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The Village of Quarter or as it was known in the mid 19th century Darngaber

                                        A Chronical of the Village of Quarter                                

                                                  By Elizabeth Barr c.1900
                                                        typescript. 1981

       Its environment in the early 1900's and of the people who worked, schooled or worshipped in the village at that time.

The Village Itself

      Before my time there had been ironworks owned by Colin Dunlop Ltd. Their employees were paid with cheques which could be used in a store in the village owned by the company and this caused great hardship as many could not afford the goods required owing to the prices asked. It is a good thing that this has changed and we find a busy thriving coal mining village instead. Wages were very low and it is a hardship to rear a family in these days. In spite of that there were many well to do families whose sons and daughters scattered to different parts of the globe and took with them their inherited good Scottish traditions, making there mark where ever they went.

        The village lies about 4 miles from Hamilton and the lands round about belong to the Duke of Hamilton, of the Hamilton Palace and in the earlier days Cadzow Castle, Darngaber Castle and Plotcock Castle. These three castles are almost lost in antiquity and now even the Hamilton Palace has been demolished because of the underground workings. The United Collieries Ltd are now the owners of the pits and employ many men living in or near the village.
      The Offices of the UCL stand at the cross roads on the road leading from Hamilton and here we have the offices of the Cashier, the Clerks and the Mining Engineers, who do the underground surveying and the planning. Behind the building there were stables for horses and coal carts etc., with a dwelling house for Mr. Watson and family. He was in charge of this part , here was a joiners shop, a blacksmiths and an engineering shop, also a washer which washed and directed the coal and sent the refuse to the bing in small buggies. There were also boilers which drove a generator which provided the village with light. To return to the crossroads one road goes down to the left leading to Mid Quarter and Low Quarter, thence to Larkhall. The road going straight on leads to Stonehouse, Glassford and Strathaven, the remaining one leads up through the village on to Strathaven via Limekilnburn, of which mention is made later. Coming up from the crossroads to the village on the right hand side of the road first we have the house of Thomas Arnot, who was General Manager. He was there for many years and was at length, succeeded by John David who previously was the Under Manager. Next the Auld Manse: the Rev George Blair and his family lived there until 1903 when the manse adjoining the church was ready for them. Mr. Blair was respected and loved by Protestant and Catholic alike. The Auld Manse now became the home of James McDowall and family. He was the Under Manager at one of the pits. The next house was occupied by Mr. Mitchell and family, a very fine man who acted as cashier to the company. The next house was built for the resident District Nurse, with equipment for the treatment of minor troubles and working in close harness with the Doctors Steel and Stewart. Old Dr Crawford was retired by this time. These houses all looked on to what was known as the "Wee Wood", a small forest of mostly Fir and Pine trees with paths through it leading to the Stonehouse Road.
     Next to the wood was the 'Duchess Nina Institute", built and gifted to the village by the Duchess of Hamilton in 1908. This comprised of a bowling green, reading room, billiard room, shop and small tearoom. Also a house for the keeper of the institute which was much appreciated by the villagers. The first family to 'manage" the institute, was a Mr. and Mrs. Broadwood, who were very self esteemed. In the winter pupils at the adjoining school, who lived too far away to run home at lunchtime, myself included, could have a plate of lovely homemade hot soup for one penny and sit in the comfort of the tearoom. Very much appreciated.
     Over the wall from the institute was the school house. The Dominie was William Marshall, one of the "old school," who knew all the pupils and did whatever to further them. A kindly good man. He retired to Strathaven, with his family. Here let me say we had three teachers from Strathaven, who were of the old school, nothing too much trouble to push and advise a "likely pupil". There were two sisters Miss Hannah and Miss Bella McLymont, also a Tom Wallance, who belonged to a prominent family from Strathaven, a town between two and three miles distant.
     Next was the school, then a cottage owned by the Hornal family, who once had a butchers shop and later a sweet and grocery shop. Now we come to the Cooperative store, a new building. The first Manager was Alexander Meikle, succeeded by George Sinclair. It was a gray two storey building with two dwelling houses above, one for the manager, the other occupied by a family called Devine. Next was a nice cottage with shop. This was the Post Office, Newsagent and sweet shop. Mrs. Ritchie was the Postmistress, later followed by Mrs. Dobbie and daughter Jean. Now we have a road which runs between the Post Office and the old Police Offices. This was called Darngaber Road, which I presume led to Darngaber Castle of which I will write later.
     I will go back now to opposite the school house we have here two rows of houses known as the Furnace Row. At the bottom of the right hand row was the new buildings. These were two storied houses and here lived the families of the 'McLares, McBeths, Todd, Gray and others whose names I have forgotten. These houses had wash-houses behind. The people of the rows got their water from iron wells in the street. There were Dunlop's, Rodger, McGinn, Creechan and others lived there. Next stood the store, which I mentioned at the beginning. It was now a nice shop to the front, with the only public house in the village through the back and the house of the Manager, Robert Scott to the right hand side. The Scott family emigrated to Australia in the 1920's.
      Next were the Store Row, the same as the Furnace Row and housing families called Thomson, Glancy, Stevenson, Hamilton, McEwan, Whitelaw and I have forgotten who else. Next was the reading room, I don't know how it got that name, as I never saw any books about. Here was held our church "soirees", concerts, dances and any meetings of note. Many happy evenings were spent there. Across from the Cooperative and next to the reading room was the three faced row again I don't know why it had this name. These houses were occupied by several of the families. I only remember two, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton and a lady who acted as post-woman.
     Next we have the Castle Buildings, a two storied building housing on the ground floor old Mr. and Mrs. Cathcart and next door a family of the next generation of Cathcarts. Next door were Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery. I think a Hornal family lived above but I cannot remember who else. The old Police Offices lay right across the street and from here we have houses on both sides of the road called Darngaber Rows, housing families named Hodge, Findlay Law, Montgomery, Paterson, Lindsay and Sneddon and Dunn who occupied the last house. Next we cross a railway line which led down to a pit called The Rover on the road to Larkhall. This pit was derelict and did not belong to the United Collieries. I never saw it working. Beyond this railway was Quarter church and across the way' was the new Police houses, occupied by Sergeant McRae and Neil Shaw. I think they patrolled Glassford and Chapelton as part of their duties. They used bicycles for this. Beyond the church was the manse and further up was Kilhill farm, the farmers name was Gillon.
