Cumbernauld, p.282.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

   CUMBERNAULD, a parish in the county of Dumbarton, though locally in that of Lanark; extending about 7 miles in length, and 4 in breadth; bounded on the north by Stirlingshire; on the east by Stirling and Lanark shires; on the south by Lanarkshire; and on the west by Kirkintilloch parish. Area 17,260 English acres. The surface is beautifully diversified with small hills and fertile dales. The highest part is called Fannyside moor, producing nothing but heath and furze. On the south east side of this moor are two lochlets, each about a mile long, and one quarter of a mile broad. The remainder of the parish is mostly arable, with a deep clay soil, and tolerably fertile. Lime, coal, and freestone, abound. Considerable remains of Antoninus’s wall are to be seen here, on the northern skirts of the parish, nearly in the course of the Great canal which connects the Clyde and the Forth. – The village and burgh-of-barony of Cumbernauld is 13 miles east of Glasgow; 9 west of Falkirk; and 13 south of Stirling. It is pleasantly situated in a valley almost surrounded with the pleasure-grounds of Cumbernauld-house, the estate of Lord Elphinstone. The new road from Glasgow to Falkirk passes close to the village, near which is built a large and commodious inn. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in weaving for the Glasgow manufacturers. It has an annual fair on the 2d Thursday in May. Population of the parish and village in 1801, 1,795; in 1831, 3,080. Houses in 1801, 393. Assessed property, in 1815, £6,144. – This parish, formerly a vicarage, and which, prior to 1649, formed part of Kirkintilloch, is in the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. Patron, Lord Elphinstone. Stipend £264 3s. 2d.; glebe £17 10s. Unappropriated teinds £694 11s. 10d. Church repaired in 1810; sittings 660. – There is an original Burgher congregation. Chapel built in 1743; rebuilt, in 1825, at the cost of about £1,000; sittings 576. Stipend £100, with manse and garden. – There is also a United Secession church, which was early established here. Stipend £70, with manse and garden. – An extension church and quoad sacra parish have recently been formed here. – Schoolmaster’s salary £25, with £26 fees. There is a school at the village of Condorat, and another at Garbethill. – Professor Low, in his ‘Illustrations of the Breeds of the Domestic Animals of the British Islands,’ [London: 1840. fol.] says, “John Leslie, bishop of Ross, who wrote in 1598, states that the wild ox – Bos sylvestris – was found in the woods of Scotland; that it was of a white colour, had a thick mane resembling a lion’s, that it was wild and savage, and, when irritated, rushed upon the hunters, overthrew the horses, and dispersed the attacks of the fiercest dogs. He says that it had formerly abounded in the Sylva Caledonia, but was then only to be found at Stirling, Cumbernauld, and Kincardine. Hector Bruce, in his History and Chronicles of Scotland, bears testimony to the like effect:- ‘At this toun – namely Stirling – began the gret wod of Caledon. This wod of Caledon ran fra Striveling throw Menteith and Stratherne to Atholl and Lochquabir, as Ptolome writtis in his first table. In this wod wes sum time quhit bullis, with crisp and curland mane, like feirs lionis, and thoucht thay semit meek and tame in the remanent figure of thair bodyis thay wer mair wild than ony uthir beiztis, and had sich hatrent aganis the societe and cumpany of men, that they come nevir in the wodis nor lesuris quhair thay fand ony feit or haind thairof, and moy dayis eftir, thay eit nocht of the herbis that wer twichit or handillitt be men. Their bullis were sa wild that thay wer nevir tane but slight and crafty laubour, and sa impacient that, eftir thair taking, thay deit for importable doloure. Als sone as ony man invadit thir bullis, thay ruschit with so terrible preis on him, that thay dang him to the eord, takand ha feir of houndis, scharp lancis, nor uthir maist penitrive wapintris. And thoucht thir bullis wer bred in sindry boundis of the Caledon wod, now, be continewal hunting and lust of insolent men, thay ar destroyit in all party of Scotland and nane of thaim left bot allanerlie in Cumarnald.’ ” Here, however, they were also subjected to persecution; and “in a remarkable document written in 1570-71, the writer, describing the aggressions of the king’s party, complains of the destruction of the deer in the forest of Cumbernauld, ‘and the quhit ky and bullis of the said forrest, to the gryt destructione of polecie, and hinder of the commonweil. For that kynd of ky and bullis hes bein keipit thir money zeiris in the said forest; and the like was not mantenit in ony uther partis of the Ile of Albion.’ ” Mr. Low then adduces various arguments to prove, that neither as respects their white colour, nor their peculiar habits, are these wild cattle to be regarded as a species distinct from the domesticated oxen.