Cambuslang in old picture postcards

Cambuslang in old picture postcards

:   Ian L. Cormack
:   Lanarkshire, South
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2884-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Cambuslang in old picture postcards'

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The origin of the name Cambuslang derives from cam or cam bus meaning abend and the whole word probably means 'the water with the bending back' - the water being the River Clyde with its horse-shoe effect as it enters the parish. From earliest times, Dechmont Hill, about 600 feet above sea-level and meaning a rampart of proteetion or peace, was a place where in pagan times the Beltane fires (Baal-fire worship ) were lito Circular mounds, believed to date from Roman times, were found in Greenlees Raad near the East Kilbride Raad. Ecclestical history dates from Saint Cadoc (circa 500-575 A.D.), who is traditionally stated to have built his monastery in Cambuslang, probably in the Kirkhill area, which would be one of the older settlements.

The barony and parish of Drumsagard, with its castie built in the fourteenth century, can be traeed back to the time of King Alexander 11 (1214-1249) when it belonged to Walter Olifard, justiciary of Lothian, and later passed into the hands of the Morays of Bothwell, In 1370, Archibald the Grim, third Earl of Douglas, came into possession and this continued until 1455 when it passed to James, Lord Hamilton, and remained with his descendants until most of the land was sold in 1922. In the seventeenth century, the name of the barony (including two thirds of the parish) was changed from Drumsagard to Cam buslang. The area was divided up into Coats, or cotes,

these being a collection of small houses, th ere being West, Mid and East Coats.

By 1791, there were fifty farms in the parish, with the surplus crops, meat and dairy produce going to Glasgow for sale. Weaving had been a staple industry for centuries, but in 1783 muslin weaving superseded linen and a cotton mill was established at Flemington in 1787, though by 1819 this industry was fast failing and work was found for many on road works and rep air. Whilst mining had been established from at least the seventeenth century, by 1790 there was a growing demand for coal, especially with the opening of the Clyde Iron Works in 1786. Later, the insatiable demand of the Lanarkshire iron and steel trade increased the number of pits by the later nineteenth century, together with the opening of Hallside and Clydebridge Steel Works in 1873 and 1888 respectively.

A population of 1,558 in 1801 had grown to 20,211 in 1901, with a further increase to 27,127 in 1931. When Parish Councils were instituted in 1894, the parish, belonging to the landward districts of the County of Lanark, had a population of 15,364, but with the subsequent rapid rise, the County Council agreed in 1913 to increase the number of Parish Councillors from sixteen (the original number) to seventeen. Latterly, Cambuslang was part of the Eighth District Council of Lanarkshire County Coun-

cil, but with the reorganisation of Local Government in 197 5, became part of Glasgow District Council within the new Strathclyde Region.

Known as the largest village in Scotland, Cambuslang lies south of the River Clyde to the south-east of Glasgow, being five miles distant from the city. The parish, between three and four miles in length and in breadth, has an area of over eight square miles (5,209 acres) and is bounded on the east by the River Calder, on the sou th by East Kilbride and Carmunnock, on the west by Eastfield Burn and the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen and on the north by the Clyde which habitually overflowed its banks at least three times a year. On 12 March 1782 it rose 20 feet above its bed, being 1 Vz feet higher than that of 24 September 1712. The Main Street, which is on the raad from Glasgow to Hamilton and noted for its distinctive tenement buildings, is the focal point of the area as well as being the main shopping centre. Until the present century, there was also a number of private estates in the district with their fine mansion houses. The development of modern Cambuslang began in the 1870's and the older dwellings were all removed in the next century.


Postcards Nos. 2, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 10, 11, 12, 13,

14,15,16,17,18,22,25,26,29,30,31,32,33,34, 35,36,41,42,43,44,46,47,50,51,52,54,61,62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 70, 71, 72,73 and 75 are from the collection of William H. Kennedy, B.L., C.A., Cambuslang.

Photograph No. 76 is from the col1ection of Matthew C. Nicol, M.P.S., Cambuslang.

Photograph No. 74 is from the col1ection of Tom Ferguson, Cambuslang.

Postcard No. 38 is from the collection of Robert Grieves, Renfrew.

Postcards and photographs Nos. 1, 19,20,21,23,24, 27, 28, 37, 39,40,45,48,49, 53, 55,56,57, 58, 59, 60, 64, 68 and 69 are from the collection of lan L. Cormack, M.A. and Mrs. Margaret Cormack, Cambuslang.

The author gratefully acknowledges permission granted to use their material by Mr. Kennedy, Mr. NicoI, Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Grieves, also for relevant help with this.

Mention must be made of the following valuable sources of information available to the author - 'A History of Cambuslang' by James Alexander Wilson, O.B.E., M.D. (1929) and 'At the Sign of the Fish' by the Reverend lan P. Davidson,.M.A., B.D. (1975).

1. The arms of Lanarkshire, of which Cambuslang was part, were a compound granted by the Lyon King-ofArms to the County Council of Lanark for use as its seal. Their principal elements were derived from the armorial insignia of the Houses of Hamilton and Douglas, with the Douglas Heart being prominent, recalling the story of the brave Sir J am es Douglas, who bore the heart of Robert the Bruce to the Holy Land over five hundred years ago.

2. Gilbertfield Cast1e stood at the foot of the northem slope of Dechmont Hill and was erected in 1607 by Sir Gilbert Cunningham, being an Lshaped building. For many years it was the residence of Lieutenant William Hamilton, the poet who translated 'Blind Harry's' work 'Wallace', on the great Scottish patriot, into modern Scots in 1722. Hamilton was rated as one of Scotland's great poets by its own national bard Robert Bums (1759-1796).

3. The old houses, as seen in this 1890's view and situated along the south side of the Main Street, were built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the area being known as Sauchiebog, meaning that land at such a low-1ying p1ace was formerly of a marshy nature. This was situated down near the old Gasworks at the beginning of Hamilton Road and its junction with C1ydeford Road.

4. In 1558, the Hamiltons of Schawfield sold the land of East Greenlees to John Mayne, goldsmith, burgess of the City of Glasgow. There were houses built in the district from the seventeenth century and this view, which dates from the 1890's, shows one of the old thatched houses.

5. The old Scottish word 'dean' meant a hollow where the ground slopes on both sides with a rivu1et running through, and this accurately described the Deans district. These old cottages as seen in 1908, with one thatched and the other slated, were situated in the Deans, this being in the Halfway area at the top of Craigallian.


6. The old cottages which onee stood at the corner of Brownside Road and Greenlees Road are seen here about 1900. This area formed part of East Coats or Cotes (there was also West and Mid) and on the demoliton of the cottages, St. Cuthbert's Scottish Episcopal Church was erected there during 1909, the ground being made availab1e by the trustees of the Duke of Hamilton for .t3.Ss. (B.2S).

7. Tabernac1e Street as seen in the 1890's looking east towards Ha1fway. On the corner at the 1eft can be seen part of Cambuslang Public School, erected in 1882. The street was renowned for the old Congregationa1 Church or Tabernac1e, built in 1801, where David Livingstone as a student wa1ked over from B1antyre on occasion to worship there.

8. This large tenement building was situated in the Vicarland area of Kirkhill and 'ran round' the graveyard of the Old Parish Church with part also overlooking the Borgie GIen. It was termed the Rookery, as it was known Iocally, no doubt because of the number of inhabitants who lived in the premises!

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