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General History

Mounds & Cairns Holy Wells Proprietors Statistical Accs.

Place Names Lost History Roads & Bridges
General History - Statistical Accs.
Sheriffdoms of Renfrew and Lanark 1710
Statistical Account by Rev. Mr James Morehead 1790
Statistical Account by Rev. Hugh Dewar 1836
Statistical Account of Stonehouse 1904
Statistical Account of Stonehouse 1937
Statistical Account by Rev. Robert Clement Pollock 1950
Historical Account of Stonehouse (mid 19th century) by Deanory of Lanark

Sheriffdoms of Renfrew and Lanark 1710
Stonehouse is a pleafant parte, tho it toucheth not Clyde: it lyes upon the water of Aven. This baronie and perifh anciently belonged to the Earles of Douglas; and after their forfaulture, the one half of it came to Lord Hamilton, and the other half to the Laird of Stonehouse, Hamilton; and continued fo for feverall ages, untill of late, it was firft purchafed by the Lord Lee, and then by his fon, the Lord Caftlehill, and now belongs to Martha Lochhart, his daughter, and John Sinclair younger of Stevenfone, her fpoufe. The place is plentifull both of grafs and corn; but the houfe which belonged to the land is now ruinous, they dwelling elfewhere, at Cambufnethan. The Duke of Hamilton is patron of the parifh. (as written)

Statistical Account by Rev. Mr James Morehead 1790
The parish of Stonehouse is in the County of Lanark, in the presbytery of Hamilton, and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; 18 miles from Glasgow, 7 and a half from Hamilton; and nearly the same from Lanark. It is 5 miles in length, and, at an average, nearly 2 miles in breadth. No exact survey has yet been taken of it; but, by comparing what has been surveyed, and what has not, it may be reasonably supposed to contain nearly 6000 acres. Of the above, it is computed, that about 12 acres consist of moss, and about 24 of muir. All the rest is arable, excepting the banks of the river. The soil, at the top of the parish, is light; in the middle and lower end, it is also light, but mixed with some clay. It is laid out mostly in small farms. Four or five, perhaps, may pay between 60 and L.80 of yearly rent; but, at an average, they do not exceed 20 or L.30. In the centre of the parish, there is a very thriving village, called Stonehouse. In the course of the last 20 years, 35 new houses have been built; and 2 or 3 more are to be built next summer. Some of these houses contain 2, 3, 4, and even 5 families. The village is principally inhabited by weavers. A few have begun to carry on business for themselves: but, generally speaking, they are employed by manufacturers elsewhere. Some begin working the loom at nine or ten years of age. The females are remarkable for spinning fine. The village above is supposed to draw L.500 annually for that article. Some years ago, there was one woman, who span to the extent of ten spindles in the pound.

The produce, which principally consists of oats, barley, and pease, is, in general, more than what is necessary for the consumption of the inhabitants. The surplus is sent to Hamilton, Glasgow and Paisley. About 12 years ago, an attempt was made to raise wheat; but, after repeated trials, it was found not to answer, and is, therefore, mostly given up. Every farmer lays his account to raise 10 or 12 bolls of potatoes yearly; and to sow about a peck, or a peck and a half of lint feed, for family uses. They have no fields either of potatoes, flax, or turnip. In the middle and lower end of the parish, every farmer has some parts of his ground in rye-grass. What they peculiarly attend to, is the dairy. It is, in general, expected, that the half, and in some parts the whole, of his rent should be paid by the produce of the byre. They deal greatly in rearing calves for the butchers, which they fell from 20s to 3 or L.4 each.

There is no disease peculiar to the parish. What has hitherto proved most fatal, is the smallpox, which returns every 4 or 5 years. In 1778, 18 children were carried off in the course of a few weeks. Some have begun to inoculate: In every instance where tried, it was successful; but the prejudices of the people against it are too strong, that it is not gaining ground. There are few instances of
longevity. Some have attained to 90, but none, (at least for these 30 years,) to 100 years of age.

The Avon, which rises in the parishes of Avondale and Galston, passes through a part of this district, and runs into the Clyde, not far from Hamilton. - Near the village of Stonehouse, it has a fall which would answer for a cotton mill. - There is a mineral spring at Kittymuir, which has been found to be of service in scorbutic disorders. It would, probably, be more resorted to, if some attention were paid to the well, and if there were better accommodations near it.

Some years ago, there was a good coal-work in the parish, the property of Mr Lockhart of Castlehill, which was afterwards, in a great measure, abandoned. Of late, different trials have been made, and it is hoped, it will again beset a going. The parish, in the mean time, has not suffered much, being abundantly supplied with coal from 3, and now 4, different collieries in the parish of Dalserf, the nearest, scarcely a mile, and the farthest, not four from the village. At present, they cost at the work, 10 1/2d. per cart, which is more than double what they were 30 years ago. A cart is supposed to contain about 30 stone, Trone weight. - The parish abounds in lime; which has been much used of late, for the purposes of farming. It is generally sold in shells, at L.2:10 to the kiln, and to the tenants of the proprietors, at L.2:5. A kiln contains 100 bolls of flacked lime. In the river, and on the top of the lime stone, there is plenty of excellent iron stone; which, in all probability, will become soon an object of importance. - There is also fine quarries of free stone, easy to be got at, which has been of great service in the late buildings.

By a list taken in 1696, which seems to have been made out by Mr Foyer, the then minister, there appears to have been, at that time, 872 souls in the parish: of these 272 resided in the village, and 600 in the country. The return to Dr Webster in 1755, was 823 souls. By a list made out by the present minister in November last, there were found to be 1060; of whom 593 resided in the village, and 467 in the country. The village consequently has increased 321, and the country decreased 133, since 1696. The increase, on the whole, in the last 40 years, is 237. Of the above 1060, there are,

Males Females
In the village 263 330
In the country 222 245
Total 485 575
Majority of females, upon the whole, is 90
Families in the village 161
In the country 99

Every family, at an average, will contain little more than four.

