Isabella Brown News paper report.
Mrs Brown of 6 Almada Street, who passed away in 1927, missed her 100th birthday by four months. “Granny” Brown’s chief desire for some years prior to her death was that she should see her hundredth birthday, and after enjoying good health up to a week or two ago she took a sudden illness which ultimately thwarted her ambition.
Mrs Brown could recall the days when as a girl, she had to tramp from Lesmahagow to Hamilton a distance of fully ten miles for her messages, whilst she had vivid recollections of the old stagecoach days in Lanarkshire.
In 1927, living to the ripe old age of 100 was not something that most people would ever see and after I uncovered this little snippet in the Sunday Post, I decided to find out who Mrs Brown was.
Mrs Brown was born on the 20th of August 1827 at Lesmahagow to parents William Paton & Catherine Watson and her dad was a ploughman. She was baptised on the 16th of September in the same year.
She married Robert Brown on the 2nd of December 1849 at Lanark. Robert was a Journeyman joiner and he was born at Rosebank in the year 1828 and I decided to follow her through the census records to follow her journey.
1861, she was living at Netherhouse, Lesmahagow living with her husband and kids, Catherine John Isabella & Thomas. On this census, she tells the enumerator that even though married, she wants to be known as Isabella Paton.
When we move on ten years later, she is still living at Netherton with her husband and kids. Her husband now is working on a farm and they would have either been living on the farm or nearby. In 1881 this is the last time that we find her on a census, where she is still living at Netherhouse.
Isabella Paton death.
When I looked what became of Isabella’s children, I found that they moved away in far places, including different countries. Isabella will have descendants now living all over the world which includes her son Thomas who saw out his days in Clarion, Pennsylvania, USA. Her daughter Mary Ann Brown, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Her son William, Worthington, England. Each of her children had a large family of their own with many grandchildren.
It is unclear when Isabella moved to Hamilton, or why, but she saw out her last days living at 6 Almada Street. What a life she had living very close to her centenary.
If you think that you mat be related to Isabella Brown, then please get in touch.
6 Almada Street.

Almada Hill


Almada Hill Sandstone.

Almada Hill in recent years has been known to us as the tenements that used to sit on the land now occupied as a car park for the Douglas Park showroom. Before the tenements were demolished the address for Almada Hill was 139-153 Almada Hill, Almada Street.

The name Almada Hill was not a new name given to the tenements on Almada Street, in fact, this name comes from a much older building that was situated just off the main road.
The original Almada Hill was first known as Almada Hall and was constructed in 1812 and like all the buildings of this time, it was built with sandstone and lime.

The person responsible for building Almada Hill was a Doctor that went by the name of John James Hume. Dr Hume purchased the land on the 14th of May 1811, the Hume family were a very well-respected family of doctors and there were many generations of them practising in Hamilton before Dr John J. Hume.

1812 Map Almada Hall.

Almada Hill, or Almada Hall as it was known in 1812, when constructed was built on the outskirts of Hamilton and out in the countryside, its closest little village was Burnbank and when built the road that we know as Almada Street was known as the “road from Ayrshire & Glasgow” and wasn’t even named Almada Street, so it is possible that this is where the street takes its name from. The next title was recorded on 5th June 1839 in favour of Helen Hume and others, the description therein states, “and houses built thereon”.

Later in the nineteenth century, it was owned by one of the Dykes brothers. The Dyke’s brothers were a family of solicitors & doctors who in their day owned many of the grandest houses in Hamilton.

Anne McEwen WM.

Almada Hill in the nineteenth century was built on a hill that would have had a great view looking over Almada Street and further afield, it was a handsome house with a garden and ornamental grounds to the front. So, going back to the owner, the house was let out by the Dykes family and in 1861 the house was rented to a woman called Ann McEwen who was the widow of Robert McEwen and this man was a wealthy East India shipping merchant. Anne was a lady from Edinburgh but had lived in London and Singapore.

At the moment it is unknown as to why Anne chose to live in Hamilton as I can’t find any connection as to why she was here, although in this period there were one or two Glasgow shipping merchants living nearby in Burnbank, so perhaps it was suggested by someone in this circle of friends who were already living here.

