- HOLYTOWN, lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Bothwell, middle ward of the county of Lanark, 11 miles (E. by S.) from Glasgow; containing, with the villages of Chapelhall and Newarthill, 8169 inhabitants, of whom 900 are in the village of Holytown. This district is situated in a part of the county abounding with coal and ironstone, both of which are wrought to a very great extent. The collieries comprise all the various seams, and not less than from twenty to thirty are in operation; the ell coal, the nine feet, and the splint coal are found in abundance in the mines of Chapelhall. On the Woodhall estate, ironstone, of good quality, principally that called the black band, is plentiful; and it is wrought at Calderbraes, near the village of Holytown, and at Greenside, near Newhouse. The Monkland Iron and Steel Company have extensive works near Chapelhall, in which are three blast-furnaces, making together about 1440 tons of pig-iron monthly, and six others producing 2880 tons: in the same establishment are mills and forges in which 400 tons of malleable iron are manufactured weekly. Some works at Cairnbroe, also, belonging to a firm, contain six blast-furnaces, yielding 600 tons of iron per week; and two more furnaces are in contemplation. About one hundred tons of steel are made by the Monkland Company annually, of which thirty tons are wrought into files; and about sixty tons of scrap iron are collected by them monthly, and manufactured into engines for steam-boats and other purposes. In the company's works more than 2400 persons, including miners, are constantly employed; and the average annual amount of the produce of the various iron-works in the district is estimated at £676,000.Among the principal mansions are, Woodhall, an ancient house in good preservation; Cleland House, a handsome modern mansion, beautifully situated on the South Calder; Carfin and Jerviston, both on the banks of the same river; and Lauchope House, an elegant mansion recently erected, and tastefully embellished. The village is on the great road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and the district is intersected by the roads from Stirling to Carlisle, and from Edinburgh to Ayr and Hamilton; it is inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the collieries and iron-works. The post has a daily delivery; and facility for the conveyance of the produce of the several works is afforded by the Wishaw and Coltness railway, which joins the Garnkirk line at Gartsherrie, and by the Monkland canal. The late quoad sacra parish of Holytown was about four miles in length, and of nearly equal breadth, comprising an area of 12,000 acres, of which one-half are arable, and of the remainder, about one-third woodland and plantations, and two-thirds meadow and pasture. The soil is a cold and tenacious clay, difficult to work, but, from the improved state of husbandry, producing favourable crops, though not more than sufficient for the supply of the population. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. A preaching station was for some time established in the district, which, within the last few years, has been replaced by the erection of a handsome church, containing 830 sittings. The minister derives his stipend, £80, from the seat-rents and collections, under the patronage of the male communicants. There is a place of worship for the United Associate Synod. District parochial schools are supported by small endowments, in addition to the fees; five schools are maintained by the parties connected with the several works, in which more than 1000 children receive instruction; and three more are about to be erected by subscription. There are also eight Sabbath schools; and to those of Holytown, Newarthill, Chapelhall, and Cairnbroe, libraries are attached.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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