David Livingstone's Birthplace, Blantyre

David Livingstone's Birthplace, Blantyre, Scotland

This afternoon, I visited the David Livingstone Visitor Centre  and Birthplace at Blantyre near Glasgow.

Livingstone was a remarkable man. Born in 1813 and brought up in a tiny, one room apartment with eight other family members. Main source of employment was the nearby Textile Mill on the bank of the River Clyde where Livingstone himself commenced work at the tender age of ten years. However, he was extremely determined and went on to qualify as a doctor and then spent most of  his adult life as a missionary and explorer in Africa eventually dying in what is now Tanzania in 1873. Livingstone’s heart is buried at Chitambo Village whilst his other remains were returned to Britain and interred in Westminster Abbey, London in 1874.

The Visitor Centre at Blantyre is well presented. Included is an Explorer’s Garden which, together with the surrounding catchment area boast some 200 species of plants and trees.

Here is a view of the former textile mill (powered by the River Clyde) where Livingstone worked as a boy. He managed to study and work at the same time. This type of water powered mill was very common along the banks of major rivers during the Industrial Revolution.

Former Textile Mill, Blantyre

Former Textile Mill, Blantyre, Scotland

This video clip  shows the interior of the Livingstone’s apartment which also features in the image below.

Livingstone Family Apartment, Blantyre

Livingstone Family Apartment, Blantyre, Scotland

Here is a view of the River Clyde near the former Textile Mill.

River Clyde, Blantyre

River Clyde, Blantyre, Scotland

Here is a tableau showing a 19th century mill worker at work.

Textile Worker Tableau at Blantyre

Textile Worker Tableau at Blantyre, Scotland

 

Overall, a visit to the site is a good experience allowing one to connect with, in addition to Livingstone’s extraordinary life and achievements, industrial history and nature.

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