Parish of Crawfordjohn

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: Crawfordjohn
1834-45: Crawfordjohn

Crawfordjohn, a village and a parish in the SW of the upper ward of Lanarkshire. The village stands, 950 feet above sea-level, near the left bank of Duneaton Water, 6¾ miles N by E of Leadhills, and 4 W of its post-town and station, Abington, this being 43¼ miles SW of Edinburgh. At it are a post office, 2 inns, the manse, the parish church, and a public school; and by Dorothy Wordsworth, who, with her brother and Coleridge, drove through it in August 1803, it was described as 'a pretty, cheerful-looking village, but one that must be very cold in winter, for it stands on a hillside, and the vale itself is very high ground, unsheltered by trees.' One specialty has Crawfordjohn, that the curling-stones made at it are the best to be found in Scotland. The parish, containing also Abington village, is bounded N by Douglas, NE by Wiston, E by Lamington, SE by Crawford, SW by Sanquhar and Kirkconnel in Dumfriesshire, W by Auchinleck and Muirkirk in Ayrshire. Its utmost length is 127/8 miles from E by N to W by S, viz., from Abington to the Ayrshire boundary; its breadth diminishes from 91/8 miles in the E to 7 furlongs in the W; and its area is 26,460¼ acres, of which 103 are water. The Clyde flows 2½ miles northward along all the western boundary, whilst the south-eastern is traced for 2½ miles by its affluent, Glengonner Water. Snar Water, draining the south-eastern district, runs 6 miles northward to Duneaton Water; and Duneaton Water itself rises close to the Ayrshire border, and thence winds 19 miles east-by-northward to the Clyde, its first 6¾ miles following the Douglas, and its last 1¾ mile the Wiston, boundary. Where the Clyde quits the parish, the surface sinks to 750 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 1130 at Knock Leaven, 1260 at Black Hill, 1400 at Mountherrick, 1584 at Drake Law, 1620 at Rake Law, 1808 at Wanlock Dod (just within Sanquhar), 1616 at Cairn Kinny, and 1843 at Stony Hi l (just within Auchinleck). The rocks are mainly metamorphic and Silurian, partly carboniferous; and they include limestone and white sandstone, with traces of coal and of lead and copper ores. The soil of some of the low grounds along the streams is a deep rich loam, of others sandy or gravelly; whilst here and there on the hill-slopes it is a strong red clay, and elsewhere generally moorish. Some 3200 acres are arable, and not more than 50 are under wood. Vestiges of three old castles are at Moss Castle, Glendorch, and Snar; and traces of one large ancient camp crown the SE shoulder of Black Hill; whilst near Shieldholm is another, supposed to be Roman. In 1839, the Eglinton Tournament year, Prince Louis Napoleon, French emperor that was to be, arrived at Abington inn, wet, tired, and hungry, from a day's grouse-shooting on Crawford Muir. He could get no sitting-room, so took his supper by the kitchen fire, slipped away to bed, and early next morning started again on foot- Abington House is the only mansion; and 3 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 6 of between £100 and £500, and 5 of from £20 to £50. Giving off a small portion to Leadhills quoad sacra parish, Crawfordjohn is in the presbytery of Lanark and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £356. The parish church, enlarged and repewed in 1817, contains 310 sittings. At Abington is a Free church; and three schools - Crawfordjohn, Whitccleuch, and Abington-with respective accommodation for 72,23, and 93 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 64, 12, and 50, and grants of £54,17s-, £27,8s. 2d., and £53. Valuation (1882) £11,007,19s. Pop. (1801) 712, (1831) 991, (1861) 980, (1871) 853, (1881) 843.—Ord. Sur., sh. 15,1864.

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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