General Division
Farmers, who make it their business 56
Weavers 131
Shoemakers 15
Masons 9
Wrights 6
Miners 6
Smiths 4
Different millers 6
Taylors 6
Coopers 2
Married 344
Widows and widowers 57
Under 20 years, supposed 400

It is impossible to ascertain the number of births: through there is a register kept, yet it cannot be depended upon. Some of the ancient Dissenters seem never to have registered their children at all. Many of the Established Church forget it. Since the last duty was imposed, there are many who refuse it. Some on account of the expense, and some from a mistaken notion of religion. Some who now reside in one parish, register in another, because it happened to be their former place of residence; and strangers sometimes register in this, because their children, by some accident, have been baptized in it. As it stands, the average will be found to be 25 precisely, reckoning from the beginning of the register, which was in 1696, till November 1790, there being 2275 baptisms recorded. No register appears for the years 1721 and 1722, excepting 2 at the beginning of 1721, and 4 at the end of 1722, which are not included in the above. Multiplying 91, the number of years, by 25, the number of children, the product is 2275, precisely.

It is difficult to ascertain the number of deaths: Of these there is no register kept. The only thing, that can throw any light upon it, is the account of the mortcloths kept by the treasurer for the poor. But this will not be found quite satisfactory; because some, who reside in this parish, bury in another, and consequently get a mortcloth from them; while strangers, sometimes, bury in this; and, supposing these to be equal, which it is probable they are, the matter will be uncertain, because mortcloths are seldom required for children under two years of age. As it stands, the annual average for these last twenty years, will be found to be 17 and 20/4.

There is no authentic register of marriages. A list of proclamations, in order to marriage, is kept, both by the precentor and treasurer for the poor. These two have been compared, and found to agree. According to them, there have been, of proclamations, from the beginning of the year 1761, to the end of the year 1790, in all 289: Of these 7 must be discounted, because the marriages did not take place. Of the remaining 282, in 133 instances, both parties resided in the parish; - in 75, the man resided, but not the woman; and 71, the woman resided, but not the man.

These facts being ascertained, every person will be able to strike an annual average, according as his views are, in making the inquiry.

It is not easy to ascertain in the precise number of dissenters from the Established Church, principally, because many scarcely know to what particular sect they belong. Such heads of families, as have come to a determination on this point, are as under:
Cameronians 4
Antiburghers 5
Presbytery of Relief 21
Burghers 5
On the supposition, that the above heads are followed by their families, and according to the average of families above mentioned, the number of dissenters will be somewhat more than 140.

The valuation of the parish is L.2721 Scots: the real rent cannot be exactly known. The heritors at present amount to 18. Four of these only have L.100 of valuation; and none such reside in the parish. More than one half is the property of Mr Lockhart of Castlehill; who is also patron.

The stated poor on the list, in the year 1790, were 13. The expense of maintaining them amounted to L.37:12; L.4 or L.5 more were distributed in, what is called, occasional charity. The funds, for defraying the above expense, are raised in the following manner:
By collections, (at an average) L. 1400
Interest of L.120 of principal stock 600
Money arising from mortcloths, (at an average) 400
Money arising from proclamations of marriage 084

L. 2483
If the above is not sufficient, as has been the case for some years, then a stent is laid upon the parish, one half of which is paid by the heritors, according to their valuation, and the other half by the inhabitants, according to their circumstances. None of the parishioners are allowed to beg, through we are much troubled with beggars from other parishes.

The stipend of this parish is 97 bolls, 7 pecks and a half of meal, and L.16:12:6, in money. Some years ago, it was paid by 60 different hands; at present by 42. The glebe is about 4 acres of arable ground, and about an acre of pasture. At an annual average, stipend and glebe will amount to a little more than L.84 sterling. The manse was built in the year 1761: it cost the heritors, besides the old manse, valued at L.20, to the extent of L.153. - The church was rebuilt in the year 1772; the expense betwixt 400 and L.500.

The prices of provisions in November, 1790, were as follows:
A boll of meal 16s 6d
Beef, per stone 5s 6d
Hens 1s 3d
Eggs, by the dozen 5d
Butter, by the pound 9d
Best cheese, do 4s 2d
Inferior, or scum, do 3d

A man servant, exclusive of victuals, per annum L.8 10 0
A female, do do .3 10 0
A labourer by the day, without victuals 0 1 0
In hay or harvest 0 16 or 5d
Women in harvest 0 10
Masons 0 10
Taylors 0 10

The parish, in former times, was divided into forty ploughgates. On the supposition, that every plough has 5 horses, young and old, 12 cows, and 3 carts, the amount will be 200 horses, 480 cows, and 120 carts. The carts are always drawn by one horse only. - There are some sheep, mostly in the upper part of the parish. They are supposed not to exceed 5 score.

The roads are not in good repair; and it is not easy to say, how they can be made better. They are much hurt by the carriage of coal and lime. Materials to mend them are ill to be got. There are not turnpikes within the parish. Two bridges over the Avon were both swept away by one flood, in the year 1771: but they were rebuilt in a year or two after, - partly by private contributions, and partly from the county funds.

