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Tower Mains Farm, Liberton

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Tower Mains Farm, Liberton
Tower Mains Farm, Liberton
According to The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845), Liberton was one of the most important agricultural parishes in Scotland. The cultivated land was divided into thirty-four farms varying in size from 40 to 268 acres. One of these farms was Tower Mains Farm.

In 1917, when most of these photographs were taken, Liberton was part of Midlothian and the farm which belonged to a Brigadier General Robert Gordon, had been farmed by the Monteith Family for at least 2 generations. The farmer in 1917 was Bryden Monteith who together with his wife Margaret lived at Tower Mains. Bryden Monteith was born in 1861 at Tower Mains when his father, also named Bryden, was the occupier.

According to Valuation Rolls from 1915, the land that Bryden Jr rented was quite substantial. Apart from Tower Mains Farm itself, which had an additional six farmhouses, Bryden was tenant of Liberton Farmhouse where there were also six farmhouses which were rented out to various people including farm workers, a teacher and a printer.

Farming must have provided a rather comfortable life for Bryden, as according to Passenger list records found on Findmypast, in 1909 he embarked from Liverpool on the S.S. Medic heading for Sydney, Australia. In 1925, he boarded the S.S. Aguila and made a round trip to Lisbon, Maderia and the Canary Islands. Finally, he is recorded in 1929 on the S.S. Patuea heading for Kingston Jamaica. On all these trips, Bryden travelled 1st Class.

We know that Margaret Monteith died in 1928 and Bryden died on 11 September 1930 at Tower Mains aged 69. What we are not sure of is whether the farm continued under the Monteith family. A search of Valuation Rolls of 1935 and 1940 has Bryden Jr's son, also named Brydon Monteith, at Spottiswoode Road in Marchmont.

Tower Mains is now a mixture of residential and commercial premises.

Learn about the Edinburgh Boundaries Extension and Tramways Act of 1920 which brought Liberton, and the other Midlothian parishes of Colinton, Corstorphine, Cramond and the Burgh of Leith into the City of Edinburgh in our
ReDrawing Edinburgh: Edinburgh in 1920 exhibition.