Anne leaves Almada Hill & Hamilton and moves to London before 1864. This is the last time in which we see this family having any connection to Hamilton.

The house is now rented to a man named James Beith Struthers, who seems to be a friend of the Dykes family. James Struthers was a wine and spirit merchant and he married a Glasgow girl called Rebecca Simpson and later marries for a second time to Mary Ann Harrison, again his time at Almada Hill is a short one. He moves on and dies on the 20th of November 1913 at 145 Main Street, Kirkton, Blantyre. James’s son who was called James Beith Harrison Struthers continues to follow in his father’s footsteps and works as a Spirit Merchant.

The building itself sat on one acre and a quarter of land and if not on ground level would have at least have one floor above. It had a porch at the front of the house which looked on to the pathway large enough for a horse and carriage to fit. It did not appear to have stables but did have outhouses and it also appears to have its own water pump in the back garden. The rear of the property was open fields used for grazing cattle which remained untouched for the duration of the building’s life.
Almada Hill was sold to a Solicitor that went by the name of Alexander Watt. The house is sold off between 1864 & 1871.

Almada Hill 1858

Alexander Watt was born in 1836 at Midlothian, Edinburgh and he studies in Edinburgh and marries Margaret Fleming in Blythswood in 1863. Alexander sets up his business in Hamilton around 1871 and continues to live at Almada hill. He is involved very much in the Hamilton Community and is a member of the Hamilton Burns Club.

In 1894 the Clyde coal company were extracting coal from beneath Almada Hill’s foundations. The underground workings could have had an impact on Almada Hill and like many of Hamilton’s buildings, it would have affected it in some way. Alexander around this time is looking to sell up and the extraction of coal may have been the reason as to why he wanted to move from Almada Hill.

The house is on the market for over a year and in various advertisements, they state that the house has not been affected by underground workings. Alexander Watt left Almada Hill in June 1900 and since then, the house lay empty until purchased by the town council.

In 1901 there is fear of a smallpox epidemic and Hamilton was not fully equipped to deal with such an outbreak. In February 1901 the town council was looking to purchase a new site for a temporary smallpox hospital. Almada Hill was shortlisted and a special meeting was set up by Provost Keith to discuss the purchase.

The people involved in the discussions also included Bailies McNaughton, Pollock, MacHale, and Hay. Also, at the meeting were councillors Louden, Smellie, Duncan, Tainsh, Anderson, Hamilton and Cassells, with Messer’s Pollock & Kilpatrick.
The object of the meeting was to consider the proposal to purchase the property of Almada Hill for the sum of £1,700, which for a house of this type was a bargain.

Bailie Hay, as Convenor of the Sanitary Committee, said the state of matters was this, that they were presently very much hampered for accommodation at the hospital, and were likely to be still more hampered in the event of an epidemic of smallpox taking place in the Burgh.

The Committee had accordingly inquired as to what would be required in the way of additional accommodation, and the result of their investigations culminated in the proprietor of Almada Hill being seen with a view to the disposal of the property. They had been offered the property for £1700, and Bailie Hay considered that they were getting it very much cheaper than it could have been bought by a private individual.

It had occurred to the Committee that Almada Hill might be a suitable place for the isolation of persons who had come into contact with smallpox patients, and it was proposed now that the property should be utilised in that way. He did not wish to shrink the fact that, in an event of a serious epidemic, they might almost require to use the premises for the accommodation of patients.

Plans had already been submitted to them for a temporary wooden building, which would give them twelve beds and the cost of this hospital would be between £500 & £600. It was a building which could, in no sense, be a permanent one, and in all probability would require to be burned when the epidemic had subsided.

In purchasing Almada Hill, they put themselves in possession of a site which could be utilised for many public purposes. It was a building which could be temporarily used as a hospital, or, if unsuitable for that, it would be advantageous for isolating parties who had come in to contact with smallpox cases.

Treasurer Keith understood that the Local Government Board had indicated that such a place was essential in a working-class community like Hamilton.

