East Kilbride

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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Kilbride, East, a small town and a parish on the western border of the Middle Ward of Lanarkshire. The town, towards the NE corner of the parish, stands 590 feet above sea-level at the terminus of a branch line incorporated in 1863-65, by road being 8 miles SSE of Glasgow, 6 ¼ W by S of Hamilton, and 8 ¼ NNW of Strathaven, by rail 4 ½ ESE of Busby, 8 ¾ SE of Pollokshaws Junction, and 12 ¼ SSE of Glasgow. An ancient place of poor appearance, towards the close of the reign of Queen Anne it was made a burgh of barony, with a weekly market and three annual fairs; and it now has a post office under Glasgow, a branch of the Clydesdale Bank, gasworks, and a fair on the Friday after 10 June. Places of worship are the parish church (1774; 900 sittings), a Free church, and a U.P. church (1791; 913 sittings). Pop. (1841) 926, (1861) 1171, (1871) 1100,

The parish, containing also the villages of Auldhouse, Jackton, Kittockside, Nerston, and Maxwelton, a third of the town of Busby, and the stations of Hairmyres and Thornton Hall, comprises the ancient parishes of East Kilbride and Torrance. It is bounded N by Carmunnock and Cambuslang, E by Blantyre and Glassford, SE and S by Avondale, and W by Loudoun in Ayrshire, Eaglesham in Renfrewshire, and the Lanarkshire section of Cathcart. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 9 5/8 miles; its breadth varies between 2 ¼ and 5 7/8 miles; and its area is 22, 797 ½ acres, of which 37 ¾ are water. Four rivulets or their head-streams, rising in the interior, run divergently - Calder Water, 2 7/8 miles east-by-northward along the southern boundary on its way to the Avon; White Cart Water, 7 ¼ miles north-north-westward along the western boundary; the Kittock, past East Kilbride town and Kittockside village, westward to the White Cart; and the Calder or Rotten Calder, 7 ¼ miles north-north-eastward, chiefly along the eastern boundary, on its way to the Clyde. The surface declines along the White Cart in the NW to 200, along the Rotten Calder in the NE to 450, and along Calder Water in the SE to 690, feet above sea-level; between these points it attains 692 feet near Rogerton, 719 at Lickprivick, 726 at Crosshill, 791 at Raahead, 1130 at Ardochrig Hill, and 1215 at Ellrig. Thus a gradual southward ascent, consisting of a regular succession of small hills, with very little intervening level ground, occupies all the distance from Crossbasket to Ellrig; sloping grounds occupy much of the western and the eastern borders; and high moors, extending outward from Ellrig, occupy nearly all the extreme S. The rocks are partly eruptive, partly carboniferous. Limestone and sandstone, both of excellent quality, have been very largely worked, as also have Roman cement and potter's clay. Ironstone is mined at Crossbasket; but the coal is of limited quantity, and of very indifferent quality. Quartz nodules, too, pyrites, shorl, galena, and some other minerals are found. The soil is very various, and much of it still remains in a mossy condition, though agricultural improvement has been actively carried on. East Kilbride barony, which comprised nearly two-thirds of the parish, belonged to successively the Comyns, the Lord High Stewards of Scotland, and the Lindsays of Dunrod, whose stately stronghold, Mains Castle, is now a ruin, 7 furlongs NNW of the town. The site only is left of Lickprivick Castle, 2 miles SSW, which for several centuries was the seat of Lickprivicks of that ilk. Harelaw Cairn, on Raahead farm, was finally demolished in 1808; and another cairn near Mains Castle has likewise disappeared. The famous anatomists, William Hunter, M.D., F.R.S. (1718-83), and his brother, John (1728-93), were born at Long Calderwood; and the cottage of Forefaulds, on the Long Calderwood property, was the birthplace of John Struthers (1776-1853), author of The Poor Man's Sabbath. Mount Cameron, 7 furlongs ESE of the town, from soon after the '45 till her death in 1773, was the residence of the well-known Jacobite lady, Mrs Jean Cameron. Mansions are Calderwood Castle, Cleughearn Lodge, Crossbasket, Torrance, Lawmuir, and Limekilns, of which the four first are noticed separately; and 11 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 53 of between £100 and £500, 31 of from £50 to £100, and 44 of from £20 to £50. Giving off ecclesiastically two portions to Carmunnock and Chapelton, East Kilbride is in the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £465. Auldhouse, East Kilbride, and Jackton public schools, and Maxwelton endowed school, with respective accommodation for 98, 314, 70, and 127 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 43, 178, 37, and 66, and grants of £47, 19s., £180, 16s., £33, 7s. 6d., and £57, 18s. Valuation (1860) £26,181, (1883) £40,355, 3s. 7d. Pop. (1801) 2330, (1831) 3789, (1861) 4064, (1871) 3861, (1881) 3975, of whom 3226 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 23, 22, 1865. See David Ure's History and Antiquities of Rutherglen and East Kilbride (Glasgow, 1793).

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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