     Next we come to the station. I will mention first the Station Master, I remember a Mr. Stewart. A railway line came from Hamilton and Glasgow through High Blantyre, Meikle Earnock, Quarter, Glassford, Strathaven, Ryelands, Darvel and on up to Ayr. This line went into disuse and our village was then served by bus to the present day.
     A little further was a road to the right leading to Lady Mary's Lodge, the home of Mr. Robertson who was the head gamekeeper on the Duke of Hamilton's estate. About half a mile on we come to Limekilnburn which housed about twelve families and the menfolks would be farm workers or miners. The Kiln industry had died before my time. Near here we have "Linnie Loch" which in winter provided much sport in Curling and Skating when frozen over. I will mention two farms in this vicinity whose children came to Quarter school, first we have the Dalgleishes, Crookedstone Muir and quite near the Bairds of Brown Tod Farm, I think farmers and other people beyond this went to Strathaven instead of Hamilton as our villagers did
     Let us go back to the Station now. There is a road just beyond which leads to several farms, the first of which is Burnbrae, farmed by the Kirkland family, next we have East Crookedstone, so called by reason of a crooked stone which stands erect in one of the fields supposed to commemorate a battle by the Covenanters of earlier days. Crookedstone farm was farmed by the Torrance family, West Crookedstone was farmed by the McLaughlan family.
     I will bring in Wellbog now, where I was born and lived until 1929, until I married. This was one time a dairy farm, but the family called Pinkerton went to a better farm near Glassford. The steading comprised of a dwelling house and five good outhouses. These were turned into dwelling houses by a changing lot of people. The best and largest house was the home of John and Mrs. Ross, who reared a family, I think twelve and a finer family was not to be found in Scotland, one by one they married off and left and Mr. and Mrs. Ross moved nearer Hamilton. My family now moved into the Ross house round from where I was married. There was quite an extensive forest of Fir, Spruce, Larch, Oak, Rowan etc. Surrounding us a burn rippled its way to join the Avon at Millheugh, Larkhall. It was a lovely place to spend ones childhood. To roam the woods, guddle in the burn, gathering Primroses and Bluebells and bruise Wild Thyme as we crushed it underfoot There was always quite a lot of children about and we would play Quoits, Rounders, Marbles, Peever and Skipping ropes.
     Near our house is the site of Darngaber Castle, it is unrecognised except by those like us who knew there was a well which we called "Mary Queen of Scots Well." She was reputed to have visited the castle on occasion. It was a member of the Hamilton family who lived here and was known as of "Darngaber and Burnbrae". This castle is older than "Cadzow Castle" the site of which lies about three miles distant and lies in the High Parks where the famous white cattle are. Next to the Wellbog lies Thinback Mill. There had once been a thriving mill here, now a desolate ruin but the millers' house still stands and was the home of Archibald Waddell, his wife and three daughters. He had a grocery business in Low Waters. Mrs. Waddells old mother Betty Stewart lived with them. A wonderful old lady with rosy cheeks and able to Milk, Churn, Bake and generally keep the place going.
      Across the Mill Dam and up through the wood we find Castlehill where lived two families, the Clelands and the Cathcarts. These families left and the place became derelict. Near here was the Rover Pit I mentioned earlier as having a railway to Quarter station. Next we have Thinacre farm where Jamie Frame farmed and on past was Thinacre Muir where Walter Watson, a gamekeeper on the estate lived with his wife and daughter. Further beyond that was the Mailing, where McAlpines lived. I never knew what the Mailing meant.
     We come back a little to the site of Plotcock, which was once a lively wee clachan. The Dunn family lived here along with the Bannatynes, Nutts, McFarlanes and Miss Dickson, an old lady seldom seen except for a regular visit to Quarter Post Office where she collected a pension from some source. She was always neatly, if old-fashionedly dressed in black and on cold days her hands were enclosed in a wee black muff. She spoke good English in a cultured voice and usually returned home along with the school children. I think she liked our company. I was always proud to walk with her and listen to her tales. The road continues from Plotcock to Millheugh and Larkhall I will mention two more families who came from Quarter from this Airt. First the Archer family who farmed Maffles farm. The two younger sons came to Quarter school, the older members to Larkhall. Quite close to their farm was a fruit farm where lived Mr. and Mrs. Gall and daughter Margaret. We often went here for strawberries in their season.
     Coming back round towards Quarter we have South Quarter Farm, where Bob and Mrs. Aitchison reared a fine family. Then we come to Mid Quarter where lived the Meikles and at the farm of that name we find Tom and Mrs. Frame. We go down to the right and soon we reach Low Quarter where we find families called Torrance, Mcbeth, Jamieson, Ingles, Bulloch, Fleming, Scott and McMunn lived there. Making our way back to Quarter, we have a house called Hilltop where a Mr. and Mrs. Tom Barr lived. Next we come to the Carruthers home just a stones throw away from the crossroads where we began the story. I must diverge to the left here to mention Knowetop farm, first worked by John Fleming and later John Torrance, a son of Crookedstone farm which I have already mentioned, adjoining Knowetop we have the tile work, never working in my time but housing old Matthew Jackson and family. He was a ploughman at Knowetop farm. Further round we have Darngaber farm where the Haddow family lived and worked. Opposite the farm were a few houses where lived the McBeths, Bain and the names of the others I have forgotten.
      Returning to the crossroads. I must go along the road to Hamilton. To speak of Carscallan Row and I cannot name the families living her except McConnachie, and then towards number 6 pit we have two families named McKeith. Near to them is Carscallan Farm where the Smith family lived. Further on we have Black Bog Farm where the Yuiles lived, on again to Simpsonland the home of Mr. Gemmell and family. He was pit manager.
     Nearby was a Catholic School, which served the children of Quarter. There was also a home for the priest. These have completely disappeared as many families left Quarter, when the pits were closed down. There were families by the name of Dunn and Gilbert who came regularly to Quarter Church from Bankfield a Place near here.
     I think I have mentioned most of the people that were linked in some way to the village. The miners rows have completely disappeared and now there are many bungalows where they once were. A delightful place to live. May the people be as happy and carefree as we were in those days. I am the last of my Fathers family but I have two sons, one a teacher and one a doctor. Also seven grandchildren, when they come to visit me, they ask "where would you like to go today Grandma? "And 1 hardly require to answer "up and round about Quarter and Strathaven."



