The poet Robert Henryson
in 1430-50 thus writes:—
The lint ryped, the churle
pulled the lyne,
Ripled the bolles, and in beating it set ;
It steeped in the bume, and dried syne,
And with ane beittel knocked it and bet.
Syne swyingled it weill, and heckled in the flet,
His wyfe it span and twinde it into thread.
Although the regular
market of Kirkintilloch was undoubtedly held at the cross for ages on
the ground specified and set apart for the purpose in the charter of the
burgh, there is evidence to show that the lint market was held at the
Eastside every Saturday. As every farmer grew lint at one period, the
market was a large one, for it was the centre of a very wide area. Lint
was brought on the backs of horses led one after another, from such
distant places as Fintry and the district around it. The street at the
east side called “Ledgate,” got its name from the gangs of led horses
coming regularly along it. The abnormal width of the Eastside is no
doubt due to the circumstance of the lint market being held there, and
the bailies’ taking care that sufficient width was left unbuilt upon for
The Blue Tower, which
stood near the steeple—and on the site of which a house was built for
the late Mr. Adams, schoolmaster—was supposed, with some reason, to be
part of the Castle of Kirkintilloch.
Opposite the church-gate,
at the top of the Back-causeway, stood a large house, called “The Rood
House.” Above the doorway and windows were Latin inscriptions, one
being, “Gloria Dei.” Attached to the house was an orchard, which became
the burying-ground of Dr. Marshall’s church, and is called the “Orchard
graveyard ” at this day. No doubt this was the house and glebe of the
chaplains of the church of the Virgin Mary, which, as we have seen, was
endowed by Sir David Fleming, in 1379, with part of the lands of
Duntiblae and the mill.
At the end of last
century John Gillies, who was bellman of Kirkintilloch, began certain of
his proclamations thus: “Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes; in the name of the Lady
Clementina Fleming of Biggar and Cumbernauld,” etc.