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Cambuslang

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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Cambuslang, a quasi-town and a parish of NW Lanarkshire. The quasi-town stands on broken ground, traversed by a romantic brook, adjacent to the Glasgow, Uddingstone, and Motherwell branch of the Caledonian railway, within ½ mile of the Clyde's left bank, 3¾ miles SE of Glasgow; extends slightly into Rutherglen parish; consists of a cluster of five villages-Silverbanks, furthest W; then Cambuslang proper; then Kirkhill, the original village; then the hamlet of Lightburn; and lastly that of Dalton. Bearing aggregately and popularly the name of Cambuslang, it presents, from many points of view, a finely picturesque appearance; consists chiefly of very plain houses; is inhabited principally by weavers and colliers, partly by masons and agricultural labourers; and has a station on the railway, a post office under Glasgow, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, a branch of the Commercial Bank, gas-works, a handsome parish church (1841; 1000 sittings) with a conspicuous spire, a Free church with another fine spire, an Independent chapel (1801), and St Bride's Roman Catholic church (1878; 500 sittings). A spacious natural amphitheatre, on the green side of the ravine of the intersecting burn, a little E of the present parish church, served in 1742 as a substitute for the church of that date, from 8 Feb. to 15 Aug. being the scene of a remarkable religions revival,-the Camb'slang Wark,- ' when,' to quote the late Dr Hill Burton, 'in an encampment of tents on the hill-side, Whitfield, at the head of a band of clergy, held, day after day, a festival, which might be called awful, but scarcely solemn, among a multitude, calculated by contemporary writers to amount to 30,000 people.' The centenary of the revival w as- commemorated on 14 Aug. 1842, by tent preaching in the ravine, and was attended by a multitude of persons variously estimated at from 10,000 to 12,000. A chapel on the edge of the ravine, near Sauchiebog, was founded in 1379, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary; and has bequeathed the name of Chapel-land to a plot of about 4 acres around its site. Pop. (1881) of Cambuslang village, 4772; of other villages, 4318. The parish contains also groups of houses at NewtonColliery, Flemington-Colliery, and the Steel Co. of Scotland Works at Hallside. It is bounded N by the river Clyde, separating it from Old Monkland; E by the Rotten Calder, separating it from Blantyre; S by East Kilbride; W by Carmunnock; and NW by Rutherglen. Its greatest length, from N by E to S by W, is 3¾ miles; its greatest breadth is 3½ miles; and its area is 5209 acres, of which 49 are water. The surface is beautifully diversified with hill and dale. From less than 50 feet above sea-level along the Clyde, the surface rises towards a ridge, which, crowned by the summits of Dechmont (602 feet) and Turnlaw (553), occupies a breadth of about ½ mile and a length of 2 miles in the SW, and is part of a long range extending westward along the mutual border of Lanark and Ayr shires into Renfrewshire. The ground thence declines in a gradual manner, with beauteous irregularities and undulations, to the romantic glen of the Calder and to the low flat banks of the Clyde. The latter river is here from 200 to 250 feet broad; generally overflows part of the low grounds several times in the year; and has been known to rise 20 feet above its usual level. The rocks beneath the low lands belong to the Carboniferous formation. Coal is plentiful, has been worked for upwards of 300 years, and yields a large annual output; whilst ironstone also abounds, but has been worked on only a small scale. Limestone, so fine as to be known as 'Cambuslang marble,' is interstratified with some of the coal seams at a depth of 200 feet; has a beautiful dark grey or dark brown colour, with whitish streaks and spots; is capable of a very high polish; and has been used for ornamental purposes. Sandstone, of various colour and grain, from whitish to red and from fine to coarse, is plentiful, and has been largely quarried for building purposes. Trap rock abounds in the hills; and a hard bluish kind of it, interspersed with veins of red, blue, and violet quartz, is quarried on the E side of Dechmont. The soil on the hills is light and stony; along the banks of the Clyde is partly a light loam, partly a light sand; and elsewhere is mostly clay on a tilly subsoil. Very little land is waste or uncultivated. Chief antiquities are traces of ancient buildings on the summit of Dechmont, vestiges of Drumsargard Castle, 1¾ mile ESE of the parish church; Latrick mansion, of the 17th century, on the S side of Dechmont; and the site of an ancient hospital at Spittal, 2½ miles SE of the church. Rt. Fleming (1630-94), author of The Fulfilling of the Scripture, was minister from 1653 to 1662 of Cambuslang, where was born his son and namesake (d. 1716), author of The Rise and Fall of the Papacy; another native was the Indian Evangelist, Clandins Buchanan, D.D. (1766-1815); and Gilbertfield gave designation to Wm. Hamilton (1670-1751), Allan Ramsay's friend and brotherpoet. The principal mansions are Gilbertfield, Newton, Westburn, Caldergrove, Hallside, Morriston, Wellshot, and Millheugh; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 11 of between £100 and £500,14 of from £50 to £100, and 27 of from £20 to £50. Cambuslang is in the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £525. Three public schools (Bushy Hill, Kirkhill, and Newton), Cambuslang Industrial school, and St Bride's Roman Catholic school, with respective accommodation for 278,300,250,117, and 253 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 283,286,153,29, and 172, and grants of £205, £250,5s., £139,4s. 6d., £27,19s. 6d., and £121,12s. Valuation(1860)£15,003, (1881)£56,565, 3s. 4d. Pop. (1801) 1558, (1831) 2697, (1861) 3647, (1871) 3740, (1881) 9447.—Ord. Sur., shs. 23,31,1865-67.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available.

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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