Details of a resident who lived in Rosedale Cottage from 1900 to 1916.

William Wilson Paton.

Birth certificate No. From Paton Family Bible.
On March 15, 1842.
At New Monklands.
Father :- George Paton, Miner.
Mother :- Alison Paton, m.s. Wilson.

From O.P.R. 651/6, 1842.
Christening :- April 3, 1842 at New Monklands.

Marriage Certificate No. 651/1 - 70, 1864.
To Jane Woodhouse. On July 29, 1864.
At 61 Hallcraig Street, Airdrie.
William Wilson Paton, age 22, Engine Smith.
U.R. 64 Clark Street, Airdrie.
Father :- George Paton, Iron Miner.
Mother :- Alison Paton, m.s. Wilson.
Jane Woodhouse, age 20, Hand Loom Weaver.
U.R. 61 Hallcraig Street, Airdrie.
Father :- Edward Woodhouse, Hand Loom Weaver.
Mother :- Agnes Woodhouse, m.s. Shaut.
Witnesses, William Woodhouse and John Paton.

Death certificate No. 647 - 220, 1916.
On May 22, 1916, age 74, Mechanical Engineer ( Master ) Retired.
At Rosedale Cottage, Quarter, Hamilton.
Widower of Jane Woodhouse.
Father :- George Paton, Coal Miner, Deceased.
Mother :- Alison Paton, m.s. Wilson, Deceased.
Cause of Death, Acute Diarrhea, 12 days, Thrombosis right Iliac Artery 3 days.
Witness, Thomas W.Paton, son of 163 1/2 Main Street, Wishaw.


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