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Cumbernauld

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Cumbernauld, a thriving town and a parish in the detached section of Dumbartonshire. The town is situated on the high road from Glasgow to Edinburgh through Falkirk, 1¾ mile N of Cumbernauld station on the Caledonian, and 2 miles SW of Castlecary station on the North British, this being 15½ miles NE of Glasgow, 6¼ W by S of Falkirk, and 31¾ W by N of Edinburgh. A picturesque old place, sheltered to E and SE by the grounds of Cumbernauld House, it was created a burgh of barony in 1649, and has a post office under Glasgow, a branch of the Royal Bank, a local savings' bank, 2 chief inns, gas-works, many new handsome villas, and a cattle-fair on the second Thursday of May. The parish church here is an old building, containing 660 sittings; the Free church dates from 1826, having belonged to the Original Secession, but has been lately almost rebuilt; and there is also a new U.P. church. Handloom weaving of checks and other striped fabrics is still carried on, but mining and quarrying are the staple industry. Pop. (1861) 1561, (1871) 1193, (1881) 1064. The parish, containing also the village of Condorrat, was disjoined from Kirkintilloch in 1649, under the name of Easter Lenzie. It is bounded NW by Kilsyth, NE by Denny, and E by Falkirk, all three in Stirlingshire; S by New Monkland, in Lanarkshire; and W by Kirkintilloch. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 7¼ miles; its utmost breadth, from N to S, is 4 miles; and its area is 11,804 acres, of which 168½ are water. Fannyside Loch, 2¾ miles SE of the town, is the only one that has not been drained of several lakes; it is 6¾ furlongs long and from 1 to 2 furlongs broad. The new-born Kelvin traces 3¼ miles of the north-western, and Luggie Water 4½ miles of the southern, border; whilst the former throughout is also closely followed by 4½ miles of the Forth and Clyde Canal. The surface is prettily diversified with gentle acclivities and fertile vales, sinking in the W to close on 200 feet above sea-level, and rising eastward to 482 feet at Croy Hill, 513 near Carrickstone, 528 near West Forest, and 580 near Garbet on Fannyside Muir, which, yielding now nothing but gorse and heather, was, down to a comparatively recent period, occupied by a remnant of the ancient Caledonian Forest. Here, till at least 1571, the savage white cattle still ran wild, since in that year a writer complains of the havoc committed by the King's party on the deer in the forest of Cumbernauld and its 'quhit ky and bullis, to the gryt destructione of polecie and hinder of the commonweil. For that kynd of ky and bullis hes bein keipit this money yeiris in the said forest; and the like was not mentenit in ony uther partis of the Ile of Albion.' The rocks are partly eruptive, partly belong to the Carboniferous Limestone series. A colliery is at Netherwood; ironstone has been mined to a small extent by the Carron Company; and limestone, brick-clay, sandstone, and trap are all of them largely worked, the sandstone for building, the trap for road-metal, paving, and rough masonry. The soil varies in quality, but is chiefly a deep clay of tolerable fertility. Fully eleven-sixteenths of the entire area are under the plough; woods may cover one-sixteenth more; and the rest is pastoral or waste. Antoninus. Wall, traversing all the northern border, nearly in the line of the canal, has left some scanty remains; and a Roman road, leading southward from Castlecary, is partially traceable on Fannyside Muir. On the standing-stone of Carrickstone Bruce is said by tradition to have planted his standard, when marshalling his forces on the eve of the battle of Bannockburn; and pre-Reformation chapels are thought to have existed at Achenbee, Achenkill, Chapelton, Kildrum, Kilmuir, and Croy. Cumbernauld House, standing amid an extensive park, ¼ mile ESE of the town, superseded an ancient castle, which, with its barony, passed about 1306 from the Comyns to Sir Robert Fleming, whose grandson, Sir Malcolm, was lord of both Biggar and Cumbernauld; it is now a seat of John William Burns, Esq. of Kilmahew (b. 1837; suc. 1871), owner of 1670 acres in the shire, valued at £3394 per annum. Other mansions are Dullatur House, Nether Croy, and Greenfaulds; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 16 of between £100 and £500,12 of from £50 to £100, and 35 of from £20 to £50. Taking in quoad sacra a small portion of Falkirk parish, Cumbernauld is in the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £380. Three public schools- Cumbernauld, Condorrat, and Arns-and Drumglass Church school, with respective accommodation for 350, 229,50, and 195 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 225,98,30, and 171, and grants of £230, 6s. 6d., £90,3s., £41,5s., and £162,8s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £15,204, (1882) £25,098,15s. Pop. (1801) 1795, (1831) 3080, (1861) 3513, (1871) 3602, (1881) 4270.—Ord. Sur., sh. 31,1867.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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