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Carluke, Lanarkshire

Historical Description

CARLUKE, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of LANARK; including the villages of Braidwood, Kilcadzow, and Yieldshields, and containing 4802 inhabitants, of whom 2090 are in the village of Carluke, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Lanark. The name appears to have been derived from the word Caer, signifying "a hill", and Luac, "Luke", in reference to the dedication of the church, and to the elevated site of the parish. The first historical traces of the district are connected with the reign of David I., when the founder of the Lockhart family, whose descendant is still the principal heritor, came into Scotland with some other Norman families and settled here. The lands of Kirkton, in the parish, anciently belonged to the abbey of Kelso, and were erected into a barony in 1662, by Charles II., in favour of Walter Lockhart, a cadet of the family of Wicketshaw, at that time the proprietors. By a charter of Robert I., that monarch granted to the monks of Lesmahagow ten merks yearly from the revenue of his mills at Mauldslie, in Carluke, for supporting the expense of lights at the tomb of St. Macute, and in a subsequent charter of the 8th of March, 1315, ten merks yearly were bestowed upon the same monks, from the mills, to supply eight wax lights for the tomb on Sundays and festivals. In this reign, also, the church, with all its rights, was given by the king to the monks of Kelso, who performed its duties by a curate, and continued in the possession of its revenues till the Reformation.

The PARISH is about eight miles long, from east to west, and about four and a half broad, containing 15,360 acres. It is bounded on the south-west by the Clyde, and on the west by Garrion Gill. The surface is considerably diversified, consisting of level ground, acclivities, hills, and valleys, clothed in many parts with luxuriant pasture, and ornamented with picturesque scenery, interspersed with numerous neat and comfortable cottages, and elegant mansions, and enlivened and irrigated by the beautiful meanderings of the Clyde. Close to this river is a long narrow tract of sloping ground of rich quality, after which the land rises in an eastern direction, 400 or 500 feet above the sea. From the highest point of this land, along which runs a ridge of sandstone, a level is continued as far as the village, terminating in an extcnsive hill called the Law of Mauldslie, and at the back of the village, the surface again rises towards the east, and terminates in a wild moor. The principal hills are Kilcadzow, Lee, King's, and Mauldslie, the last of which is the most lofty, rising upwards of 800 feet above the level of the sea. The most interesting view of the district is from the Lanark and Glasgow road, on the opposite side of the Clyde, from which point are seen the banks of the river, adorned with fruit and forest trees, and the numerous rills issuing from the concealed and romantic glens and ravines, and eventually falling into the Clyde.

In the neighbourhood of the river, the soil is a rich loam; generally, it is various, in some parts, light and sandy, and famed for its large crops of apples and pears. The whole rests on a subsoil of clay, of widely different appearance and quality; grain to a large amount is produced, and potatoes, turnips, and hay are likewise raised. The system of husbandry here followed, on account of the peculiar character of the soil and other circumstances, is somewhat different from that generally used in other districts. A rotation of crops is not much approved, the course preferred, except on the rich tracts near the Clyde, is to convert the land into permanent pasture, breaking it up only every fifth or sixth year for a crop of oats. The annual value of real property in the parish is £13,437. The rocks consist of limestone, sandstone, and ironstone, which, with various kinds of coal and clay, are found in large quantities. The limestone, with one exception, all lies under the coal, which latter is quarried to a very great extent, and is of excellent quality. Between the coal and limestone the beds of sandstone occur, which, with numerous layers of freestone, supply the best materials for building. A ridge of trap runs eastward from Hillhead to Bashaw, and quartz and agate are both found in the old red sandstone. One of the chief mansions is Mauldslie Castle, built in 1193 by the Earl of Hyndford, an elegant structure ornamented with turrets, and situated in a well-wooded park, through which the Clyde flows for about a mile. The mansion of Milton-Lockhart, lately built, stands upon a point of land projecting into the valley of the Clyde, and beautifully skirted with deep glens and thick woods; the proprietor has built a bridge of three arches over the river, after the model of Bothwell bridge. Braidwood House occupies an eminence above the same vale, and is a handsome and commodious structure. Carluke was erected in 1662 into a burgh of barony, under the name of Kirkstyle, with the privilege of holding a weekly market, and a fair twice in the year: a tax of sixpence in the pound, on house-rent, is levied for the support of constables, and for cleaning and lighting the streets. The population of the town, a few years ago, was insignificant; but there is now a variety of good shops, and a post-office has been established under Lanark. The inhabitants of the parish are chiefly employed in agriculture, and in quarrying freestone, limestone, ironstone, and coal. Fairs are held, one on the 21st May, and another on the 31st October, at which there is a very considerable traffic in milch-cows. The Stirling and Carlisle turnpike-road, and the road between Glasgow and Carnwath, run through the parish; as does also the Caledonian railway, which presents great facility of intercourse.

For ECCLESIASTICAL purposes the parish is within the bounds of the presbytery of Lanark, synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the patronage belongs to the Lockhart family of Lee and Carnwath, and the minister's stipend is £262, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum. Carluke church, which is a substantial building containing 1000 sittings, was built in 1799, at an expense of £1000. There are places of worship for the United Presbyterian Synod and the Synod of United Original Seceders, also a parochial school, in which Latin is taught, with all the usual branches of education, and the master of which has a salary of £34, and £50 fees, with a house and garden. A parochial library was founded in 1827, and a society for the promotion of useful knowledge in 1836; there is also an agricultural society, instituted in 1833, for the purpose of encouraging improvements in the breed of cattle. The great Roman road, through Clydesdale, to the wall of Antoninus, passed through the parish, not far from it, at Cairney Mount and at Law, several coffins have been found, constructed of large stones, and containing urns and ashes. Flint arrow-heads, hatchets, and numerous coins of both silver and gold, of Roman origin, have been also found, at Burnhead and Castlehill. In a dell in the parish is a very ancient tower called Hallbar, fifty-two feet high, and twenty-four feet square on the outside, having a vault beneath, and three apartments, the uppermost of which has an arched roof; it is supposed, from mention of it in a deed dated 1685, to have been attached to the barony of Braidwood. At Hanghill, near Mauldslie Castle, is an old burying-ground several acres in extent, covered with large trees sixty or seventy feet high, and in which the two last Earls of Hyndford were interred. On the estate of Milton-Lockhart part of an ancient fort still remains, in which the celebrated William Wallace once found refuge from the pursuit of his enemies. Major-General Roy, the celebrated engineer, and author of a standard work on Roman Antiquities, was a native of Carluke.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis