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Covington and Thankeston, Lanarkshire

Historical Description

COVINGTON and THANKESTON, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of LANARK, 4 miles (W. by N.) from Biggar; containing 523 inhabitants. Of these ancient parishes, which were united about the beginning of the eighteenth century, the former derives its name, anciently Colbanstoun, from its proprietor Colban in the twelfth ceutury, and the latter, from a Flemish settler named Tankard or Thankard, who obtained a grant of lands here during the reign of Malcolm IV. The parish is about four miles in length from south to north, and nearly three in average breadth. It is bounded on the east by the river Clyde, which separates it from the parish of Libberton. The number of acres is about 5500, of which nearly 2000 are arable, eighty acres woodland and plantations, and the remainder sheep-pasture. The surface is varied, and the scenery in many parts of pleasing character. Along the banks of the Clyde, the soil is rich and fertile, and the lands occasionally subject to inundation; in the higher grounds are some portions of barren heath, but they generally afford good pasturage to numerous flocks of sheep. The system of agriculture is in an improved state; the chief crops are oats, barley, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The lands have been much benefited by furrow-draining; considerable progress has been made in inclosing the several farms, and the farm-buildings and offices are in a very superior condition. In this parish the cattle are chiefly of the Angus breed, and the sheep of the black-faced kind. There is but little wood, and much improvement might be made, both in the appearance of the lands and in affording shelter, by a judicious increase of plantation. The Clyde abounds with trout and pike of considerable size. The villages of Covington and Thankeston are pleasantly situated, and at the latter is a bridge over the Clyde, erected by subscription in 1778. There is also a station at Thankeston of the Caledonian railway, affording great facility of intercourse. For ecclesiastical purposes the parish is within the bounds of the presbytery of Biggar, synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. The minister's stipend is £208. 13. 7., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £17. 10.; patrons alternately, the Lockhart family, of Lee and Carnwath, and Sir Windham Carmichael Anstruther, Bart. The church of Thankeston has been suffered to fall into ruins, and that of Covington has been enlarged for the population of the whole parish. The parochial school is in the village of Covington; the master has a salary of £28, with a house and garden, and the fees average about £16 per annum.

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