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Clarkston, Lanarkshire

Historical Description

CLARKSTON, late a quoad sacra parish, formed of the south-eastern portion of the parish of NEW MONKLAND, and the north-western portion of that of BERTRAM-SHOTTS, in the Middle ward of the county of LANARK, 1¼ mile (E.) from the town of Airdrie, containing, according to the last census, 4526 inhabitants, a number which has since considerably increased. The parish measured about seven miles in length from east to west, and three miles in breadth, presenting no lofty hills, yet running along the south side of a pretty high dorse. In general the soil of the district is a cold clay: there is deep moss in some parts, and on the lands of Auchingray, Arden, Brownieside, and Moffat are considerable plantations, Auchingray alone containing upwards of 300 acres under plantation. Agricultural improvement has in this quarter been much neglected, owing, in some measure, to the distance from which lime can be obtained, but chiefly to the attention of the proprietors having been turned to successful searches after minerals, by which large fortunes have been realized. Within the last few years, however, more than 100 acres have been furrow-drained on the Arden estate, and in several other parts the example has been followed to a considerable extent. The district abounds in blackband ironstone, which, after being taken out of the pit, is calcined, and conveyed by railway to the furnaces around Coatbridge, a distance of from three to four miles, where it is smelted into foundry-iron. Numerous iron-mines are now in operation, and the whole district abounds with coal. It contains the villages of Clarkston, Ballochney, Gartness, Hillend, Blackstone, three others of considerable size, and many of smaller extent of more recent erection, for the accommodation of miners and other work-people. Contiguous to the first-mentioned village are the Clarkston cottonmills and Muffat paper-mills, and at the village of Gartness is an iron-rolling mill. The Carlisle and Stirling road runs along the west boundary of the district, or late parish; and on the north, the Ballochney, Whiterigg, and Slamannan railway passes for about five miles: it is also intersected by the road from Edinburgh by Bathgate and Airdrie to Glasgow, which is crossed by a branch of the Ballochney railway at the village of Clarkston. At the east corner of the district is the great reservoir for supplying the Forth and Clyde canal; and in various places are handsome seats and modern residences. Ecclesiastically the district is within the bounds of the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The church, which stands at the east entrance of the village, is of plain rubble workmanship; it was erected in 1836-7, at a cost of about £1480, will accommodate 730 persons, and is surrounded by a neat burying-ground. The stipend of the minister by bond is £70, which is made up from the rent of sittings and collections, and after paying other expenses, the surplus is receivable by the minister, who is appointed by the male communicants. There are four schools, built by masters of public works, and for the support of the teachers every miner, whether married or not, pays twopence a week.

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