Apart altogether from the immediate requirements of the burgh, this site was moderately cheap. It could be used by the municipality, or it might be sold for the purposes of a technical school or similar institution. Everything considered, the property was moderately cheap, and Bailie Hay and the Sanitary Committee were to be congratulated in bringing the matter before the Council.

Mr Loudon asked to what extent the minerals had been extracted at the building.

Bailie Hay – One third has been worked out.

Mr Loudon – In that case, the building is quite safe.

In reply to a further question by Mr Loudon as to what provision at present existed to cope with an outbreak of smallpox, Bailie Hay explained that just now there were a great many cases of scarlet fever in the hospital, but he had been in communication with the Medical Officer, who informed him that two small rooms could be acquired to accommodate four patients pending other arrangements being made. But there was no provision whatever for isolation, and that, according to present-day medical science, was an important matter.

Mr Cassells asked if the proprietor of this building had been approached as to whether he would lease or let the building for the purposes of isolation. Bailie Hay stated that he will not let or lease the property. Mr Watt has really been in treaty for some time with two other people anxious to secure the premises.

Mr Cassels, on the ground that the proposal was premature, moved to the previous question. He considered that £1700 was an extraordinary price to pay for the premises. He maintained, further, that the building was absolutely useless. As a representative of the Second Ward, which Ward was not represented on the Sanitary Committee. He objected to this Proposal being sprung upon the Council without more time being given to the members to inquire into the various details.
Mr Tainsh, in seconding, said that he had been simply astonished at some of the actions of the Sanitary Committee within the past two or three months. This was one of the most extravagant proposals he had ever heard of.

Mr Duncan asked if the convener had examined the house.
Bailie Hay replied that the late storms had to a certain extent injured the house, but it had since been repaired and made water-tight. As an evidence of that, he had simply to state that most of the proprietor’s furniture was presently in the house.

Mr Loudon said, as a representative of the First Ward, he did not at all like the idea of selecting the site for an isolation house or hospital right in the midst of a populous and residential district.

The price asked was high, but that after all was only relative if it was found absolutely necessary to have such a place and that this was the only such place that could be got suitable for the purposes contemplated. But he should like first of all to be satisfied that there was not the slightest risk of contagion to those residing in the locality.

Bailie Hay explained that the Local Government Board had to be provided with plans, and he thought Mr Loudon might rest assured that so far as human means could go nothing would be done that would in the slightest degree be hurtful.
Mr Loudon – Then they may not approve of this.

Bailie Hay – That is so, but I do not think there is the slightest likelihood of their not agreeing to an isolation house.
Bailie Pollock said, from the nature of the discussion, it seemed that although they purchased this property, they would still require a temporary hospital in the event of an outbreak of smallpox. That being so, and seeing the figure mentioned for the site was so high because any person who knew the house knew that it was not worth the stone and lime.
Bailie Hay – It is not a brick house, so it must be worth stone and lime. (laughter).

Bailie Pollock – Well, it is not worth old material. He thought there were other means of isolating people over and above the method proposed, and he for one could not see his way to support the proposal of the committee.

The council then divided as follows:- For purchasing the property – Provost Keith, Bailies Hay, MacHale, and McNaughton, Treasurer Keith and Messrs Hamilton, Anderson, Smellie and Duncan – 9: for not purchasing the property – Bailie Pollock and Messrs Loudon, Tainsh and Cassells – 4.

The committee’s recommendation to purchase Almada Hill at £1700 was thereupon declared carried. The house gets put to use straight away and by March 1901 there were three outbreaks of Smallpox in Hamilton, the third was a plasterer’s labourer from Church Street.

The man was moved to the county hospital in Dalserf and his wife and four children were moved to Almada Hill which was now being called the reception house. A fourth woman also from the same stair in Church Street contracted Smallpox in April of that year and her husband and children were admitted to Almada Hill.

The epidemic started to spread throughout different parts of Hamilton and at a fast pace. Three children, the oldest being fourteen all from the same tenement in Low Quarry Street became ill and they were transported to Stonehouse Hospital, while their families were sent to Almada Hill.

