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Airdrie Villages


Greengairs has an interesting historical link with the new Heritage Park at Summerlee, Coatbridge, because it was the Summerlee Iron Company which first mined ironstone at Greengairs in the 1840s. Coal later replaced ironstone as the main product and the local colliery changed hands five times between 1873 and 1923.


Longriggend began life as the longest of a group of mining villages in this area. Over a hundred houses were built in the 1870s but by the 1910only 20 houses remained and most of the pits had closed. Today only a handful of houses are to be found on the Main Street but the Community Council is one of the most active in the area.

Moffat Mills

A Victorian factory built on the outskirts of Airdrie gave its name to this village which grew up as a result of the paper-making industry. The Craig family provided housing and other amenities for their mil I workers. Takeover and rationalisation eventually put the mills out of existence and in 1963 they were sold and converted into the Inverhouse Distillery.

J ust beyond Clarkston the Moffat Mills branch struck off from to the South.  One of the original routes of the Ballochney Railway to Wester Moffat Colliery, branched to Moffat Mills, this branch survived until 1985 to serve the InverHouse distillery.  There was a regular service of grain hoppers and the company (British Maltsters) even had it's own locomotive.  When the traffic ceased this locomotive was acquired by the Caledonian Railway Preservation group and moved to Brechin in December 1985


Plains has its origins in the growth of the mining industry.  The men of Whiterigg, Meadowhead, Ballochney, Arden and Stanrigg all working in the pits - the last of which closed over 30 years ago. In the early 1860's the population of Plains was just over 200 people.  The town grew in tandem with the area's mining industry.  In the early 1980's the population had grown to over 3,000. The railway once linked Plains to Airdrie, Caldercruix and Bathgate until bus services took over.

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View of Plains Main Street taken around 1905.


Salsburgh, situated at the south-eastern limit of the Monklands, is best known for the Kirk O'Shotts Parish Church, which sits at 1,000 feet above sea level on the site of a medieval chapel. Salsburgh as a community can be traced back to 1726 when it consisted of only four houses. The coal and iron interests of the Coltness Iron Company at the east of the village provided work for the villagers during the last century.

Caldercruix click to see separate page

Caldercruix is situated to the north-east of Airdrie on the Bathgate road and it owes its rise to the building of a paper mill and a textile printing works which attracted workers to settle there. The paper mill was famous for being powered by two of the largest water wheels in Scotland and the paper secured a high reputation for quality in Scottish and English markets with the company being particularly noted for the manufacture of blotting paper. New houses and an Institute were built for the workmen in the village and the church was even named after the mill owners and called the Craig Memorial Church.


Chapelhall lies on the opposite side of the North Calder Water from Calderbank and it has a very similar history. Ironworking and coal mining were onceprominent industries here with three blast furnaces working at Chapelhall as early as the 1830s.

The old community also had a quarry, a brickworks and a bakery. The first curator of the Royal Gardens in Kew, William Aiton, began work as a gardener in the grounds of the former Woodhall House near Chapelhall.

Chapelhall now has a population of 4,639 and the industrial estates at Chapelhall and Newhouse are important employers.


Glenmavis is the community formerly known as New Monkland and is the home of New Monkland Church which was originally the only church for the whole of
the parish which included Airdrie. The present building was completed in 1777 and the church has a remarkable record of only 18 ministers in charge fromthe mid-17th century to the present day. Visitors to the village should also look out for the Kirkstyle Inn which also appears on the 1860 map of what was then a small hamlet. Coal mines were active at Braidenhall and Whitehill in Glenmavis until 1906.
The growth of private housing estates has changed the appearance of Glenmavis which is now mainly a commuter village for Glasgow and the rest of Lanarkshire.


This village lies south of Airdrie on the opposite side of the North Calder water from Chapelhall and it was a prosperous industrial settlement with a population of almost 3,500 in the middle of the last century. Ironworks and coal pits were established in the area and the proximity of the Monkland Canal was an important factor in the growth of local industry. The first iron-hulled passenger boat, the Vulcan, was constructed at nearby Faskine on the banks of the canal and launched into it in 1819. A full scale replica of the Vulcan has been reconstructed and was the centre-piece of the District Council's display at the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988. It was then transferred to Summerlee Heritage Park where it is now on display. After the period of iron construction was over, steel works were built on the site of the ironworks, and so heavy industry continued in Calderbank. Ship plates for the Queen Mary were made in Calderbank.

From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary c1846

Clarkston, late a quoad sacra parish, including the villages of Arden and Ballochney, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 1 1/4 mile (E) from Airdrie; containing 4526 inhabitants. The parish was formed of the south-eastern portion of that of New Monkland and part of that of Shotts; it was seven miles in length, and three in breadth, lying chiefly along the south side of a pretty high dorse, which runs from west to east. The soil is in general a cold clay; in some parts is deep moss, and on the lands of Auchingray and Brownieside are considerable plantations. Agricultural improvement in this quarter has been much neglected, owing, in some measure, to the distance from which lime can be obtained, but chiefly to the attention of the proprietors of land having been turned to successful searches after minerals, by which large fortunes have been realised. Numerous iron-mines are now in operation, and the whole district abounds in coal. Contiguous to the village, are the Clarkston cotton, and Moffat paper, mills, and at the village of Gartness is an iron-rolling mill: the ores are forwarded to another parish to be manufactured. The Ballochney and Whiterigg railway runs along the north side of the district, which is also intersected by the middle road from Glasgow to Edinburgh. Besides the villages of Clarkston, Arden, and Ballochney, are five villages of considerable size, and many of smaller extent and more recent erection, for the accommodation of the miners and other work-people, of whom the increase of late years has been very great; and in various places are handsome seats and modern residences. In the east corner of the district, is the great reservoir for supplying the Clyde and Forth canal.

From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary c1846

Ballochney , a village, in that part of the parish of New Monkland which formed the quoad sacra parish of Clarkston, Middle ward of the county of Lanark; containing 559 inhabitants. This place, which is situated in the southern part of the parish, in an important coal and ironstone district, gives name to a line of railway extending from it, for about four miles westward, to the southern terminus of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch, and the eastern terminus of the Glasgow and Garnkirk railroad. The capital of the company, which was incorporated in 1826, was originally 18,000; but power was acquired in the session of 1835, to increase it to 28,000; and by an act passed July 1, 1839, the capital was further augmented to 70,000, for the purpose of improving the line, which now has several branches. In 1843, the company was empowered to increase its capital to 110,000

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