Drumpellier Country Park is situated to the west of Coatbridge and east of Glasgow. It was formerly a private estate and in 1984 Drumpellier was officially designated as a Country Park.
The park lies beside the A752 - two miles north of the A8/M8 Glasgow/Edinburgh trunk road and three miles south of the main Glasgow/Stirling Road (A80). It lies about one mile south of the Gartcosh slip road on the M73
The Main entrance to the park is from Townhead Road in Coatbridge. The visitor centre, opened by Provost Cairns of Monkland District Council, is located at this entrance and is open all year round. It provides an ideal starting point (or finishing point) to any visit to the park.
The park is popular with passers-by and day trippers from all over, who arrive by car to take part in the most popular activity by far, feeding the multitude of swans, geese, ducks and other birds - or just sitting watching them.
The park has a
number of recreational activities
including: an adventure playground,
guided walks, Jogging, dog walking,
picnic areas, water - based
activities such as boating, and
angling. Rangers are available to
support school projects and to give
talks to interested groups. The
ranger service usually have a full
programme of walks and activities.
Drumpellier Country Park covers an area of 500 acres and comprises of two natural lochs (one of which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)), lowland heath, mixed woodlands and open grassland. The Monklands Canal lies towards the southern perimeter of the park. The lochs and the canal attract a large number of water birds, both resident and over-wintering migrants, and the loch shores and woodland floor provides an abundance of wild flora. The woodlands are also rich in bird life, small wild animals and many types of fungi. A network of paths makes for easy access to all areas of the park and many of these are suitable for wheelchairs and prams.
Facilities and activities
History of the Park
The lochs are part of a chain of kettle Ponds formed towards the end of the last ice age. As the glaciers slipped toward the sea they churned up tracts of land. This created great lochs, such as Lomond and linnhe, and also produced small pockets of water such as the Garnkirk chain of Hogganfield, Frankfield, and Bishops lochs including the two lochs of Drumpellier -Woodend and Lochend (the main loch).
Flint tools of stone age man have been found on the shores of Woodend Loch. Lochend Loch once boasted of a fine example of a Crannog - an Iron age dwelling house made from wood and thatch, on an artificial island. This was designed as a protection against robbers and wolves. The crannog was was joined to the shore by a narrow causeway hidden under the surface of the water. People continued to live in Crannogs up until about AD 1450.
The Park was gifted to the town by DWR Carrick Buchanan in 1919. The Drumpellier estate can be traced back to 1161 and was the site of the original Grange built by the monks of Newbattle Abbey. The farming Grange, which stood on the ridge near the site of Drumpellier House, was probably built from wood with a thatched roof.
The monks cleared part of the forest which covered the area at the time. They cultivated the land extensively and by the the 16th century had leased most of the lands to farmers. After the reformation the monks land was sold to the Hamilton family.
In 1739 Andrew Buchanan purchased the Drumpellier
Estate from the Colquhoun family of Langloan. In 1741 he built Drumpellier
House, a Georgian mansion on the estate. The mansion was
demolished in the late 1960's.
Andrew Buchanan (1690-1759) was a descendant of John Buchanan, the King of Kippen. Andrew was one of the wealthy Glasgow tobacco barons and purchased Drumpelier Estate in 1735. He became Lord Provost of Glasgow in 1740 (Buchanan Street in Glasgow was named after him). He transformed much of the policies into a landscaped pleasure ground, a parkland in the manner of Capability Brown and a loch complete with a swan house.
The fortunes of the Buchanan family were badly affected when the American revolutionaries seized their Virginia plantations.Andrew's Grandson - David Carrick Buchanan - later emigrated to Virginia and made his fortune. He re-purchased the Drumpelier Estate.
Carrick Buchanan gifted the estate to the town of Coatbridge in 1919. It has since become an excellent Country Park complete with a golf course. The park soon became popular with the townspeople of Coatbridge and beyond. During the 1920's and 30's large groups of people from Glasgow arrived by tram and spent their weekends camping by the loch.