The produce of the year 1782 fell short of what was necessary, for the consumption of the parish. The deficiency was made up, by some of the more wealthy inhabitants, who purchased foreign grain, and sold it without profit. - By sobriety, frugality, and a more diligent attention to business, the difficulties of that unfortunate season, were got over more easily than could have been expected. - The parochial school master has 100 merks of salary, which at present is paid by 47 different hands. His perquisites, at an average, amount to 20s annually. The number of his scholars are about 50; - his wages 1 s 3d per quarter; - one third is deducted for the vacation quarter. The amount of the whole about L.18: - his payments are ill made; and something ought to be done, to make his situation more comfortable. He has a house, and schoolhouse allowed him by the parish. They were built in 1781; and cost the heritors upwards of L.40. - Besides the parochial school, there is one generally at the head, and another, sometimes, at the foot of the parish. The expense is defrayed by the parents of the children. There are 4 alehouses, who have taken out a licence, all in the village. No very bad effects, on the morals of the inhabitants, have yet been felt from them; but many suspect, that this will not long be the case. - The difference betwixt employing cottagers and hired servants, in agriculture, cannot be ascertained here, few or none in the parish, having employed the former. - There is no jail in the parish; or were any of the parishioners in prison, during the year 1790. Indeed there has been no justiciary trials of any of the people of this parish, for these 30 years, one excepted, who was punished by whipping. - The people in general are of a middle size; - healthy in their constitution; decent in their conduct, - and, though they may have some real, and some imaginary grievances, yet they are as much contented with their fate, as most of their neighbours.

Statistical Account by Rev. Hugh Dewar 1836

Name and Boundaries: The name of the parish is of doubtful origin, - some deriving it from the mansion-house of the laird of Stonehouse, which, in former times, stood at no great distance from the site of the present village, and in those days was the only house in the parish which was built with stone and lime; the rest being only mud cottages, or at best but built of layers of stone and turf alternately. I find, in some very old records, the parish is called the Stannaus; and by many people in the neighbouring parishes it is still called the Stanis or Stenis. The extreme length of the parish may be about 6 English miles, its breadth 3 miles at an average. It is bounded on the south; by the water of Kype, which separates it from the parish of Avondale; and for a considerable way on the west side, it is washed by the river Avon, which separates it partly from the parish of Avondale, and partly from the parish of Glasford; and which river intersects the parish near the centre, where it is narrowest, and then continues to bound it on the other side, from the parish of Dalserf, to its utmost extremity on the north. On the east, it is divided from the parishes of Dalserf and Lesmahagow, by the Cander water, which joins the Avon at the point where that river intersects the parish.

Topographical Appearances: The whole parish presents a uniform appearance. There are no hills in it, but from its utmost extremity on the south, there is a gently and gradual descent towards the centre, - from whence it again gradually ascends towards the north; but the rise is not so great as to the south. The land is all arable, and the soil in general good, and in many places not yielding in richness and fertility to the best land in the county; particularly the land in the vicinity of the town, which is let upon a lease of twelve years from L.4 to L.6 and L.7, and upwards, per acre. The general appearance of the parish, within these twenty or thirty years, has undergone an entire change. Before that period there were few plantations to beautify and shelter the land; now, there are everywhere springing up fine thriving plantations of Scotch fir, larch, elm, ash, and other forest trees; chiefly upon the lands of Robert Lockhart, Esq. of Castlehill, the principal heritor; and also upon the lands of many of the smaller proprietors. However, before the period alluded to, there existed upon the estate of Spittal, some belts of very fine Scotch fir, very tall and full-grown, and fit for almost all the purposes of the carpenter; but most of them, previous to, and since that time, have been cut down; and only a remnant of them remains, - together with some beautiful oaks, elms, limes, and ashes of considerable magnitude and age, on the avenue leading to the Spittal House, and about the garden. The village of Stonehouse, also, was formerly adorned with plane trees of immense size, which towered aloft on all sides of it; but these too have shared the fate of all sublunary objects, - the last remnant of them, so late as last summer, falling before the axe, to make room for the habitations of man. There are still, around the manse and church-yard, a few planes of great magnitude and beauty.

Draining has lately been introduced into the parish, and has contributed not a little to change the aspect of the country, freeing it entirely from those unsightly woods of rushes, and other aquatic plants, that thrive so luxuriantly in wet marshy soil, and neglected fields; so that, where the eye formerly wandered over almost a desolate wilderness, it is now charmed and delighted, with the view of green verdant fields, and waving crops of yellow grain.

There is only one moss of any considerable extent in the parish, called the Hazeldean moss; and which of late years has been all drained and brought into a state of high cultivations, by the spirited and enterprising proprietor, Mr William Smellie of Burn. This moss, though formerly not worth 1s. per acre, is now yielding immense crops of potatoes, oats, barley, wheat, rye, clover, and rye-grass.

Climate: The parish of Stonehouse being in the very centre of the narrowest part of the island, equidistant alike from the sea on the east and west, partakes of all the variety of weather incident to places so situated. Most of the heavy rains and winds are from the west and South-West; the most prevalent, however, is the west, which sweeping over the vast Atlantic Ocean, often brings along with it vast collections of clouds and vapours, which pour themselves down in heavy drenching rains from the western shore, till they reach considerably beyond the centre of the island before they are exhausted.

Geology: The parish abounds with freestone, and in some places, with a kind of rotten trap or whinstone, excellently fitted for the making of roads. There is also an abundance of lime of the best quality. Ironstone is found in thin beds above the lime, but mostly in round detached masses, of a very superior quality. Coal is also abundant, though not wrought at present, but for the purpose of lime-burning. In the fissures occasionally found in the lime beds, there are beautiful specimens of mica, delightfully bedropped on the surface with shining globular particles of bright yellow substance, like the diamonds found in some slates. There are also found, in these fissures, pieces of a jet black substance, not unlike, and possessing in some degree, the softness and elasticity of the Indian rubber; which easily ignites, and burns with a bright flame, and entirely consumes, leaving little or no residuum.

