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Carmunnock, Lanarkshire

Historical Description

CARMUNNOCK, a parish, in the Lower ward of the county of LANARK; containing 711 inhahitants, of whom 390 are in the village, 5 miles (S.) from Glasgow. The name of this place is supposed to have been derived from the compound Gaelic word Caer-Mannock, signifying "the monk's fort". The remains uf antiquity here bear testimony to the settlement and military operations of the Romans; vestiges of a military road and camp are still to be seen on the estate of Castlemilk, and pieces of ancient armour, with a variety of utensils, have been found. In the reign of William the Lion, the manor was held by Henry, son of Anselm, who assumed the name of Henry of "Cormanock". Some time before the year 1189, he granted the church to the monks of Paisley, with half a curucate of land, and a right of common, and directed that his remains and those of his wife should he interred in the monastery. The church was held by the monks till the Reformation.

The PARISH is about four miles long, from north-east to south-west, and averages about two miles and a half in breadth. It contains 3540 acres, of which 3025 are arable, and under a regular system of cultivation, 315 wood, and 135 pasture, the remainder being roads, &c. The surface is considerably elevated, and exhibits a succession of hill and dale, varied with extensive and flourishing plantations, and enlivened by the beautiful meanderings of the river Cart, on the western boundary of the parish, which here borders on Renfrewshire. From the summit of Cathkin-hill, near the eastern boundary, at an elevation of nearly 500 feet above the sea, the prospect embraces parts of sixteen counties, the nearer view consisting of the city of Glasgow, with its surrounding villages, the towns of Rutherglen and Paisley, and the vale of Clyde from Hamilton to Dumbarton. The parish abounds with springs, and there are five public wells of good water in the village: the only river running through the parish is a small stream called the Kittoch. The soil, which is generally uniform, consists of good earth, about six or seven inches deep, and resting upon a superior whinstone rock, which extends throughout the parish. In some spots, it is more moist and clayey, with a retentive bottom, yet yielding excellent crops when well drained and manured: in a few places it is considerably mixed with sand. Crops of all kinds are raised, which, on account of the highly cultivated state of the soil, are of the first description; and the greatest encouragement is given to dairy-farming, both for the superior profit it brings to the tenant, and for the manure: the cows are all of the Ayrshire breed. Many improvements have taken place in agriculture within the last few years, and furrow-draining with tiles has been extensively practised. The annual value of real property in the parish is £5511. There is a considerable quarry of freestone of good quality; and on the estate of Castlemilk excellent limestone and ironstone are found, the latter of which has been partially wrought. The village population are chiefly hand-loom weavers: an annual fair was formerly held.

Ecclesiastically the parish is within the bounds of the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; patron, J.S.S. Stuart, Esq. The stipend is £ 152. 17, 6., of which £39. 10. 10. are received from the exchequer. The church, which is situated in the middle of the village, was built in 1767, and repaired in 1838; it is a neat structure, considering the date of its erection, and seats about 450 persons. An excellent manse has been lately built, and there is a glebe valued at £19 per annum. There is a parochial school, in which the usual branches of a plain education are taught; the master has the maximum salary, and about £32 fees, with a house and garden. An old thorn-tree here is much regarded, as marking out the spot from which Mary, Queen of Scots, was a spectator of the defeat of her army at the battle of Langside.

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