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Coatbridge

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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Coatbridge, a town of Old Monkland parish, Lanarkshire. It stands, at 300 feet above sea-level, on the Monkland Canal, and in the midst of a perfect network of railways, being 2 miles W by S of Airdrie, 8¾ E of Glasgow, and 34 W by S of Edinburgh - Fifty years since it was only a village; and its rapid extension is due to its position in the centre of Scotland's chief mineral field. The Airdrie and Coatbridge district comprises 21 active collieries; and in or about the town are 5 establishments for the pig-iron manufacture-Calder, Carnbroe, Gartsherrie, Langloan, and Summerlee-of whose 41 furnaces 29 were in blast in 1879, when 8 malleable iron-works had 113 puddling furnaces and 19 rolling mills. Nor are these the only industries; boilers, tubes, tinplate, firebrick and fireclay, bricks and tiles, oakum, and railway waggons being also manufactured. Coatbridge, in its growth, has absorbed, or is still absorbing, a number of outlying suburbs-Langloan, Gartsherrie, High Sunnyside, Coats, Clifton, Drumpellier, Dundyvan, Summerlee, Whifflet, Coatdyke, etc.; and the appearance of the whole, redeemed though it is by some good architectural features, is far more curious than pleasing. Fire, smoke, and soot, with the roar and rattle of machinery, are its leading characteristics; the flames of its furnaces cast on the midnight sky a glow as if of some vast conflagration. Wholly almost of recent erection, it has stations on the Caledonian and North British railways, a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and railway telegraph departments, branches of the Clydesdale, National, Royal, and Union banks, 24 insurance agencies, 2 hotels, a literary association, gas-works, a water company conjointly with Airdrie, and a Saturday paper, the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser (1855). A theatre and music hall, seating 2000 spectators, was opened in 1875; and at Langloan is the West End Park, where in 1880 a red granite fountain, 20 feet high, was erected in memory of Janet Hamilton (17951873), the lowly Coatbridge poetess. Gartsherrie quoad sacra church (1839; 1050 sittings) cost over £3300, and is a prominent object, with a spire 136 feet high; and Coats quoad sacra church (1875; 1000 sittings) is a handsome Gothic edifice, built from endowment by the late George Baird of Stitchell. Of 4 Free churches-Middle, East, West, and Whifflet-the finest was built in 1875; and other places of worship are a U.P. church (1872), a Congregational church, an Evangelical Union church, a Baptist church, a Wesleyan church (1874), St John's Episcopal church (1843-71), and two Roman Catholic churches, St Patrick's (1848) and St Mary's, Whifflet (1874). Besides other schools noticed under Old Monkland, Coatbridge public school, Langloan public school, and St Patrick's Roman Catholic school, with respective accommodation for 795,388, and 582 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 751,373, and 456, and grants of 739,10s., £282,14s. 2d., and £347,7s. Pop. (1831) 741, (1841) 1599, (1851) 8564, (1861) 12,006, (1871) 15,802, (1881) 18,425, or, with Whifflet, 20,608.—Ord. Sur., sh. 31,1867. See Andrew Miller's Rise and Progress of Coatbridge and the Surrounding Neighbourhood (Glas. 1864).

Drumpellier, extensive iron-works and mineral pits of Old Monkland parish, Lanarkshire, in the western vicinity of Coatbridge. Drumpellier House, 1¼ mile W of the town, is the property of D. Carrick-Buchanan, Esq. of Carradale, who holds 868 acres in Lanarkshire, valued at £500 per annum.

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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