Hydrography - There are no lakes in the parish. There formerly existed, at a place called Gozlington, a pretty large marsh, the resort of wild geese, ducks, and other water-fowls; but now the water being all drained off, it is converted into excellent meadow ground. The only river that runs through the parish is the Avon, which has its source on the confines of Ayrshire, - whence it takes an easterly direction, flowing through the parishes of Strathaven, Glasford, and Stonehouse, where, after being joined by the Kype, Cander water, and other small streams, it turns to the north, passing through the parishes of Dalserf and Hamilton, and falls into the Clyde, about a mile to the east of the town of Hamilton. It is reckoned one of the best trouting streams in Scotland. In the proper season for fishing, multitudes of people from the surrounding towns and villages are seen busily plying on its banks. Salmon also used to be very plentiful in the Avon, in the proper season; but about twenty years ago, the mill-dam at Millheugh having been greatly raised in order to procure a greater supply of water, few or none can overleap it; and it is now a rare occurrence to hear of or see a salmon in Stonehouse. The banks of the Avon are exceedingly romantic, and from Stonehouse to Hamilton, an almost uninterrupted range of rocks overhangs the river on both sides, the summits of which are generally covered with natural wood of ash, birch, oak, elm, etc. The bed of the river, in many places, is almost choked up with large masses of rock, which from time to time in the lapse of centuries have fallen from the superincumbent strata, and obstruct the waters in their passage; so that, in the rainy season, when the river is much swollen, the waters foam, roar, and thunder amongst these hugh blocks of stone, in the most fearful and terrific manner. On the banks of this river, is a sulphurous mineral well, called the Kittymure-well, much resorted to in former times by persons afflicted with scrofula, scurvy, and other cutaneous diseases; it is still partially resorted to.

Heritors: The principal heritors or landowners in the parish are, Robert Lockhart, Esq. of Castlehill, the proprietor of more than one-half of the parish; His Grace the Duke of Hamilton; Mr McNiel of Raploch; and Mr Rowat of Bonnanhill; but none of these have any residence in the parish.

Antiquities: Under this head may be mentioned the remains of two old castles, still visible on the banks of the Avon, known by the names of the Coat or Cat castle, and Ringsdale castle, both built on precipitous rocks overhanging the river; but, except their names and ruins, nothing more remains of them, as history and tradition are entirely silent concerning them.

There also existed, at some remote period, a very strong military position or encampment, at the junction of the Avon and Cander water, still known by the name of the Double Dikes, which comprises an extent of betwixt three and four acres of land, surrounded on all sides by high perpendicular rocks, except at one point where the two waters approach so near each other, as to leave a space of not more than 40 or 50 yards from rock to rock; which narrow neck of and is strongly fortified across by three high dikes or walls, curved like the segment of a circle. In some places these dikes are still entire, in others considerably broken down; they are distant from each other only about 30 feet; and before the use of gunpowder, the position must have been almost impregnable.

About two years ago, as the farmer in Westmains of Stonehouse was removing a cairn of stones from an artificial mound on the banks of the Avon near Coat castle, for the purpose of draining, he found after removing the stones, a fine rich black mould some yards deep, which must have been conveyed thither from a considerable distance, as there is no such rich earth in the vicinity of the place. It turned out to have been an ancient Roman tumulus. Upon removing all the stones, and coming to the bottom of the cairn, which was set round and covered with large flat stones, the workmen found a great many urns, some of them in a fine state of preservation, ornamented with flowers and other figures elegantly portrayed on them. They seemed to be composed of a light-coloured clay, the colour being nowise changed by the action of fire; although, from their hardness and durability, they must have undergone the process of burning. They contained pieces of burnt bones and black ashes, with small bits of half-charred wood. This tumulus is little more than a mile from the old Roman military road from Ayr to Edinburgh, which runs through the parish, commonly known to the country people by the name of the Deil’s Causey, from some superstitious notion they entertain that the personage alluded to had a principal hand in paving it. This road, in some places, is still entire, very rudely paved with large stones; in other places, it has been completely erased by the country people, for the purposes of draining, building fences, making roads, etc. There have been other tumuli found in the parish, particularly one at the upper end of it; which, some years ago, was ransacked to the centre, and a number of urns found therein.

Parochial Registers: There are no parochial records of births and baptisms much beyond 100 years. There was one volume or two previous to the present, said to have been lost some way or other; and it is now very difficult to ascertain the number either of births or deaths in the parish. There is a list of proclamation of banns kept by the treasurer for the poor; but no register of the marriages that are actually celebrated. The number of proclamations for the last ten years amounts to 200, making an average of 20 couple yearly.

The population according to the last census taken in 1831 was as follows:
Inhabited houses, 412
Families, 412
Houses building, 3
Uninhabited, 4
All other families, 67
Males, 1147
Females, 1182
Total population 2359

The following trades and occupations carried on in the parish, at the same time, were,
Blacksmiths 8 Corn dealers, 1 Lime-burners, 14 Grocers and drapers, 17
Plasterers, 2 Millers, 2 Masons, 7 Publicans, 7
Butchers, 3 Boot and shoemakers, 12 Carpenters, 11 Straw bonnet makers, 4
Carters, 10 Tailors, 9 Surgeons, 2 Weavers somewhat above, 400
Coopers, 1

At the census taken in 1821 the population of the parish was 2038, 1831 it was 2359, Difference, 321 of increase in the space of ten years.

Number of families in the parish, 412
chiefly employed in agriculture, 86
trade, manufactures, or handicraft, 262

Agriculture and Rural Economy: The valuation of the parish is L.2721 Scots; but the real rent, I find, cannot be easily ascertained. The parish is generally supposed to contain upwards of 6000 acres Scotch; although I believe there was never any actual survey taken of it, for the purpose of actually ascertaining the fact. The whole is either under cultivation at present, or has been cultivated at some former period, such as what is commonly called the Stonehouse moor; which has for many years been in pasture, and may consist of 30 or 40 acres, and which probably may pay better in grass than under crop.

