Eastwood, or Pollock

   EASTWOOD, or POLLOCK, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 2½ miles (S. W.) from Glasgow; containing, with the incorporated town of Pollockshaws, the village of Thornliebank, and part of the late quoad sacra district of Levern, 7970 inhabitants. This place derives the former of its names from the relative situation of an extensive wood which was a part of it, but which has long been converted into arable land; and the latter name from the circumstance of the chief lands being designated Pollock. The parish is about four miles in length, from north to south, and three miles in breadth, forming an irregular area of 5000 acres in extent, and is bounded on the west by the parish of Paisley, of which a considerable portion is circumscribed by the lands of Eastwood. The surface is pleasingly undulated, intersected with tracts of level ground, and rising towards the south into a range of hills, of which the highest has an elevation of 300 feet above the level of the sea. The scenery is diversified, and in many parts embellished with flourishing plantations, and watered by winding streams, which give to it an interesting and picturesque appearance. The river White Cart, rising in the moors of Eaglesham, flows for several miles through the parish in its course to the Clyde, receiving at Pollockshaws the waters of the Auldhouse burn, which issues from a lake in the adjoining parish of Mearns; and the Brock burn, which also rises in Mearns, winds through Eastwood, and falls into the Levern, which skirts the western extremity of the parish, and joins the Cart near Cruickston Castle. The Soil in the hilly parts towards the south is thin and light, but on the banks of the river and rivulets extremely rich and fertile; about one-half of the lands is arable and in profitable cultivation, and the remainder, with the exception of about 250 acres of natural wood and 100 of plantation, is good pasture land. The rotation system of husbandry is prevalent; the crops are, oats, barley, and wheat, with potatoes and turnips; some attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, which are generally of the Ayrshire breed, but the management of live stock forms only a secondary object with the farmer, and consequently few fine specimens are produced. Considerable progress has been made in reclaiming the waste, of which large portions have been brought into a state of cultivation, and great improvements have been effected in draining and fencing; the farm-houses and offices are substantial and commodious, and mostly roofed with slate. The plantations are, oak, elm, ash, sycamore, beech, larch, and Scotch, spruce, and silver firs. The rateable annual value of the parish is £21,061.
   The substrata are sandstone and limestone, with occasional belts of ironstone. There are some valuable quarries of stone of excellent quality for building and for various other purposes; the stone of one of the quarries is peculiarly adapted for pavements, hearths, and staircases, and, as it may be cut to any required size, is also employed for cisterns. Another of these quarries produces a very superior kind which is in great demand for the finer parts of masonry, and is much admired for the uses of the sculptor and the statuary. Limestone is still worked at Arden, and was formerly wrought at Darnley and Cowglen; but it is of very inferior quality, unfit for burning into lime, and consequently applied chiefly to road-making, and for roughcasting the walls of houses, for which purpose it is well adapted from the hardness it acquires from exposure to the air. Coal abounds in the parish, and is wrought at Cowglen; there are several seams, varying in thickness, but none exceed three feet. Five of these have been worked with success; they are of good quality, and yield an ample supply of fuel; the pits vary from ten to forty fathoms in depth, and the annual produce is estimated at nearly £4000. Pollock, the seat of Sir John Maxwell, Bart., is a handsome modern mansion pleasantly situated. A considerable number of the inhabitants are employed in cotton-spinning, weaving, bleaching, and calico-printing, for which large factories have been established in the town of Pollockshaws, the village of Thornliebank, and Auldhouse. In the bleachfields of the last, more than 200 persons are employed; the particulars of the two first will be found in the notices of those places under their respective heads. The parish is in the presbytery of Paisley and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the gift of Sir John Maxwell; the minister's stipend is £150, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £35 per annum. The old church was taken down, and a new edifice erected in 1781 near the western extremity of Pollockshaws; it is a neat building, and in good repair, but affords accommodation only to 760 persons. A second church connected with the Establishment has been recently erected in Pollockshaws; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Associate Synod, and the Synod of Original Seceders: the Roman Catholics, of whom there are many in the parish, attend the chapel at Glasgow. The parochial school affords instruction to about 100 scholars; the master has a salary of £34, with £36 fees, and a house and garden. There are no monuments of antiquity: the only memorials of olden times are some documents in the possession of the Maxwell family, consisting chiefly of a royal precept issued in the reign of James V., letters from the Queen Regent, Mary, Queen of Scots, previously to the battle of Langside, and James VI.; and the original copy of the Solemn League and Covenant, with the various subscriptions, beautifully written. Among the distinguished literary men connected with Eastwood have been, Wodrow, author of some writings on the antiquities of Scotland, of some lives of the most learned men who have flourished in the country, and of a history of the Church; the Rev. Mr. Crawford, author of an unpublished history of the Church from the first introduction of Christianity into Scotland till the year 1680; and Walter Stewart, of Pardovan, author of the Collections, who died here while on a visit to the Maxwells, and was interred in the aisle of the church appropriated as a place of sepulture for the members of that family, and in which a marble monument was erected to his memory. Wodrow and Mr. Crawford were both ministers of the parish.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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