The smallpox epidemic seemed to have passed and soon Almada Hill was not so much in the headlines, well that was until September 1901 when two boys both aged fourteen who were called William Connor and William Walker were fined 7s 6d or five days imprisonment for stealing grapes from the Vinery at Almada Hill.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Hamilton was in need of a new town hall and library and the focus was now turned once again to Almada Hill. Meetings were held and at the early stages of the talks, it was thought that Almada Hill could be an excellent site as it was close by the railway station at Peacock Cross and not to mention situated between Burnbank and the rest of the burgh. Mr Dixon of the Bent coal company also offered a site at the corner of Orchard Street and Union Street and after a consultation, it was found that due to the underground mine workings, the site would be unsafe to build on.

After more meetings, a site at Cadzow Street was also suggested and plans went ahead for a new Municipal, town hall and library to be built on Cadzow Street.
Almada Hill was now an old building on an acre and a quarter of land and to claw their money back in some way, the council had to use it for something. The town council did consider letting the property once more as a house, however, this was until the electric lighting committee was in need of a site for its new electric lighting station and a section of the land was sold off to the Electricity board.

In March 1904 the Hamilton Burgh are starting to sell more of the Land at Almada Hill and they put out an advertisement and in September of the same year Almada Hill is shortlisted once again to be the site of the new council chambers and again a site in Brandon Street was agreed.

This was to be the beginning of the end for the house once called Almada Hill. Tenements on Almada Street were erected in 1905 and they took the name Almada Hill and this is what kept the name of the old country house alive.

The property eventually was acquired by the Magistrates & C. of Hamilton, a part of which was sold by them to the South West Electricity Board in 1950. If I were to give a rough date as to when Almada Hill was eventually demolished then it would be between 1950 and 1954, and at the moment, there are no known surviving pictures of the old house.

We would like to know if any of our readers are old enough to remember a property being situated on the Almada Street electricity site. If you do remember, then please tell us your memories.

2166 (Hamilton) Sqn Air Training Corps circa 1966


2166 (Hamilton) Sqn Air Training Corps circa 1966 Taken outside HQ at Hamilton Barracks on the Bothwell Road.

John Taylor sent us this picture from the Hamilton Barracks and he told us:

“Now I am struggling after 50 years! I remember the officers.

In the centre is Sqn Ldr Smeaton. On his right is Flying Officer Whiteford, and on his left are Pilot Officers Sandy Bruce and Sandy Colvin.

I am in the back row second in from the right. On the left in the first row of cadets is Tam Semple and in the middle row third from the left is Lindsey Adair. Am afraid I am struggling with the rest!

The aircraft was delivered to the Hamilton Barracks on a low loader and was a permanent feature at the Sqn HQ as a gate guardian.

At the time the Hamilton Barracks was such a large area we were fortunate to get this old Gloster Javelin as our gate guardian.”

Do you know any of the lads in this picture? If you do then let us know.

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.


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.


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.


To put things in to perspective for you, Woodside House stood where the flats on Woodside Avenue are today. It occupied the land from before 1819, as it appears on John Wood’s map of Hamilton and it was demolished between 1930 & 1956.

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 1821, and his dad had died sometime before this. His father was also called John Dykes and he is buried at the Old Hamilton parish churchyard. He is buried in Lair 238p and his father was also a master of the Royal Navy. John Dykes senior died on the 17th of December 1804 and he was 70 years old. His mother was called Isabella Millar of Hallhill and she dies on the 16th of December 1821 aged 62. They all lived at Woodside House. I also have to note that in the family lair, John’s brother is buried here and he died on the 4th of September 1833 aged 33 and also John Dykes granddaughter Jessie, only child of John Dykes and she  died on the 11th of March 1844.

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. (This is possibly where Hutchison Street takes it’s name.)

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?

Garry McCallum – Historic Hamilton. © 2019


The Last Tannery in Hamilton.

The Hamilton Tannery December 1958..JPG

Greenside Skin works, or better known as “The Tannery” was built by Thomas Naismith in the year 1700, and it was a purpose-built Tannery situated next to the old slaughterhouse on Muir Street.

TanneryLocation from Back Row..JPG

The location of Greenside Skin Works, was roughly where the new flats are situated at the side of Back Row. It was a two-storey structure built on the banks of the Cadzow burn and the Tannery stood on this site for 258 years.

