- CAMBUSLANG, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 4½ miles (S. by E.) from Glasgow; including the villages of Bushyhill, Chapelton, East and West Cotes, Cullochburn, Howieshill, Kirkhill, Lightburn, Sauchiebog, Silverbanks, and Vicarland; and containing 3022 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name from its situation on the banks of the Clyde, which in this part of its course, winding round the northern part of the parish, separates it from Old Monkland. The barony in which the greater portion is included, and which was anciently called Drumsargart, belonged, in the reign of Alexander II., to Walter Olifard, justiciary of Lothian, and subsequently became the property of the Morays, of Bothwell. The castle and barony afterwards passed into the possession of the Earl of Douglas, who had married the daughter of Sir Thomas Moray, and remained in that family till 1452, when it was transferred to James, Lord Hamilton, in the possession of whose descendants it still continues, though its name was, during the 17th century, changed from Drumsargart to Cambuslang, the name of the parish. There are no other remains of the ancient castle of Drumsargart, than the mere site, from which it is supposed to have derived its name, significant of its situation on a circular mount, at the extremity of a long ridge of ground about thirty feet above the surface of the surrounding plain. The Parish is bounded on the east by the river Calder, which is a tributary of the Clyde; and comprises 3507 acres, all arable and pasture land, with the exception of about 200 in plantations, roads, and waste. The surface, though generally level, is varied with rising grounds and ridges, of which the principal are Turnlaw and Dechmont, in the south-west; the latter, having an elevation of 600 feet above the sea, commands an extensive prospect, comprehending the Tweeddale and Pentland hills, Ben-Lomond, and several of the hills of Cowal and Breadalbane. The adjacent scenery is beautifully picturesque, embracing the windings of the Clyde, in its course from Lanark to Dumbarton, with its richly-wooded banks, interspersed with villages and gentlemen's seats, the plantations of Hamilton, the romantic ruins of Bothwell Castle, and the cathedral and city of Glasgow, which are here seen with peculiar and striking effect. The Clyde is about 250 feet in breadth; and the Calder, of which the banks are ornamented with pleasing villas, and finely wooded, is about forty feet wide.The soil is generally good, and, in the low lands near the Clyde, extremely rich and fertile. The principal crops are oats and wheat, of which latter the cultivation has been, for sometime, progressively increasing, under an improved system of agriculture; peas, beans, and potatoes are also raised in considerable quantities, and a small proportion of barley. There are several large dairy-farms, the produce of which is chiefly butter, of excellent quality, sent to the Glasgow market, where it finds a ready sale; the cows are the Ayrshire. The rateable annual value of the parish is £11,555. The substratum is mainly argillaceous freestone, lime and ironstone, and coal, all of which are wrought, affording employment to many of the population. The freestone is of good quality, and much esteemed for ornamental building; and the limestone, which is peculiarly compact, and susceptible of a high polish, is, under the appellation of Cambuslang marble, wrought into mantel-pieces of great beauty. The ironstone is found in several places, but is worked only to a very limited extent. The coal lies at various depths, and in some few places rises nearly to the surface; the field in which it is found forms part of the coal district of the Clyde, and the seams vary from three to five feet in thickness; the mines in this parish are the property of the Duke of Hamilton, and are partly held on lease. The weaving of muslin for the Glasgow manufacturers, formerly carried on to a much greater extent, at present affords employment to about 500 persons; and there are corn-mills on the Clyde and Calder. The principal seats are, Newton, a handsome modern mansion; Calder Grove, also recently erected; and Gilbertfield, an ancient turreted edifice. The parish is in the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; patron, the Duke of Hamilton; the minister's stipend is £281. 11. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum. The church, erected in 1743, a plain building, being much dilapidated, has been rebuilt on a larger scale, for a congregation of 1000 persons; it is a handsome structure in the Norman style, with a lofty spire. There are places of worship for members of the Congregational Union, and the United Secession Church. The parochial school affords education to nearly 100 pupils: the salary of the master is £34, with £40 fees, and a good house and garden. On the summit of Dechmont Hill, the foundations of ancient buildings have been discovered; and within the last fifty years, considerable remains existed, but they have been removed, for the sake of the materials, which have been employed in repairing the roads, and for other purposes. Among them were the remains of a circular building, about 24 feet in diameter, of which the site is supposed to have been occupied anciently as a signal station, and is a place of security in case of irruption from an enemy. At Kirkburn, was formerly a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which appears to have subsisted till the Reformation; but the only memorial preserved of the building, is the name of the land on which it stood, still called Chapelton. Spittal Hill was the site of an hospital which has long since disappeared. Dr. Claudius Buchanan, author of Researches in India, was a native of the parish.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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