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Duntocher

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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Duntocher, a small manufacturing town in Old Kilpatrick parish, Dumbartonshire, on Dalmuir Burn, in a gap of the Lower Kilpatrick Hills, 1 mile NE by N of Dalmuir station, and 9 miles by road NW of Glasgow. It occupies a romantic site, in front of picturesque groupings of the Kilpatrick Hills; has charming environs, with many delightful walks; and, extending with its eastern suburbs of Faifley and Hardgate to a length of fully 1 mile, consists chiefly of plain twostory houses, many of them with small gardens attached. A bridge over it at the town is very ancient; bears a Latin inscription, placed upon it in 1772, stating it to have been built by the Romans; and is firmly believed by most of the townspeople, and even thought by some antiquaries, to be really a Roman structure, perhaps the oldest bridge in Scotland; but has been so often repaired as to retain few or no indications of its date, and very probably was no otherwise Roman than in having been built with stones abstracted from a previous Roman structure. A Roman fort stood on a neighbouring hill; and, though now almost entirely obliterated, continued till Pennant's time (1772) to be distinctly traceable, and has yielded some important relics. Three subterranean vaulted chambers were discovered on the side of this hill in 1775; included several rows of pillars, arranged in a labyrinth of passages; and were conjectured to have been a sudatorium or hot bath for the use of the garrison. Roman tablets, altars, vases, coins, and querns were found either on the hill or in a neighbouring field; and most of them were deposited for preservation in the Hunterian Museum of Glasgow College. Antoninus' Wall also passed a short distance to the S, and might readily have yielded its materials for the constructing of buildings after the Roman times. The town, then only a village, about the end of last century became a seat of cotton manufacture; but its mill was closed in 1808, when the Gartclash property passed to William Dunn (1770-1849). By him the mill was reopened and greatly extended, and to him Duntocher owed its rapid expansion. Since 1831 it was the seat of trade or the four large cotton - mills of Duntocher itself, Faifley, Hardgate, and Miltonfield, all four within a mile of one another. These mills long turned out annually about a million of pounds of cotton yarn, and two millions of yards of cotton cloth; and afforded the chief means of support to the population. But there are also, in the town, a manufactory of agricultural implements, and, in its near vicinity, lime-works, coal-works, and quarries. The town has a post office under Glasgow, a chapel of ease (1836; 800 sittings), a Free church, a U.P. church (670 sittings), St Mary's Roman Catholic church (1850; 500 sittings), public and Roman Catholic schools, a public library, and a savings' bank. Pop. (1851) 2446, (1861) 2360, (1871) 1367, (1881) 1561.—Ord. Sur., sh. 30, 1866.

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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