Tannery 1904water..JPG

The Naismith’s who owned the Tannery had also owned other properties in Hamilton, one was on Almada Street, which in 1819 it was known as the road from Ayrshire and Glasgow and the second property, was a large house on Church Street, right next to the entrance of the Old Parish Church. In the year 1819 there were also properties on Cadzow Street and Townhead Street that were owned by a William Naismith and a Jason Naismith, however, at the moment I can’t confirm if these people are from the same family.

The Tannery was passed through generations of the Naismith’s up until 1888, where it was sold to a firm of curriers called Gibson and Gillon who were also an established Currier and Leather Merchant who ran their business from 8 Postgate.

The Tannery was eventually sold 4 years later in 1892 to a man from Perth, this man was called William Murdoch and he ran the Tannery business up until 1942 where it was eventually shut down.

William Murdoch married a Hamilton girl called Jeanie Smith-Lochhead who was from Selkirk Street. They lived in Hamilton and William died 7 years after he closed the Tannery. He died at his home Inchyra, 16 Auchingramont Road and he was 91 years old. William had a son who he named John, after his father. John Murdoch lived in Hamilton and he also lived right up to the grand old age of 96, he died in 1997. If one of our readers think that they may be related to John Murdock, who died in this year, then please let us know.

John Murdoch Birth 1900..JPG

The Historic building was left to go to ruin and lo and behold the Town Council bought the building from John Murdoch. Time had eventually caught up with the old Greenside Skin Works and demolition started in December 1958, the old Tannery was no more. People who had known about the Tannery and who also saw it every day did regret the demolition of the building, but that’s the price of progress.

Written by Garry McCallum,
Historic Hamilton.


Almada & Bothwell Road Lucy MacKinnon.

Looking back to May 1997 this picture was taken at the junction between Almada Street & Bothwell Road. The old gatekeepers house that was situated at the entrance of the Furlongs was carefully taken down brick by brick and relocated to Muir Street.

Most of you will also remember the public toilets on Bothwell Road that were closed down due to frequent visitors at night! And by May 1997 the old Hamilton Bus Depo was gone.

Douglas Park snapped up the vacant land and built a fancy car sales room selling luxury cars.

Picture courtesy of Lucy MacKinnon.

Almada Street Junction.

Almada Street Now and then.

Hamilton has seen some dramatic changes over the last 30 years and none more so that Almada Street. Almada Street used to have tenements that led from Peackock Cross and all the way down to the Barracks at bothwell road.

Today there are only two surviving blocks of houses that remain in Almada Street, they are situated at the peackock cross side of the street, with the recent corner block of tenements that were called Almada Hill being knocked down to make a garage car park!

The picture below was sent to Historic Hamilton by Andy Alexander & Steven Matthews. There is some debate that the picture was taken around the mind 1970s, however i believe that the picture was probably taken around the mid 1980s, the reason for this is that the Mk3 Escort was introduced in 1980 (white car) and the blue Mk2 Astra behind it was first introduced in 1984.


Back in the 1970s & 1980s this part of Almada Street was thriving. There was also a well known  chip shop at the side of the Crown bar called KFC, this was situated at Saffronhall Lane and if you look just behind the blue fiesta then this is where Safftonhall Lane is situated.

The Crown pub later became Chambers Bar during the 1990s and other pubs like  Ewings & the County were also busy pubs at Almada Street. Chambers bar closed down around 2010/11 and was bought by the current owner  Manio Loia, who had the building extended and refurbished in 2012, he then built the current restaurant and called it Cafe Eataliano which now occupies the former site of the Pub. Prehaps in years to come, this establishment will bring back as many happy memories like The Crown & Chambers did for many people!

The tenements at the bottom of Almada Street were demolished at the end of the 1980s and this is now the site of the Job Center and Hamilton Water Palace. If you look at the no entry signs in the picture, then this is the current entrance to the Hamilton Water Palace and further on down at the bottom of the road is where the Furlongs are situated.

Below is a picture taken last week on Sunday the 3rd January 2015. This was taken approximately at the same spot as the one taken in the mid eighties.


What was your memories of Almada Street in the 1970s & 1980s?