The Village of Bonkle

Lanarkshire, Scotland

 These pages are about Bonkle and the surrounding area and include pictures and the history of Bonkle and Bonkle Church, Allanton Murdostoun and Newmains


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History of Bonkle and surrounding area

Bonkle, a photographic tour

History of Bonkle Church (J. Brown)

.Allanton Estate

History of Church Organisations & Historical Events

Murdostoun estate

History of Bonkle Church 1737 - 1937 (Rev. Winchester)

Information (Local churches & contacts, Search for your ancestors)

Articles and Poems


The Village of Bonkle

The map shows a "Cross Roads" at Newmains. This has main roads going North towards Stirling, South towards Carlisle, East to Edinburgh and West to Glasgow or the Ayrshire costal towns. Older maps show the "Cross Roads" nearer Bonkle, though little trace remains of these old roads.
Various explanations of the name Bonkle can be found in other articles on this site, but the most likely explanation is that it was named after Margaret Bonkyle, wife of Allan Steuart and daughter of Baron De Bonkyle of Bonkle, Duns, who was a Norman Knight, so the origin may not even be Scottish!

Location map of Bonkle

The first recorded settlement is the small "fort" of Dunanibher at the junction of the Calder and Auchter waters on which Auchter house now sits. Originally two separate villages about 300 meters apart were recorded - Auchter Bridgend (later Meadowfield) near the present Auchter Bridge, and Bonkle, near the Church. The name Bonkle is now applied to the whole area between the Auchter and the Church.

Auchter House

The village itself seems to have been closely associated with the Steuarts of Allanton. Even today some of the residents recall that their parents, or grand-parents were employed on Allanton Estate. It is reputed that the house called "The Pillars" was used to collect tolls from those passing along the road through Allanton Estate which at that time extended to 2,000 acres.

Bonkle from "Cairney Brae" 1951


A cold February day. Note the old streetlights. In previous years this was a favourite sledging spot. The Scout Hut is on the left, centre. Just slightly above and to the left partly hidden by the trees is the smiddy. The Church Spire can just be seen in the trees to the right of the road.

Bonkle 1958



The gas lights have now been replaced by electric lights.

Bonkle 1958

Bonkle 1999


Brownhill View (left) and Cairney Place (right) have arrived

Bonkle 1958

Bonkle Church


The congregation originally started in 1737 on the land of Daviesdykes. The first church the "Moor Kirk" was opened in 1740 and is now in ruins.


On to Bonkle


The first church was built at Bonkle in 1818 though the congregation dates from 1737. (see articles on Bonkle Church on this site). This church served the surrounding community. One of the walls became unstable and the church had to be demolished.

Bonkle Church No 2


The church was rebuilt in 1878 in its present form. It has seating for about 350 people Most of the remaining older housing date from arround this time.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary in 1937 the minister, Rev. Winchester delivered a series of sermons on the history of the congregation. These were published in the Wishaw Press.
In 1987 the 250th anniversary of the Congregation was celebrated, and the book by Jessie Brown published.




The New Church Hall


The Church Minutes show that "new halls" had always been a topic for discussion. The original hall seems to have been expanded piecemeal, ending up L shaped with a small entry corridor, small kitchen, antiroom and toilet. Finally, due to the sale of the manse, sufficient funds were available and a new extension was built in 1991, greatly improving the facilities available.


The Village


Church Road, leading up to the Church is much as it was 100 years ago, but some of the older housing next to the Church has gone, and the trees have grown.


Church Road, Bonkle

Cottages next to Church - original

and now


Meadowfield Place was added in the 1920s

Meadowfield Place

Meadowfield Place, Bonkle

Brownhill view built in the 1960s

Cairney Place in the 1970s

Cairney Place, Bonkle



The people of the village seem to have served the Allanton estate and people in the surrounding farming area, supplying the tradesmen required in those days. The longest lasting of these trades was the Blacksmith. Even after the coming of the industrial age the Smith continued as a "mechanic" for motorised vehicles.

Mr Forsythe, Blacksmith

Forsythe, Blacksmith

The Smiddy has now been replaced by a modern house.

House at 3, Murdostoun Rd, Bonkle

The Bonkle Shop


The village has always had its shop. One of the houses, built in 1811, at 2, Allanton road was in use as a shop in 1917. The room on the right was the shop, the remainder the living quarters. Note the "dummy window" on the right gable. This was built this way to reduce the tax then in place on window area.



2 Allanton Road

Shop No 2

After this, Mrs Marshall used a house (originally next to the next shop) as a shop.

Shop next to present one

This has now been demolished and replaced by four houses.

Scheme next to shop replacing shop No 2

Shop No 3

 A wooden shop was built in 1932 by Mr White. This was on the North side of the road.
In 1938 George Elder bought the shop and "rolled" it across the road on telegraph poles to the present site. (The Elder brothers were never stuck for ideas!)
George Elder was a familiar figure about the village with his guide dog.
He also had a small holding.

Wooden Shop at Bonkle

The next owner, Hannah Jack (Mrs McKeating took over the shop in 1955 and replaced the original wooden building with a brick one.
Betty Paton took over the shop in May 1985, and Mrs Glover in January 1994.
Mrs Collins then took over the shop which again changed hands. The new owner soon closed the shop and it was replaced by two houses.

Present Shop

Tennis Club 1919 - 1939

The original tennis court clubhouse (left) has been converted and extended into a dwelling house, and part of the area forming the two courts has a house built on it.

It is believed that one of the houses on bonkle road was originally used as a staging post for the coach horses. For many years a hand waterpump still stood at the front of the house.

Tennis Pavillion


The First 250 Years of Bonkle Congregation:- Miss Jessie G. Brown, Elder

Articles celebrating 250 anniversary of Bonkle Church by Rev. James Winchester, published in Wishaw Press - from Aug. 20th to Oct 10th, 1937 - (Available in local libraries and Motherwell Heritage Centre)

History of the Parish of Shotts, Grossart. Published by Aird and Coghill, 1880

History of Shotts, Roy. Published by SCWS, Glasgow

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