The common rotation of crops is, 1st, grass; 2d, oats; 3d, potatoes or turnip, wheat either after summer fallow, or potatoes, and some barley. Flax is now very seldom raised in the parish: though formerly almost every farmer raised a little for family use. The land is generally all well enclosed, either with stone dikes, or thorn and beech hedges, and sheltered with thriving plantations in many places.

Leases: Leases of land in most cases are for the term of nineteen years: excepting what are called the town lands; that is, - land in the vicinity of the village, which is let on a lease of twelve years; and is usually taken by the inhabitants of the village at a very high rent.

Manufactures: There is only one small establishment in the parish, deserving the name of a manufactory; it was erected for the purpose of manufacturing cotton into lamp and candle-wicks; and employs but a very few hands. There is no other work worth mentioning, except a lime-work which is carried on to a considerable extent, all under ground, - together with a small seam of coal for the purpose of burning it.

Village: The village of Stonehouse stands near the centre of the parish, and is a fine, airy, thriving place. The main street is nearly a mile in length. The houses are mostly one storey, and generally thatched; though there are a few substantial, well built two storey houses and slated. The streets are all macadamized, and kept very clean and smooth; and no filth allowed to be thrown on the streets, or to remain thereon any length of time. The village is now rapidly advancing both in population and appearance, from the very liberal encouragement given to feuing and building, by Mr Lockhart of Castlehill, the proprietor of more than one-half of the parish, who generally grants leases of 999 years upon payment of a very moderate feuduty; and the building is very cheap, as stones, lime, and other materials are got just at hand. A great many new buildings are going on at present, chiefly by two building societies, which have lately been formed, and are now in active operation. Two new streets are about being opened up, - which, when finished according to the specified plan, will both greatly improve the appearance of the place, and also furnish ample accommodation for the increasing population of the village; for the want of which, some families have been obliged of late to seek habitations for themselves elsewhere.

Means of Communication: The new turnpike road from Edinburgh to Ayr passes through the village and has opened up an easy communication with the country, both to the ease and west, which formerly was of very difficult access from the want of a turnpike road through the parish. By a very high and beautiful bridge over the Cander water, about half a mile to the east of the village, on a new line of road already mentioned, the approach to the village is alike easy from the east and from the west. As the Edinburgh and Ayr road crosses the great road from Glasgow to London, about a mile from the village, the communication with these places is easy and expeditious.

Ecclesiastical State: The parish church stands in the centre of the village, and is a fine, light, handsome, modern building, with a neat spire, and capable of accommodating with ease above 900 sitters. It is generally well filled. Besides the parish church, there is also in the village a small dissenting meeting-house belonging to the United Secession, a good many of the members and supporters of which are from the neighbouring parishes of Glasford, Dalserf, and Lesmahagow.

The manse is partly an old building and partly new. The new was built about twenty years ago; it is very pleasantly situated on a very commanding eminence near the Avon, about half a mile from the village. The glebe consists of about four acres of exceedingly good arable land, and about one acre of pasture, which may be fairly valued at L.24 a year. The stipend, as modified 9th December 1829, is 17 chadlers of victual, one-half meal, one-half barley, with L.10 for communion elements; localled stipend, 125 bolls, 3 firlots, 2 pecks, 2 1/5 lippies oatmeal; 28 bolls, 3 firlots, 1 peck, 7/8 lippies, barley, with L.121, 15s. 91/2d. in money.

360 families attend the Established Church. About 120 families are Dissenters or Seceders.

Education: There are five schools in the parish, three of them in the village of Stonehouse, and two in the village of Sandford; attended by about 300 scholars, or about 1/8 of the whole population of the parish. Four of these schools have no salary attached to them; two of them are what are called subscription schools, and the masters have only a free school-room; rent is paid for the school- rooms of the other two. The parochial schoolmaster’s salary is about L.28 per annum. His fees may amount to L.30 per annum, and he has about L.13 a-year besides, from other sources.

Fairs: There are 3 fairs held in the village in the year, which are styled the Martinmas, May, and July fairs, the dues of which belong to Mr Lockhart of Castlehill. These fairs are principally for black cattle and wool, and are generally well attended.

Poor: The poor on the list are generally between 20 and 30, and are maintained partly by the collections made at the church door, and partly by a regular assessment laid upon the parish; the one-half paid by the heritors according to their several valuations, and the other half by the tenants according to their respective rents, and householders according to their means and circumstances. None of the poor are either allowed or known to beg, their monthly allowance being very liberal, and most of them get their house rents paid. The amount arising to the poor’ fund from church collections was last year L.13; and from legal assessments, L.168. The interest of L.50 is applied to the education of children of the poor.

Till within these four or five years, it was a novel sight to see a four-wheeled carriage of any kind pass through the village of Stonehouse. But since the turnpike road from Ayr to Edinburgh has been opened, the Edinburgh and Ayr coach passes every day through the village; besides a coach from Strathaven to Glasgow by Stonehouse twice a-day; and another with starts every morning from the Buck’s-head Inn, Stonehouse, for Glasgow, and returns the same day; and all of them generally are well employed. There is also a regular carrier betwixt Stonehouse and Glasgow, twice a week. A post-office has likewise been lately established in the village, so that the inhabitants of the parish and village of Stonehouse now enjoy many advantages which they formerly were deprived of, by the peculiar situation of the place.

In a moral and religious point of view, the inhabitants of the village of Stonehouse (which contains a population of nearly 1600 souls) are, with a few exceptions, an industrious, sober, and religious people, nowise addicted to the many vices of the inhabitants of villages of a similar population throughout the kingdom, - such as excessive drinking, swearing, and fighting. Quarrelling and fighting are seldom or never heard of; and though there are three well attended fairs held in the village yearly, yet many of these pass over without the slightest appearance of quarrel.

