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Faskine  (The Faskine)

Contributed by William Kerr

FASKINE, a village, in the parish of Old Monkland, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 1 mile (S.) from Airdrie; containing 408 inhabitants. It is situated in the eastern extremity of the parish, and is one of the numerous villages that owe their rise to the minerals or manufactures of the district. Faskine is the seat of an extensive colliery, and it was here that the coal called the Splint, or Lady Anne coal, was first found, the seam deriving its name from Lady Anne Stirling, the wife of A. Stirling, Esq. In the neighbourhood of the village are four ironstone mines. From: A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846),

"Old description: Faskine, or Fasken, an estate and a village in Old Monkland Parish, Lanarkshire, on the right bank of North Calder Water, mile W of Calderbank, 1miles south of Airdrie . The estate contains coal and ironstone mines, worked from an earlier period than any others in the great Clydesdale mineral field. Pop. of Faskine and Palacecraig (including Hillhead), (1881) 475, (1891) 486".

The Faskine sits nearly two miles to the south of Airdrie town centre and three miles east of Coatbridge. Its the small neighbour of Calderbank. As most families had relations in both villages it would be right to say that the Faskine was the wee cousin. Both communities were mainly made up of mining and steel working families. In years gone by the man of the house would only have to fall out of his bed to make his work.

Faskine was the site of the first Clydeside and Monklands coal mines supporting three mines in all not including the neighbouring Palacecraig, Hillhead and Calderbank pits. The mines came about through the extension of the Monklands canal to Calderbank. Prior to this the land was very much used for farming with tenants being monks.

The coal was mainly used in fuelling the many Iron works that surrounded it in Lanarkshire including Calderbank Iron works as well being carried by barge into Glasgow. Local folk-lore tells the story of two men fishing in the canal when there 'tinny cup' fell into the water and floated, hence the building of the 'Vulcan' that was launched into the canal at Faskine to travel the Monkland canal from Calderbank to Glasgow.

The Faskine was by far the smallest neighbour with only two remaining miners rows, the Brick Row and the Bottom Row along with the old school house and Faskine farm all overlooked by the mighty High Palacecraig house.

The Bottom Row sat on the canal banking, the Monkland canal built to carry the iron and steel from Calderbank and Coatbridge all the way to the Clyde in Glasgow.

T he Brick Row sat almost at the top of the long wide hill that makes its way to Airdrie overlooking the canal and the North Calder water as well as Calderbank and the surrounding Woodhall estate.

Palacecraig was a mansion that sat above Faskine and stands to this day. The remains of the village that once supported a population of around  500 people (Scotlands Gazetteer) consists of Faskine farm that is still being worked, the Old School House and Low Palacecraig (private houses) and William Millers bus garage that stands on the site of my mothers birth place and our ancestors (Kelly's) going back to 1758. 

Other lost villages that surrounded Faskine included 'Peep O' Day' (between Calderbank and Hillhead) and 'Mount Bonnie' that sat further along the canal banking towards Greenend, both were very small consisting of 1 row. Heading towards Calderbank on the canal banking you would also find 'Woodhall'

Location of the Faskine; as you go down the hill from Cairnhill to Sikeside you will have two turn offs to the left. The first takes you into where Millers bus garage is, this was the site of my mothers home, Brick Row. Carry on down the hill and you will come to Low Palacecraig where you can turn right and that takes you to High Palacecraig (the big White House). Follow this road to its' end and you will pass Palacecraig and join up with the Sikeside road again (the second cut off to the left as you come down the main road from Cairnhill to Sikeside).
Back in the Faskine as you walk down towards the canal from Millers bus garage you will come to a bridge over the canal. You will see on the opposite bank Faskine Farm and sitting on the canal banking to your left from the bridge 'The Old School House'.

Williams mother and uncle, the children (uncle now lives in California), his grandmother top left and great grandmother in the middle, grandmothers sister top right.

William's Great Grandfather John Kelly was known as 'the Doc'. This confused some locals to this day who would argue that a Doctor stayed in his mothers home (before Millers buses) but it was 'The Doc' who stayed there. He was given the nic-name as he was the fireman down the pit and as he was a fireman he was also a trained first-aider so it would be him the locals would come to when needed as doctors could not be afforded,  

Faskine Farm c1970 -photo by Graham Gartshore

Does anyone recognise the boy picking blackberries??

Faskine House was a house of very ancient appearance, mentioned in Wodrow's Church History as being a place remarkable in feudal times where witches were executed, and also during the period of the Reformation.
 it was the family residence of Cap Cleland, whose name is much mentioned in Church History. A tree in the vicinity of this house was called the Witch Tree or Bell Tree, but no-one can now point out its site.
Very little is known of the history of Faskine, however much is known of the Cleland Family, who owned it for centuries. The house was removed in 1900, the present farm buildings being erected in the following year. The old house was latterly used as a farmhouse prior to its removal. It was a  building with an appearance of considerable age
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