Scotland's worst mining disaster took place on 22nd October 1877 when an underground explosion in High Blantyre Pit caused the death of 207 miners. Many were just boys, the youngest being eleven years of age. Known locally as the 'Fiery Mine' due to the presence of dangerous fire-damp, improper implementation of regulations designed to prevent ignition had brought tragedy to a small community. To add to the tragedy, within a year, thirty-four widows had been evicted from their homes.
Another disaster followed in 1879, when a further twenty-eight miners were killed. A large granite memorial erected in 1977 commemorates both events.