The due observance of the Sabbath is likewise a characteristic mark of the inhabitants of Stonehouse. The hallowing of the Sabbath day is here most scrupulously attended to, by all ranks of persons, both in town and parish; and except in going to and from church, you will hardly see a person on the street. All public houses are shut on Sabbath, unless to the traveller for refreshment.

Statistical Account of Stonehouse 1904
Of the ancient history of “Caledonia, the name by which the northern portion of the British Isles was designated, very little is known authentically, and the earliest reliable record seems to have been written by Tacitus, the historian of Julius Agricola, who invaded this country for the purpose of conquering the native tribes. During the by no means easy task of subjugatiori, the Romans taught the savage tribes peaceful industrial arts, and in great measure did much to civilise their fierce foes. But the tribesmen were not to be easily overcome, although the Romans sought to crush them by sheer force of numbers and superior equipment, so that it is little wonder we learn that the natives speedily regained their independence after Agricola departed. Time after time the Roman Emperors made strenuous efforts to regain the territory Iying between the southern portion of the isles and the northern, and the successes of war fluctuated alternately between the hardy natives and the proud Romans. The experience gained in the long series of conflicts with the disciplined Roman legions made the tribe inhabiting the district between the Tyne and the Forth the most powerful and civilised in “Caledonia”, and when the country was ultimately abandoned by the Romans, we are told that the tribes banded themselves together and formed a kingdom, the first Sovereign of which was Rydderch Hael (AD 573). This Cumbrian kingdom was governed by Rydderch till his death in AD 603. It was during the reign of this Prince that Kentigern and Columba exercised their benign influence over the land, and there seems to be no doubt that the King came under their Christian teaching while accepting, along with his family, the Christian faith. This kingdom of Cumbria remained a distinct territory long after the Picts, who had established themselves in Scotland, had become extinct; but the civil strife and party feuds helped to lessen their influence and reduce their power to such an extent that part of their district became subject to England. Civil wars continued right on till the time of the Malcolms of Scotland, and it was during the reign of the third Prince of that name that the history of the parish of Stonehouse comes into view.

The ecclesiastical history of the parish is veiled in the mists of antiquity, but it is a matter of common knowledge that this parish is one of the oldest in Scotland.

At a very early period the Druids worshipped their unknown gods in the fashion peculiar to the heathens, by erecting circular structures of stones, where they performed heathenish rites, and it is said stones were objects of worship in those ancient times. The advent of St. Ninian, St. Columba and St Augustine, with the blessed message of the Gospel, changed completely the ecclesiastical history of Scotland, and the people today are laid under an everlasting debt of gratitude to those fine old evangelists. Who knows but that the people of these islands might still have been going about in the spare garments of their rude barbaric forefathers, and performing the same rites of worship, had it not been for the teaching of St Ninian and his successors! The name and memory of this missionary are still associated with Stonehouse, as St Ninian’s well appears to have been consecrated to his memory. This well lies between the farm of East Mains and the churchyard. It is only a matter of conjecture whence the parish obtained its name. To say that the town obtained its name from the first stone house which was built in the parish seems rather commonplace. It is more probable that the name has an ecclesiastical origin. At any rate, there is not the slightest doubt about the fact that the Druids built their places of worship with stone, and after them, those who introduced the new faith of Christianity used also to build their churches with stone, so that it is more than probable that the first house to be built of stone in the parish would be the church, the House of God.

The earliest proprietor of the parish and barony of Stonehouse of whom we know anything was Sir William de Douglas, who was also designated of Stanhus (modern Stonehouse). This knight had a family of six sons, and it appears that, although they took their title from the house of Douglas, they styled themselves “of Stanhus”, thus showing a connection of this parish with that illustrious family. In the age when prowess in war was accounted a man’s greatest qualification to honours and wealth, the barony of Stonehouse was in the possession of families whose members were noted for their bravery and soldierly qualities.

Next in succession to Sir William “de Douglas” came Godfrey de Ross, after whom came the Mowats, and then followed a long line of Hamiltons. Patrick Hamilton, the Proto-Martyr of Scotland was the most illustrious of this noble lineage. He was the first preacher and martyr of the Scottish Reformation, and it was in the parish of Stonehouse that he first saw the light. The Hamiltons of Stonehouse began with James Hamilton first of Stonehouse, who acquired the lands of Hyndlands, Tweedie, Watstoun and Kittymuir about the year 1529. It was Captain Hamilton of Stonehouse who so heroically and successfully defended the Castle of Edinburgh against the English under the Earl of Hertford. The English were so enrages at their failure to capture the Castle that they set fire to the city and left it burning. Going on to Leith, they did the same wanton destruction there.

This heroic Scottish soldier was afterwards made Governor of Edinburgh castle, and he was also made Provost of Edinburgh by the citizens. He was slain in the streets of the city while trying to put down a fight between the citizens and some French allies. His wife seems to have been a lady called Grizel Semple, Lady Stonehouse, who, after his death, married John Hamilton, Abbot of Paisley.

The forebears of the Lockharts settled in Lanarkshire about the twelfth century, and it is possible that Simon Lockard and Stephen Lockard were the first of the race to have any connection with this parish; at any rate, they were the lineal descendants of those Lockards who became the possessors of Castlehill, which formed a part of the barony of Stonehouse. The right of patronage of the church of Stonehouse was vested in a Lockhart of Lee about the year 1667, and this patronage is said to have passed to Lockhart of Castlehill. A Lockhart of Castlehill rose to a position of great dignity as an advocate. He was appointed one of the Lords of Justiciary, with the title of Lord of Castlehill, and he also at one time represented the county in Parliament.

