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Eaglesham

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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Eaglesham, a village and a parish of SE Renfrewshire. The village, standing 500 feet above sea-level, is 4 miles S of Busby, 8½ S of Glasgow, 11 SE of Paisley, and 3¾ S by E of Clarkston station on the East Kilbride branch of the Caledonian, with which it communicates by omnibus. Successor to an older village that during the reign of Charles II. was important enough to acquire by act of parliament a weekly market, it was founded by the twelfth Earl of Eglinton in 1796, and, had its founder's plan been carried out, would have ranked second to scarce a small town in Scotland. Even as it is, it presents a remarkably regular and pleasant aspect, with its double row of neat two-story houses. facing each other at the distance of 100 yards at the upper and 250 at the lower end; whilst midway between them flows a rivulet, whose gently-sloping banks are partly greensward, partly adorned with trees. The parish church (1790; 550 sittings) is a plain structure with a chaste steeple; and other places of worship are a U.P. church (350 sittings), a Free church (320 sittings), and St Bridget's Roman Catholic church (1858; 350 sittings). Eaglesham has besides a post office under Glasgow, a branch of the Clydesdale Bank, 2 hotels, gas-works, and a flower show on the third Thursday of August o.s. Handloom weaving, once the staple industry, is all but extinct; and a cotton-mill, some years ago destroyed by fire, has never been rebuilt. Hence the rapid decrease in the number of the inhabitants. Now, however, the bracing and healthy air is proving a strong attraction to many Glasgow families, and in summer there is a large influx of visitors. A public and a girls' industrial school, with respective accommodation for l66 and 150 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 125 and 52, and grants of £109, 7s. 10d. and £39, 2s. Pop. (1861) 1769, (1871) 1237, (1881) 885.

The parish is bounded NW by Mearns, NE by Cathcart and East Kilbride in Lanarkshire, E and SE by East Kilbride, S by Londoun in Ayrshire, and SW by Fenwick, likewise in Ayrshire. Its utmost length, from NW to SE, is 6¼ miles; its utmost breadth, from NE to SW, is 5¼ miles; and its area is 16,003¾ acres, of which 337¾ are water. White Cart Water, gathering its head-streams from the eastern moors, winds 5¼ miles north-westward along all the north-eastern border; and Earn Water flows to it north-eastward along the boundary with Mearns; whilst through the interior run Ardoch and Boreland Burns, with others of its tributaries. In the S, however, rise several affluents and sub-affluents of the river Irvine. To the SW lie Binend Loch (5 x 2 furl.), Dunwan Dam (71/3 x 3), and Loch Goin or Blackwater Dam (7 x 3); nearer the village are High Dam (1¾ x 1¼), Mid Dam (1 x ¾), and Picketlaw Reservoir (2 x 1¼). In the furthest N the surface sinks along the Cart to 380 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 832 at Moor-Yett plantation, 1084 at Balagich Hill, 1035 at Blackwood Hill, 987 at Melowther Hill, and 1230 near the south-eastern border. The rocks, with slight exception, are alternations of greenstone, claystone, and greywacke-part of the great trap mass that predominates so extensively in the hills of Renfrewshire. The soil, though reposing almost everywhere on trap, varies greatly in quality, some parts being specially rich, and others being represented by barren moors or deep bogs. The pasture is generally excellent. About five-twelfths of the entire area are under cultivation, threefourteenths are meadow or natural pasture, 178¾ acres are under wood, and all the rest is either moss or moor. The moors, especially about Loch Goin, figure often in the history of the Covenant, two of whose martyrs rest in the parish kirkyard. North Moorhouse farm, near Earn Water, 3 miles to the W of the village, was the birthplace of Robert Pollok (1799-1827), the gifted author of the Course of Time; and in that epic one lights again and again on sketches of the ' hills and streams and melancholy deserts ' round his home, that home overshadowed by four goodly trees-

' Three ash and one of elm. Tall trees they were,
And old; and had been old a century
Before my day.'

The barony of Eaglesham formed part of the grant made by David I. (1124-53) to Walter, the founder of the house of Stewart, by whom it was transferred to Robert de Montgomery; and it was long the Montgomeries' chief possession, Sir John, who wedded the heiress of Eglinton, here building the castle of Polnoon towards the close of the 14th century. Eaglesham House, late Polnoon Lodge, to the NE of the village, is the seat of Allan Gilmour, Esq. (b. 1820; suc. 1849), who owns 16, 516 acres in the shire, valued at £12,106 per annum. With the exception of 10 acres, he is sole proprietor. Eaglesham is in the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £369. Valuation (1860) £11, 350, (1882) £14, 731, l 2s. 6d. Pop. (1801) 1176, (1831) 2372, (1851) 2524, (1861) 2328, (1871) 1714, (1881) 1382.—Ord. Sur., sh. 22, 1865.

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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