her money for medical expenses to make her life more comfortable.

 

Perhaps this is the clue as to why he did not live with his wife, she may have been not a very well or sound minded person.

 

Dr Dykes also left the annual sum of £10 to his kind and thoughtful servant Betsy Cotton, which I found by this time, Betsy had immigrated to Canada. It is unclear if Betsy received the £10 per annum that was left in the will. His sister and his nieces also benefited from his will.

 

Woodside House.

The house was indeed a very old house and it could have been standing on the same ground in one way or another since c1669 where it was documented that there was a “Customs Post” at Woodside and there is also reference that Claverhouse stayed there overnight about the time of the Battle of Bothwell Bridge

Dr Dykes also gives us reference that his house is very old, where on the 31st of March 1851 he wrote to the Editor of the Glasgow Herald telling the paper of an invention that he had made for a fire which had two air vents. When he wrote to the editor he writes:

“I had a new house built with a regular double vent in 1840. I have also in my own sitting room, in a very old house, fitted up a regular double vent which has been in constant uses for the past two years and all that have seen it in operation can testify both regarding its cleanliness and its efficiency.”

 

This building was very much known by many as Dr Dykes house and even though it was still owned by the Dykes family it was rented out to people such as J, Guthrie-Smith, John Russell, John Tarnish and Joseph Hutchison.

 

The House and gardens must have still been kept very well as on the 27th of July 1889 the Boys Brigade of Motherwell were treated to a ‘day out’ at Woodside House, this really puts things into perspective and it tells us that the house being so grand, you could have a day out on its grounds.

 

The house was eventually sold by Thomas Dykes between 1895 and 1905, where it was bought by a man named William Kilmartin who was a spirit dealer. William also had his brother George living at Woodside House.

 

William Kilmartin and his brother George were publicans, who owned many pubs, especially in Motherwell. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, they were constantly applying for licences around Motherwell and Carfin, and on many occasions, were refused by the courts, mostly since they were trying to set up pubs in areas where there were already pubs operating.

 

The Kilmartin brothers both concentrated on business in the Motherwell area, however George had businesses in Tannochside and he was also a Spirit Salesman. In 1912, George Kilmartin, applied for a licence to trade at the Motherwell pub called “The Grapes”. This public house was situated on the corner of Brandon Street and Watson Street, but again the licence was refused.

 

William Kilmartin owned the house until his death at Woodside House on the 27th of June 1930. He was 69 years old and the cause of death was Liver and Kidney disease.

William Kilmartin Death 1.5

 

Woodside House was demolished at some point after the death of William Kilmartin. As of now I don’t have the exact dates, however the estimated year is between 1930 and 1956.

 

This information comes from the information on both William Kilmartin’s death certificate and his brother George’s. George Kilmartin died a single man at Law hospital on the 1st of January 1956, he died of pneumonia and cardiac failure. When he died, his friend who was called F.B Souter, of 63 Almada Street, was the person who registered the death. George’s residence which was documented on his death certificate was 40 Burnbank Road.

For one reason or another Woodview House was sold and demolished and when it finally happened, it was the end of an era for Woodside Walk. The fine country house which many had admired, and had its very own outside bath was forgotten and lost in the mist of time and with only its old garden bath that still exists to this day to link us to the past and tell us what existed of this once grand old building what does the future hold? Can the old ruin of the bath be investigated?