In 1838 the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway established a workshop at Kipps and
became the first Scottish railway to build it's own locomotives. The works built a few
locomotives in its first few years but eventually concentrated on repairs. When it was
taken over by North British it became a wagon repair depot which survived until the mid
Beside the workshop was Kipps engine shed, which served the whole Monklands area. This
could accommodate some 52 locomotives. It is interesting to note that
the last 0-4-0 tender engine in Britain number 1011 was withdrawn from there in
1925. The number of railway workers employed at Kipps in 1865 was 137 but in 1890 this had
increased to 537.
is taken from the Cameron
Street Level Crossing, which
in 1971 became the end of
the branch from Greenside
Junction. The cottage in
the background was
demolished sometime between
1948 and 1953. (Jim Watson
Collection, taken by Jim's
The workshops on the South
side of the line originally
opened in 1831. This
photograph of the smaller of
the two sheds on the South
side of the line was taken
by the late James F. McEwan
In 1848 the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway amalgamated with the Ballochney Railway
Company and Slamannan Railways to form the Monkland Railway Company. This in its turn
became part of the North British Railway in 1865.
The village of Garden Square was built around the 1830s to accommodate some
fifty families of railway workers. The Leaend Railway Station was at its north east
corner. The village was then quite a way out from the towns of Airdrie and Coatbridge and
its very remoteness created a strong sense of community. It was then considered to be
ahead of its time and consisted of a mix of 1 and 2 storey houses with communal wash
houses and toilets. The village survived for over a hundred years until the early
Garden Square c1930 by the late Andrew Muir - a
Garden Square c1930 photograph by Andrew Muir
The Lady in the Park
There is a story that, around 1850, a lady, the wife of a "well to do"
businessman, left the train at Coatbridge and started walking home across "The
Moss" to Airdrie. She received directions from a fellow traveller and rewarded him
with a sixpence.
Thinking that she had plenty of money, the man decided to relieve her of some of it. He
picked up an iron bar and followed her. He stole up behind her and hit her on the head
with the bar meaning to stun her. He was about to rifle her belonging when he heard a
sound and ran off. The womans body was found the next day in the Fiddlenaked Park.
For many years after there was reports of ghostly apparitions and the legend began that
her ghost haunts the Fiddlenaked Park. This continued for some time into this century when
the Park became known as The Woodbine. The Park was avoided by all who had no desire to
encounter the Lady in the Park. People today still talk of the ghost that haunts the area
and is sometimes known as The Grey Lady.
Airdrie House (now Monklands General Hospital)
Most of The Moss and the area around Whinhall belonged to the Airdrie House Estate until
the beginning of this century. The estate was owned and occupied by the Hamilton family
for nearly 300 years and it was Robert Hamilton who is credited with being the founder of
Airdrie in 1695. The Hamilton reign came to an end in 1749. In 1769 the Aitchisons
bought the estate that the Alexanders later inherited.
In 1987 Sir John Wilson bought the estate and it was to be the home of the Wilsons until
it became the local maternity hospital in 1919. This closed in 1962 and was demolished in
1964 to make way for Monklands General Hospital that opened in 1977.
Bricks were needed for the furnaces and for general building. For a short period of
time at the end of the 19th century the Airdriehouse Brickworks carried out quarrying
operations just north west of Airdrie House, near the railway sidings. Little is known
about the brickworks but that they quarried on the site of an old ironstone pit for a few
years but this was later abandoned.
The Penny Spring flowed into the crater and it became the first pond.
In the early 1900s there wasnt a lot of organised entertainment. However,
most Sundays the local people gathered on the "red bridge" over the Ballochney
railway near Whinhall Farm and danced to the music of a mouthorgan. People came from far
and near to join in the fun. The girls from the Airdrie Mill, the people from Garden
Square and from Burnie Brae, the workers from Leaend, Mosside and Whinhall farms.