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.
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
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 ChurchIn the churchyard, the
oldest visible headstone is dated 1654.
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".
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
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.
The name Condorrat is from the Gaelic "Comh Dobhair Alt" -
The joint river place (the Luggie was joined here by the Mosss
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.
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,)
'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.
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.
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.