- GLASSFORD, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 2½ miles (N. E.) from Strathaven; containing, with the villages of Westquarter and Chapelton, 1736 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded on the south by the river Avon, is not distinguished by any events of historical importance. It is about eight miles in length, and of very irregular form, varying in breadth from nearly four miles to two at its extremities, and to half a mile at the centre; it comprises 5598 Scottish acres, which, with the exception of about 500 acres, are generally arable, and in a state of profitable cultivation. The surface is uniformly level, though having a gradual ascent to a considerable elevation; and consists partly of dales extending along the lower parts of the parish, towards the south, and partly of moors. The soil is various, being in different parts moss, clay, and light loam: of the moss some small portion has been improved, and of the remainder it is probable that, from the rapid advance of agriculture, the greater part will be brought into cultivation. The principal crops are, oats, potatoes, and turnips; attempts have been made of late to raise wheat, and with tolerable success, but hitherto a small tract only has been sown for that purpose. A considerable portion of land is in pasture, and great attention is paid to the rearing of sheep and cattle, of which the latter are mostly of the Ayrshire breed. There is but little wood; the plantations are chiefly of beech, ash, and fir. The lands are in general well inclosed, except in the moorland districts; and the fences, which are usually of thorn and beech, have of late been much attended to, and are well kept up: the farmhouses, also, many of which are of recent erection, are substantial and comfortable. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6700.Freestone is found in different parts; near the village of Westquarter are three quarries of excellent quality, and there is also one at a place called Flatt, all of which are in operation, affording employment to several men, and supplying abundant material for building. Limestone is also prevalent, and lime-kilns on an extensive scale have been established in the moors, providing plenty of lime for manure: coal is found in some parts, and at Crutherland works have been opened on a limited scale, for the supply of that estate. A considerable number of females are employed in weaving, and on the bank of the river Avon are a flour and an oat mill. Communication is maintained with Strathaven and other market-towns by means of good turnpike-roads, of which one, from that town to Glasgow, by East Kilbride, and also one to Hamilton, pass through the parish. Glassford is in the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and patronage of Lady Mary Montgomerie; the minister's stipend is £256. 17. 11., with a manse, and a glebe of nine acres of rich land. The parish church, situated in the village of Westquarter, nearly at one extremity of the parish, was erected in 1820, and is adapted for a congregation of 560 persons. A handsome church, with a spire, was erected on the Church-extension principle in 1839, in the village of Chapelton, about three miles from the parish church. There is also a place of worship for the Free Church. A female society for the promotion of religious objects was formed in 1835, and a parochial library has been established. The parochial school, situated at Westquarter, affords education to a considerable number; the salary of the master, of which a portion has been assigned to the masters of two branch schools, is £25. 13., with £35 fees, and a house and garden. The branch schools are in the village of Chapelton and at Millwell: the former is endowed with £5. 11.; and the latter with £2. 15. 6., a house and garden given by Lady Montgomerie, and the sum of £3 from the parish. About 300 children attend three Sabbath schools, of which one is at Westquarter, and another at Chapelton; and there is also a class of adults. On the lands of Avonholm are the remains of a cromlech, consisting of three upright stones. Within the last few years there were, near Hallhill House, some ruins of an ancient castle, which have been wholly removed by the proprietor; it appears to have been a very strong fortress, capable of containing more than 100 men, and was probably a safe retreat in times of danger. There are still some remains of the original church and steeple in the grave-yard, in which is also a tomb inscribed to William Gordon, of Earlston, in Galloway, who was shot by a party of dragoons on his way to Bothwell Bridge, in 1679.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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