Parish of Cambusnethan

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: Cambusnethan
1834-45: Cambusnethan

Cambusnethan, a village and a parish in the Middle Ward of Lanarkshire. The village, now incorporated in Wishaw police burgh, stands 1 mile WSW of Newmains station, and 1½ mile NE of Wishaw station; contains a masonic hall, the parish church, a Free church, and a public school; and has fairs on the second Thursday of May and the fourth Thursday of October. The parish church, with 1082 sittings, is a plain Gothic structure, built in 1839 and enlarged in 1875; the public school, with accommodation for 389 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 370, and a grant of £371,15s. The parish contains also the towns and villages of Wishaw, Newmains, Overtown, Coltness Iron-works, Clydesdale-Rows, Chapel, Stane, Morningside, Waterloo, Bonkle, and part of Shotts Iron-works. It is bounded N by Shotts, E by Whitburn in Linlithgowshire and West Calder in Edinburghshire, SE by Carstairs, S by Carluke, SW by Dalserf and Hamilton, and W by Dalziel. Its greatest length, from E to W, is 7¾ miles; its breadth, from N to S, varies between 1¾ and 4 miles; and its area is 16,708¼ acres, of which 100½ are water. The Clyde traces all the south-western boundary; the South Calder most of the northern, and the Garrion traces part of the southern, boundary; whilst four burns running eastward to Breich Water drain the north-eastern end. The tract along the Clyde is low and level, consisting of beautiful fertile haughs, and sinking to less than 100 feet above sea-level; the surface thence has a general eastward rise, attaining 386 feet near West Netherton, 458 at Wemysshill, 570 near Newmains, 680 at Gallowhill, 844 near Springhill, and 950 on Auchterhead Muir. From the church at the village, one can see no fewer than 15 other parish churches; the line of the Caledonian railway, along the brow of the acclivities above the haughs upon the Clyde, looks over great part of Clydesdale; and the heights in the NE command views so extensive as to include the castles of Edinburgh and Dumbarton, Tinto and Loudoun Hills, and the Argyllshire mountains. The tracts near the Clyde and South Calder, and parts of the interior are finely embellished with wood; the central parts, though naturally rich in aspect, are disfigured by mining operations, mineral works, and coal traffic; the eastern and north-eastern district is bleak and moorish. The rocks of great part of the parish belong to the Carboniferous formation, and are rich in good coal, valuable blackband ironstone, and excellent sandstone. Coal, worked in many places and to a vast amount, is exported E and W by all the railways. Blackband ironstone is found on the estates of Coltness and Allanton, and in the neighbourhood of Headlesscross; and supplies blast-furnaces of the Shotts Iron Company at Stane. Clay of excellent quality, in deposits generally 10 feet thick, abounds, and is used for very extensive tile-works at Wishaw and at Coltness. Cambusnethan House stands near the Clyde. amid charming grounds, at the ravine of Hall Gill, 1¼ mile SW of Wishaw station. Built in 1819, after designs by Gillespie Graham, it is an elegant Gothic edifice in imitation of a priory, and is the seat of MajorGen. Græme Alex. Lockhart (b. 1820; suc. 1873). Other chief mansions are Wishaw House, Coltness, Allanton, and Muirhouse. Twelve proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 43 of between £100 and £500,66 of from £50 to £100, and 121 of from £20 to £50. The entire parish was anciently one barony belonging to the Bairds, from whom it passed to successively the Stewarts and the Somervilles. The ancient parish church stood in a very romantic spot, in the near vicinity of the Clyde, at the SW point of the parish; seems to have been built at a very remote period for the accommodation of the family occupying the original mansion of Cambusnethan; and is now represented by a mere fragment, showing some remains of architectural magnificence. Another old place of worship, which has left no vestiges, stood towards the centre of the parish, at a place still called Chapel; and a third, where the famous Covenanting ministers Cameron and Renwick preached, stood at Darmead Linn, in the extreme NE. Cambusnethan is now in the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; and is divided among the quoad sacra parishes of Cambusnethan, Calderhead, Wishaw, and Overtown, the first being a living worth £464. Under a school-board for the entire parish there are 13 schools, viz.-5 at Wishaw, and others of Berryhill, Cambusnethan, Morningside, Waterloo, Coltness Iron Company (Overtown), Coltness Iron-works (Newmains), Overtown, and Newmains. With total accommodation for 4234 children, these had (1880) an average attendance of 3621, and grants amounting to £3331,1s. 10d. Valuation (1860) £69,222, (1881) £91,036,16s. Pop. (1801) 1972, (1831) 3824, (1841) 5796, (1861) 14,601, (1871) 20,326, (1881) 20,824; of registration district (1871) 18,709, (1881) 19,287.—Ord. Sur., sh. 23. 1865. See the Rev. P. Brown's Historical Sketches of the Parish of Cambusnethan (Wishaw, 1859).

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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