How many times have you driven down Muir Street and looked over to the back of the Hamilton town house and noticed the large car park. Perhaps you work at the library and park at the staff car park behind the building or do you even live at Back Row?
The Hamilton town house car park looks spacious and has a rectangle shape to it, however this area wasn’t built or designed this way to make space for cars. The land beneath the car park is actually an old graveyard. The tarmac was laid over the graves as the last coffin was laid rest over 100 years ago.
Before Smellie’s Auction House was built there was a United Presbyterian Church of Scotland that was large enough to hold 1050 seats. The church occupied the same area of land as Smellie’s at the corner between Muir Street & Lower Auchingramont Road and the graveyard was situated directly across the road from the church.
It was rumoured that the graves were all moved to the Bent cemetery after they removed the headstones from the graveyard, however there was over 300 graves at the car park and at the Bent there is only one marker stone that could possibly only hold four graves at a maximum.
The only evidence to this day that the graveyard even existed is a marker stone that shows where the burial place is of John J Thomson & Ann Watson who could have possibly been Husband & Wife.
Today I paid my respects to all the people of Hamilton who are currently buried at the old Hamilton graveyard under the car park of the Hamilton Library! The next time you drive past take a minute and spare a thought because this could be your ancestors that are laid to rest here.