The following story was printed in The Hamilton Advertiser on the 21/1/1933 and was transcribed by Wilma Bolton.
Another old landmark in the town is fated to disappear within the next few days. A start had been made with the demolition of that angle of building behind the Public Library long known as Fore Row and Back Row.
For nearly 150 years these two rows of houses have been a conspicuous object, overlooking the Common Green from their loft perch, and as seen from Cadzow Bridge in these latter days, contrasting unfavourable with those palatial villas which adorn the slightly higher reaches of Cadzow Burn.
The fues for these houses now being removed were given off round about 1782. The superior was then John Campbell, of Saffronhall, Hamilton and some half- a-dozen pieces of ground were separately feud. In the fue disposition then granted in favour of the various feurs the ground is disponed with the liberty and privilege “of passing upon foot by the front of the said houses through a part of my said other ground to and from the Burn of Hamilton for water according as I shall lay off a road for the purpose, said passage to be shut up upon Sundays, and an hour after sunset every other day.”
Cadzow Burn was then a stream of some considerable utility in the town recourse being had to it not only for washing purposes but for domestic supply of drinking water. When the Fore and Back Rows were built, the site would be well on the outskirts of the town, and as dwellings, they housed in some instances citizens of status and substance.
In the Fore Row are three very characteristic Scottish houses with their steep roofs, stone skews and circular moulded club skews. But the house at the corner of Muir Street is particularly interesting. Architecturally it is an interesting little gem, with its projecting quoins, rusticated arched doorway, well-proportioned windows, stone cornice, Scottish dormer windows and stone ridge. The front wall has been cemented at some later date, but, in its original state when the stonework was exposed it must have been a very attractive and imposing front.
There is no date on but it appears to have been erected in the early eighteenth century. The design is not unlike the Parish Church which may indeed have provided the builder with some inspiration.
Latterly these 150 years old dwellings were adjudged to be wretched hovels, only fit for removal. A new block of Corporation houses is to be built on the site and the Dean of Guild as already approved of the plans.
Considerable improvement will be affected in Church Street by the demolition of the range of former dwellings between the two common lodging houses there—Greenside and Hamilton Home. Plans have been prepared for a new lot of houses on this site consisting of a block facing the street, and a hostel at the back overlooking the Common Green.
This will almost complete the very substantial scheme of improvement which wiped out the New Wynd, and which transformed Grammar School Square, Back o’ Barns and the Postgate.
Thus steadily is old Hamilton falling a victim to the modern conceptions of public health and housing.