Groome's Gazetteer


Cathcart - Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland


"Cathcart (Celt. caer-cart, 'Cart castle'), two villages of NW Renfrewshire, and a parish partly also in Lanarkshire. The villages, Old and New Cathcart, stand ½ mile asunder, near the right and left banks of White Cart Water, 2¾ miles S of Glasgow, under which they have a post office, and with which they communicate several times a day by omnibus; employment is given to their inhabitants by a dye-work, a paper-mill, and a snuff factory. Pop. of Old Cathcart (1881) 621; of New Cathcart (1871) 933, (1881) 1656. The parish contains also the towns or villages of Crosshill, Mount Florida and Langside, Crossmyloof, and Clarkston. It is bounded NW and N by Govan, NE by Rutherglen, SE by Carmunnock, S by Mearns, and W by Eastwood. Its greatest length from N to S is 3½ miles; its greatest breadth is 2½ miles; and its area is 4101¼ acres, of which 37¼ are water and 1404¼ are in Lanarkshire, including 931½ acres which lie detached a little to the S. The surface, in the main portion, is charmingly undulated, rising to 209 feet above sea-level near Crossmyloof and Netherlee, whilst sinking to 79 feet near the parish church; that of the detached portion is somewhat hillier, attaining 426 feet near Little Dripps. The White Cart traces the western border of this portion, and, lower down, meanders through all the main body. Of it the late John Ramsay wrote:- 'Sluggish and unadorned though the White Cart be in the lower part of its course, it exhibits much beauty in its progress through the parish of Cathcart, the banks being often elevated and clothed with a rich drapery of wood. Such is the warmth and shelter in some of the sequestered spots on its banks, that an almost perpetual verdure is to be found. In the midst of this scenery, Thomas Campbell and James Graham* were, in their childhood, accustomed to pass their summer months and feed their young fancies, removed from the smoke and noise of their native city. The latter, in his Birds of Scotland, says-

' "Forth from my low-roofed home I wandered blythe,
Down to thy side, sweet Cart, where 'cross the stream,
A range of stones, below a shallow ford,
Stood in the place of the now spanning arch."

And Campbell, in his- Lines on Re-visiting Cathcart, thus tenderly apostrophises the pleasant fields which he had so often traversed in "life's morning march," when his bosom was young-

' "O scenes of my childhood. and dear to my heart,
Ye green waving woods on the margin of Cart.
How blest in the morning of life I have stray'd
By the stream of the vale and the grass-cover'd glade." '

The rocks are chiefly of the Carboniferous formation. Sandstone of excellent quality is largely quarried; limestone and coal were formerly worked; ironstone abounds; and various rare minerals, now in the Hunterian Museum of Glasgow University, were found in the channel of the Cart. The soils are various, but generally fertile; about 100 acres are under wood. A ruined village, comprising 42 houses, each of one apartment from 8 to 12 feet square, and all deeply buried beneath rubbish or soil, was discovered in the early part of the present century on Overlee farm; and on Newlands farm, small earthen pots, full of foreign silver coins of the 17th century, have, from time to time, been exhumed. The field of Langside, where in 1568 Queen Mary's last blow was struck, is a chief object of interest, but will be separately noticed. Cathcart Barony either gave name to the ancient family of Cathcart, or from it took its name. That family acquired the barony in the early part of the 12th century, and assumed there from the title of Baron about 1447; then having alienated the barony to the noble family of Sempill in 1546, repurchased part of it in 1801; and were created Viscounts and Earls of Cathcart in the peerage of the United Kingdom in 1807 and 1814. Cathcart Castle, on a steep bank of the White Cart, in the southern vicinity of Old Cathcart village, dates from some period unknown to record, and in the days of Wallace and Bruce belonged to the ancestors of the Cathcart line. Seemingly a place of great strength, it continued to be inhabited by successive owners of the barony down to the middle of last century, when it was in great measure demolished for sake of its building materials, so that now it is represented only by one ruined ivy-clad square tower. On the bank of the river, and adjacent to the Castle, stands modern Cathcart House, into whose front a stone has been built, whereon are sculptured the arms of Cathcart, quartered with those of Stair; its present owner, Alan Frederick, third Earl of Cathcart (b. 1828; suc. 1859), holds 88 acres in Renfrewshire, valued at £568 per annum. Other mansions are Aikenhead, Bellevue, Bogton, Camphill, Holmwood, Kirklinton, Linn, and Overdale; and year by year the parish is becoming more and more thickly studded with good residences. Fourteen proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 57 of between £100 and £500, 84 of from £50 to £100, and 76 of from £20 to £50. Cathcart is in the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £387. The parish church, near Old Cathcart village, rebuilt in 1831 on the site of its small old barn-like predecessor, is a handsome Gothic edifice, containing 850 sittings; in its kirkyard are the graves of three martyred Covenanters, of the Gordons of Aikenhead, and of two English Gipsies, John Cooper and Logan Lee. A quoad sacra church, a Free church, and a U.P. church, all designated of Queen's Park, are at Crosshill; at Langside is a chapel of ease; at Crossmyloof a Church of Scotland mission station; and at New Cathcart is another Free church with 650 sittings. Four schools - Cathcart, Crossmyloof, Queen's Park, and Crosshill - with respective accommodation for 350, 142, 350, and 133 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 222,168, 348, and 90, and grants of £214,7s., £142,7s., £327, 14s., and £61,17s. Valuation (1860) £15,142, (1881) £86,112,13s. 6d. Pop. of quoad sacra parish (1881) 7315; of civil parish (1801) 1059, (1831) 2282, (1861) 3782, (1871) 7231, (1881) 12,205, of whom 118 were in Lanarkshire.—Ord. Sur., sh. 30,1866.

* Other names that suggest themselves are Tannahill, John Struthers, 'Christopher North.' and Alexander Smith; the last, in chapter xvi. of his Summer in Skye, has left a sketch of this haunt of his boyhood."

Extract from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, (1882-4)

"The former Lanarkshire portion of the parish was divided in two, one being a detached part of it, and the other forming part of its main portion. The Boundary Commissioners in 1891 transferred the detached part to the parish of East Kilbride, thus remaining in Lanarkshire, while the remainder of the parish of Cathcart was placed wholly in the county of Renfrew. As this, however, caused the boundary between the two counties to run along the centre of a road, that part of it (see CARMUNNOCK) which had been divided between the parishes of Cathcart and Carmunnock was placed wholly in the parish of Cathcart. Then, in 1892, the Commissioners transferred from the parish Crosshill, Mount Florida, Langside, and Crossmyloof to Lanarkshire, these places having been incorporated in the extended City of Glasgow."

Extract from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, (1896)

"Cathcart District Railway, a circular line that leaves the Caledonian railway a little beyond Eglinton Street station, Glasgow, on the south side of the Clyde. With a station at Pollokshields East, it turns eastwards to Queen's Park and Crosshill, and then makes a turn southward to Mount Florida and Cathcart. A recent extension turns westward, north-westward, northward, and again eastward, with stations at Langside, Pollokshaws, Shawlands, and Maxwell Park. The various stations on the line are what are known as island stations, and there are many bridges and some deep cuttings."

Extract from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, (1896)