Parish of New Monkland

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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1791-99: New Monkland
1834-45: New Monkland

Monkland, New, a village and a parish of the Middle Ward, NE Lanarkshire. The village stands 1½ mile NNW of the post-town, Airdrie, adjoining Glenmavis, and is the seat of the parish church (1777; 1200 sittings) and a public school. Pop., with Glenmavis, (1871) 339, (1881) 369.

The parish contains also the town of Airdrie and the villages of Avonhead, East Langrigg, Greengairs, Longriggend, Plains, Riggend, Roughrigg, Wattston, West Langrigg, Clarkston, and Glenboig, with one-eighth of Coatdyke. It is bounded N by Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld in Dumbartonshire (detached), E by Slamannan in Stirlingshire and Torphichen in Linlithgowshire, SE by Shotts, SW by Old Monkland, and W by Old Monkland and Cadder. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 9¾ miles; its utmost breadth, from N to S, is 5½ miles; and its area is 313/8 square miles or 20,117 acres, of which 232 are water. Black Loch (½ x ½ mile) lies right on the Stirlingshire border; and, issuing from it, North Calder Water winds 27/8 miles south-westward along the Slamannan, Torphichen, and Shotts boundary, till it expands into Hillend Reservoir (10½ x 4¾ furl.), after which it meanders 5½ miles south-westward along all the rest of the Shotts boundary, and at Monkland House passes off from this parish on its way to the river Clyde. Luggie Water, a feeder of the Kelvin, flows 6¼ miles westward along the Dumbartonshire border; but some little head-streams of the river Aven drain the north-eastern corner of New Monkland towards the Firth of Forth. Along both the Calder and Luggie the surface declines to less than 300 feet above sea-level; and thence it rises very gradually to 577 feet near Gartlee, 672 at Knowehead, 678 at the Hill of Drumgray, 763 near Little Drumbreck, and 771 at Lochend. Though much of the parish lies more than 600 feet above the sea, yet the dorsal ridge that runs through it from end to end ascends from so broad a base, so gently and continuously, as nowhere to form any height which, properly speaking, can be termed a hill. Much of the highest grounds is covered with moss, and could not be reclaimed except at great expense; but the lower tracts, on the banks of the streams and along the western border, present an agreeable diversity of vale and gently-rising ground, and are in a high state of cultivation. The soil of the arable lands in the eastern and central parts is mossy and late; but that of the northern and western divisions is partly of-a dry character, partly a strong clay. The parish, for a long period, particularly during the Continental war, was famous for its culture of flax. In some years as much as 800 acres were under this species of crop; but the welcome advent of peace, and still more the cheapness and universal introduction of cotton, rendered flax-cultivation here, as elsewhere at that time, unprofitable. The present agriculture of the parish h-as no peculiar features. Its mining industry, however, as noticed in our articles Airdrie and Monkland, is pre-eminently great, or almost distinctive. The rocks are partly eruptive, partly carboniferous; and so far back as the writing of the Old Statistical Account, it is stated that 'coal and ironstone are, or may be, found on almost every farm.' Since then, the working of these minerals has been most extensive, and is still in the course of rapid increase. The quality is only equalled by the abundance of the coal, which in many places is found in seams from 9 to 10 feet thick. The ironstone is found both in balls and in seams; and much of it is of the valuable kind called blackband, which is so abundantly mixed with coal as to require little addition of fuel in the burning. Many of the extensive ironworks in the neighbourhood, or even at a distance, particularly those of Calder, Chapelhall, Gartsherrie, Clyde, and Carron, are supplied with ironstone from New Monkland. Limestone also is worked, particularly in the northern district, but not to a great extent. Several mineral springs, too, exist, chiefly of the chalybeate kind. The Monkland Well, near Airdrie, is the most famous, and at one time enjoyed so high a repute for its efficacy in the cure of scorbutic and other cutaneous diseases, as well as for complaints in the stomach and eyes, as to be a favourite resort even for the wealthy and fashionable citizens of Glasgow and its neighbourhood; but its character as a watering-place has long departed from it, both from a falling off-undeserved, it may be-in the reputation of the springs, and from the lack of features of rural beauty, which have been borne down by a network of railways and by the onward march of a mining and manufacturing population. Alexander Macdonald, M.P. (1821-81), the miners' advocate, was born at Dalmacouther farm. Mansions, noticed separately, are Auchingray and Rochsoles; and 16 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 65 of between £100 and £500. Including the quoad sacra parishes of Airdrie and Flowerhill, with most of Clarkston, New Monkland is in the presbytery of Hamilton and the synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £525. The parish poorhouse accommodates 155 inmates; a hospital was built in 1881-82 at a cost of £1200; and seven public and two Roman Catholic schools, with total accommodation for 1700 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 1158, and grants amounting to £883, 7s. 4d. Valuation (1860) £49,743, (1884) £88,454. Pop. (1801) 4613, (1831) 9867, (1841) 20,515, (1861) 20,554, (1871) 22,752, (1881) 27,816, of whom 14,367 were males, and 8284 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—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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