A descendant of Lord Castlehill took the name Lockhart, with the designation of Castlehill, Cambusnethan, and Stonehouse. The Sinclair-Lockharts followed in succession the estates, and a direct descent can be traced down to the late proprietor, Sir Graeme Sinclair Lockhart, Bart., C.B., of Castlehill, who died early in the year 1904.

There are many places of interest in the district, and the antiquarian, geologist, or botanist, have ample scope for the pursuit of pleasure and study. There are several holy wells in the vicinity. St Ninian’s well, already referred to, lies a few yards from the churchyard on the road to East Mains farm. This well was named after St Ninian, and it is interesting to note that the parish, the well, the churchyard, and the church itself were dedicated to this evangelist.

St Patrick’s Well may also be seen on the banks of the Avon, near its junction with Cander Water. This holy well has been famous for its curative powers in scrofula and other cutaneous diseases. The scenery is very picturesque, and a visit from the photographer would be amply repaid by getting a picture of rare natural beauty.

St Anthony’s Well bears the name of a saint who was famous in his day, but owing to improvements on the lands very little of it can now be seen. It is on the lands of Castlehill.

St Laurence’s Well is a spring of water at Chapel, where the Watson burn takes its rise. It appears that an ancient chapel was erected here, and dedicated to St Laurence.

Beauty spots worth visiting are the Avon Braes, where the botanist may spend whole days in healthful pursuit. Here the Convalleria Majalis, Digitalis Purpurea (foxglove), Conium Maculatum (hemlock), Scoparii Vulgaris (broom), Valerian officinalis (valerian), etc, are found in great profusion, and many other indigenous and medicinal plants abound in this truly beautiful spot.

There are two bridges crossing the Cander Water, which overlook a bosky dell of great loveliness, and if seen when the hawthorn blossom is in full bloom, the picture presented to the eye will never be forgotten. As the Avon is the only river that flows through the parish, it is to the banks of this lovely winding river that the visitor in quest of scenes worth seeing must wend his way, and he will be charmed with the grandeur of the scenery, especially below the town. The Spectacle E’e Falls is also a place of rare beauty, and is a favourite resort of the photographer. These falls are situated close to the hamlet of Sandford, about two and a half miles from Stonehouse, on the Kype Water, the largest tributary of the river Avon.

The churchyard commands a magnificent panoramic view of the valley of the Avon, and it would be hard to find in Scotland its equal for the picturesque nature of its situation. The old gable and belfry is all that stands of the old church. In the churchyard lies buried the martyr, James Thomson, of Tanhill. His tombstone bears the inscription - “Here lies James Thomson who was shot in a re-encounter at Drumclog, June 1st, 1679, by bloody Graham of Claverhouse, for his adherence to the Word of God and Scotland’s covenanted work of Reformation. Rev. xii 11. Erected 1734. Memento mori”. Some families of the name of Thomson in Stonehouse are lineal descendants; of this martyr of Covenanting times.

Another walk of great beauty goes past the farm of Sidehead, up the road knows as “The Broo”, past Udston Farm, until the mansion-house of Dykehead is reached, and round the farm of Yards, where the road leads to Boghead and Lesmahagow.

The Manse Road is still another favourite walk, going round by the farms of West Mains, East Mains, and past the Manse, where the parish minister, the Rev James Wyper Wilson, resides.

For the visitor there is plenty of fishing to be had in the river Avon, which is said to be one of the best trouting streams in Scotland. As a health resort Stonehouse stands second to none in the Middle Ward of Lanarkshire. It lies about an equal distance between the East and West Coasts, and owing to its favourable situation, it is almost entirely free from the severe storms coming from either coast. The village has been thoroughly drained, and this, combined with other sanitary improvements, renders it one of the cleanliest and healthiest villages in Scotland. The staple industry is handloom weaving, an industry now fast dying out, owing to improvements in machinery. As the nearest large coal pit is two miles away, the atmosphere is clear and pure.

Statistical Account of Stonehouse 1937
The parish of Stonehouse is bounded on the north by Strathaven, Glasford and Hamilton parishes; on the East by Dalserf, on the South-East and South by Lesmahagow and on the west by Strathaven. The Kype Water, a tributary of the Avon forms the greater part of the Western boundary line and then joins the Avon, which beautiful stream forms the boundary of the North-Western corner and two-thirds of the northern boundary then crosses the North-Eastern projection of the parish to form the North-Eastern boundary. The Cander water forms the boundary of the southern two-thirds of the eastern side and then joins the Avon. So that Stonehouse is encompassed for the most part by waters. The Avon which is a boundary on two sides of Stonehouse and crosses the parish, is a remarkable feature. It is a trout stream; long ago before mill dams formed too great a barrier, salmon came up the Avon. (See Hamilton of Wishaw, p. 9.) Prehistoric man had good fishing there. In its course northwards it forms a deep ravine; from Stonehouse to Hamilton (Cadzow) an almost uninterrupted range of rocks overhangs the river on both sides, the summits of which are generally covered with natural wood of ash, birch, oak, elm. The bed of the river in many places, is almost choked up with large masses of rock, which . . . obstruct the waters in their passage; . . . in the rainy season . . . the waters foam, roar and thunder amongst these huge blocks of stone.... On the banks of this river is a sulphureous mineral well, called the Kittymure-well, much resorted to in former times.’ (1)

Name Position Possible meaning
Brigholm W. (West from Cot castle) holm, flat rich land on bank of river. E. and Dan.
Castlehill S.E.
Catcastle, Cotcastle W. ? Cath, a battle, or Coed, W., a wood.
Katcastle (Blaeu’s Map)

Chapel Centre S. near Roman Rd.
Couplaw S. cp. Cowply, Strathaven parish
= Oxgang ?
Cloxymill N. clock, to cluck, Sc., Jamieson. On the Avon, which crosses the parish a few miles from northern extremity.
Crofthead N.

