CARMUNNOCK is a pleasant little
village, with some score or so of houses, situated at the western
extremity of the Cathkin hills, about five miles south of Glasgow Cross.
Mr. Hugh Macdonald, who visited and described it, in his famous Rambles
Round Glasgow, fully forty years ago, waxes eloquent over it, and
depicts it then, as we have no doubt it is still, as quite a little social
elysium. He states:
"The population of the parish,
consisting principally of agriculturists and weavers, numbered at the late
census 717, being an increase of only ten individuals within the last
decade. It has an old-fashioned barn-like church, which stands about the
centre of the village, and an exceedingly commodious and well-built
school, from which, as we pass, the juvenile Carmunnockians are pouring
forth with that dinsome glee which is only heard at the skailing o’ the
schule, and which at once calls back to the memory of us children
of a larger growth the joys of other years."
In the Statistical Account of
Carmunnock published about 1840, there is a fact stated which must fill
with envy the assessment-crushed unfortunates of our city parishes. There
has hitherto been no levy for poor-rates, and the worthy minister, with
justifiable complacency, expresses his belief that such a thing as a
compulsory assessment for the support of the poor is not at all likely
ever to be required. What a delightful little city of refuge this must
appear to the pauper-ridden denizens of St. Mungo; what an oasis in the
desert, far away from the persecuting tax-gatherer, who, on some pretence
or other, is eternally prying into our books, and making town’s talk of
our most secret affairs!
The minister likewise boasts that no
individual belonging to the parish was ever convicted of a capital crime.
Why, the golden age would seem to be lingering at the south-west end of
the Cathkin braes, and we should not be surprised, if the knowledge of
these good matters once gets wind, that the next census will show an
infinite addition to the ratio of increase in the population of this
really pleasant and picturesque, as well as almost pauperless and
A reference to the Scottish
Educational Blue Book of 1890-91 shows the population of the parish in
1881 as 1,379; one school, with accommodation for 164, and an average
attendance of 88.