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Cumbernauld

Cumbernauld is interpreted from the Gaelic as "The meeting of the waters" - being a reference to the Luggie Water and the Red Burn which are close to the village.

Cumbernauld Village has a pre-mediaeval history, as of course does the Cumbernauld Estate of which the Cumbernauld House was the base (prior to this Cumbernauld Castle). The Estate was comprised of a large natural forest in which King James IV hunted for deer and the "wild" white cattle by invitation of its owners the Flemings, later given the hereditary title Earls of Wigtown. By 17th-18th century most of the Estate comprised tenanted farm holdings including Upper and Lower Abronhill, Carbrain, Kildrum, Hole, Tannoch, Seafar, Ravenswood, Eastfield, Palacerigg Greenfaulds, Forrest farms, Balloch and several more.

The original settlement is believed to have been started in Roman times under the shelter of the Antonine Wall. By the early Middle Ages the settlement must have grown to a respectable size to warrant the Comyns placing their chapel here. With the Flemings' decision to build their castle and make Cumbernauld their principal seat, the place would assume its present form which is the classical layout of a medieval Scottish town, with its principal street running from castle to church.
Most of these were still working farms when the Cumbernauld Development
Corporation acquired the Estate to build the New Town. Only Mid Forrest farm
is still a working farm today, the rest apart from the outlying Palacerigg
have been subsumed in the development. 

The town had two other distinct phases in its history.  In the original 17th century village the main industry was hand loom weaving.  With the onset of the Industrial revolution and because of its proximity to the Forth and Clyde canal the local economy changed.  Mining and quarrying sprang up to take advantage of the rich minerals which were to be found in the area, coupled with cheap accessible transportation via the canal.

When the mining industry in Scotland declined, Cumbernauld and the surrounding villages were given a boost with the creation of the New Town of Cumbernauld in 1956.  High Tech industries flocked to the area and it now enjoys one of the healthiest, local economies in Scotland.

Cumbernauld Old Parish Church
This ancient building owes its foundations to the early chapel built by the Comyns at the end of the twelfth century. A brief notice appears on record in 1500 when Cumbernauld like other places in Britain at this time, was badly hit by the notorious Black Death. The Village population was so decimated that the surviving inhabitants had great difficulty in carrying the bodies for burial to the parish cemetery at the old kirk of St Ninian's in Kirkintilloch, so a successful application was made to the See of Glasgow for permission to open a new burial ground "at the Chapel in Cumbernauld". 
In the churchyard, the oldest visible headstone is dated 1654.

Cumbernauld House is an excellent example of the neo-classical type of architecture, practised by the fashionable architect, William Adam, in the first half of the eighteenth century. 

 

Cumbernauld is surrounded by beautiful, lush countryside and is home to Palacerigg Country Park  which has an international reputation for its comprehensive collection of rare breeds and farm animals including the European Bison, Arctic Foxes and reindeers.


Cumbernauld c1915

Condorrat
The name Condorrat is from the Gaelic "Comh Dobhair Alt" - The joint river place (the Luggie was joined here by the Mosss water).  
Condorrat was a weaving community and some of the early single storey houses still exist in the row known as Braehead Cottages - now much modernised.   At the west end of the village is Dalshannon Farm which is a very good example of a "longhouse" of the17th century.  In a longhouse the farming family lived at one end and the cattle byre was at the other end.  Apparently the warmth of the penned beasts (and the smell)  percolated throughout the living quarters.  The longhouse has since been raised in height and a 2 storey block added to the NW corner.  In recent years the smell of curries percolated the building. 


Condorrat C1900

Croy Village
The name is from the gaelic "cruaidh" meaning a hillside.  Croy was originally built to house quarriers working locally.  Most of the older houses have been replaced by modern council housing stock.  The village of Croy has a unique traffic calming installation wherby traffic is slowed down by being forced to "slalom" through the village.  (We believe that this is a much better idea than the ubiquitous traffic islands that NLC prefer to use,)

Dullatur
'Dubh Leitir' or 'Dark Hill Slope', has long been associated with local history, especially the Antonine Wall. Built by Lullius Urbicus, The Governor of Britain in AD 142 on the orders of Emperor Antonius Pius, it passed to the north of the present Cumbernauld on the north slope of the ridge at Dullatur. 

A Roman camp at Dullatur, actually under Dullatur House, one of the primary forts at Castlecary and the secondary forts at Westerwood and Croy Hill were all occupied by the 2nd and 6th Legions. The legionnaires kept guard at these  northerly outposts of the Roman Empire, scanning northwards across the Kelvin Valley to the Kilsyth Hills and beyond, ever watchful and aware of possible surprise attacks from the wild northern Picts.

Dullatur owes much of its development to the Glasgow - Edinburgh Railway which, in 1842, opened a station (now closed) to encourage Glasgow commuters to move to the district - hence the well known Dullatur Villas. . Two of these villas were of particular interest, Dunluce and Woodend in Prospect Road, since both were designed by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson.

Earlier there had been two older dwellings in the village: Dullatur House, of 18th century origin and East Dullatur House, which was a good example of Georgian architecture, built around the 1800's.  


We are grateful for being allowed to use excepts from  
'The History of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth from Earliest Times' 
published by the Cumbernauld Historical Society 
and available from the Cumbernauld Town Centre Library.


 

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