Parish of Carstairs

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: Carstairs
1834-45: Carstairs

Carstairs, a village, a junction, and a parish of E Lanarkshire. The village stands, at 700 feet above sea-level, near the Caledonian railway, ½ mile SE of Mouse Water, 1 mile WNW of Carstairs Junction, and 4 miles ENE of Lanark, under which it has a post office. Anciently Called Castleterres or Carstaires, signifying the castle or fort of the estate, it underwent great improvement prior to 1835, and presents a pleasant appearance, with the parish church on a rising ground in its centre. Pop. (1861) 450, (1871) 484, (1881) 528. The railway junction, at the divergence of the main trunk into the Edinburgh and Glasgow forks of the Caledonian, stands on low flat ground, 7 furlongs NW of the main trunk's viaduct over the Clyde, 28½ miles SW of Edinburgh, 31¼ ESE of Glasgow, and 73½ NNW of Carlisle. It includes a long glazed arcade, divided lengthwise into two sections, wi-th offices and refreshment rooms along the middle, as also ranges of engine-houses. A village of the name of Carstairs Junction adjoins the station, and has a post and telegraph office under Lanark. Pop. (1871) 691, (1881) 868. The parish, containing also the village of Ravenstruther, is bounded N by West Calder in Edinburghshire, NE and E by Carnwath, S by Pettinain, SW by Lanark, W by Lanark and Carluke. and NW by Cambusnethan. Its greatest length, from N by W to S by E, is 77/8 miles; its breadth from E to W varies between 1¼ and 31/8 miles; and its area is 9899½ acres, of which 78¾ are water. The Clyde for 3 miles roughly traces all the southern boundary, and its affluent, Mouse Water, after following the Carnwath border for 3½ miles, winds about 4 miles south-westward through the interior, and passes into Lanark. The surface is low and flat along the Clyde, sinking to 600 feet above sea-level; thence it rises northward to 773 feet at Lang Hill, 884 at Harelaw, 985 at Haminghead, 1029 beyond Birniehall, and 950 at Black Hill on the West Linton boundary, the centre being considerably diversified by a multitude of low roundish sand knolls, and the N being occupied by bleak, tame, moorish uplands. A tract in the S, including the fine demesne of Carstairs House, is highly ornate; and some other spots, particularly along Mouse Water, have features of considerable beauty. The rocks, in some parts, belong to the Carboniferous formation; in others, are eruptive. Sandstone and limestone occur, but are not quarried; and very fine clay lies NW of Mouse Water, and is used for the manufacture of tiles. The soil of the low grounds in the S is richly alluvial; of the centre is sandy; and of the grounds in some hollows and in the N, is mossy or moorish. About 8250 acres are either regularly or occasionally in tillage, and some 400 are under wood. A Roman road traversed the S of the parish; a Roman camp has left vestiges on Corbiehall farm; and 'Coria,' here placed by Skene, seems to have been the chief seat of the Damnonii in the 2d century a.d., to judge from remains both native and Roman-urns, weapons, culinary utensils, and vestiges of a bath. Sir John Lockhart-Ross (172190), the distinguished admiral, was a native. Carstairs House, near the Clyde, 1¼ mile S W of the Junction, is a fine modern Gothic mansion; its owner, Rt. Monteith, Esq. (b. 1812; suc. 1848), holds 5581 acres in the shire, valued at £8963 per annum. Carstairs is in the presbytery of Lanark and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £390. The church, erected in 1794, has a spire and clock, and contains 430 sittings. Carstairs public and Carstairs Junction schools, with respective accommodation for 168 and 246 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 137 and 140 and grants of £137,16s. 6d. and £142,8s. Valuation (1881) £15,737,6s. Pop. (1801) 899, (1831) 981, (1861) 1345, (1871) 1718, (1881) 1955.—Ord. Sur., sh. 23, 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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