Foulmire S.W.

Goslington S.
Gost-in-town (Blaeu)

Kittyrnuir (and N.
Other forms, Kythumber and hill) (Blaeu) Kintumber.
Patrickholm N. (Home of the Martyr ? See King Hewison.)
Patrickbrae J

Pidgeon cot S.E.
Raw S.
Ringsdale N.E. on Avon
Sandford (on Kype Water) S.
Spittal S.E.
Stonehouse M. towards N. See below.
Tafts or Tofts M.N. These were Templar lands.
Tweedie (mill, hall and side) W.
Udston M.
Vicars M. (west of Stonehouse vill.) Land before the Reformation allotted to the Vicar.
Watston E.
Windy (Blaeu)

The place-name Stonehouse has been attributed by some to the fact that the first stone house built in the district was that of the lord of the manor, the other dwellings being bothies or erections in wattle work. But the name is older than that; older, that is, than any grant of land as a barony. It is more likely to be associated with the very ancient foundation of the church dedicated to St. Ninian. The peculiar site of the old church on the lofty promontory above the Avon appears to confirm this. It was a pagan site and a place of ancient burial. Some years ago a stone cist was discovered within the site of the old church, which is now a ruin, indicating that this area had been a shrine in pre-Christian times.

In dealing with this place-name Naismith makes remarks which seem to throw light on the subject and what he says of customary expressions is curious. After touching on the stone circle as a heathen place of worship and mentioning Stonehenge as an example, he says: ‘ Stones were also objects of worship in early times. These Christian evangelists . . . erected new places of worship for the new faith . . . and it was the custom in these rude times for the common people to say to one another, when inviting to worship, “ Let us go to the Stanes.” This is a form of expression that was common up to recent times in some localities. It was the language of those who adhered to the new faith and furnishes us with the original Saxon forms of Stanes, Stannas, Stanhus, Stanhous and Stonehouse.’ (2) In the General Statutes of the Scottish Church of the thirteenth century it is ordained:

‘Of the building of churches - We further ordain that in accordance with the means of the parishioners, churches shall be built of stone by the parishioners themselves’.

It may also be noted that Candida Casa is the white house, that is the stone house, St. Ninian’s stone church, or the stone church erected and dedicated to St. Ninian.

The parish of Stonehouse abounds in traces of prehistoric man and medieval habitation—but such have to be sought out. Besides the burial cist, mentioned above, found within the site of St. Ninian’s Kirk, a number of urns were found when a cairn of stones near Cat, or Cot Castle, on the bank of the Avon was being removed by a farmer. It proved to be an ancient place of burial. ‘There have been other tumuli found in the parish, particularly one at the upper end of it, which some years ago was ransacked to the centre, and a number of urns found therein.’ (Statistical Acct.)

Cat castle, where there is a farm house and yard, stands high above the Avon to the South-West of Stonehouse village. There is an artificial mound here, on which probably a building once stood. The ruin of Ringsdale Castle stands on a precipitous rock by the Avon north of the junction of Cander water with this stream. Nothing is known of its history. It is a peculiar fact that the word Rings is associated (as a corruption) with Ninian. But in this case it may not be so. Cosmo Innes suggests that it is a corruption of Rydenhill. (O.P., p. 109.) Another writer suggests the Welsh (British) word rhyn, promontory, headland, hill.

There were four holy wells in Stonehouse parish dedicated respectively to St. Ninian, St. Patrick, St. Anthony and St. Laurence. St. Ninian was evidently the missionary saint to the district; the old church bears his name. The ‘ well between the Churchyard and the farm of Eastmains is well known as St. Ninian’s Well, the Ringan well, and often shortened into Ring well ‘. A recent observation is that the well cannot be seen, but that the ground is wet and boggy as it slopes to the Avon. St. Patrick’s Well is near the lands of Patrickholm (see place-names) on the banks of the Avon; ‘ it has been from time immemorial famous for its healing properties . . . this sulphurous spring trickles through a stratum of rock and huge overhanging cliff.’ St. Anthony’s well or spring is difficult now to locate, but it was on the lands of Castlehill (see place-names) and near Spittal where there ‘ was formerly an hospital endowed with the lands of Spittal, Spittal Gill, Head-dykes and Langrigs ‘. Both hospital and well were dedicated to St. Anthony, who was also the protector of animals. There is a tradition that sick horses were taken to drink of its water, or that the water was carried for the same purpose. The fourth well, that of St. Laurence ‘ is a fine spring of water at Chapel (see place-names) from which rises the Watston burn, and as an ancient chapel was erected here and dedicated to St. Laurence so he would be the tutelar saint of this well ‘. (3) St. Laurence cared for the destitute, helpless and sick. These wells may have been sacred in pagan days, in days before the invasion of the Romans; and sacred again in the early days of Christianity onwards into medieval times. (See Introduction to Vol. 1.)*

The Roman road runs across the southern portion of the parish from Sandford on Kype Water eastwards into the parish of Lesmahagow. Perhaps the strangest and most unexplainable of the antiquities of Stonehouse is that known as the Double Dikes. At the eastern side of the parish, south of Ringsdale Castle, the river Avon and the Cander Water, flowing at the bottom of deep gorges converge and join to form one stream. The tapering piece of land between these streams is known as the Double Dikes. About a quarter of a mile westward from the apex two or more walls seem to have crossed from north to south, forming defences for the base of the triangle. All that remains of the walls are slightly raised lines crossing the fields. The other two sides of the triangle slope downwards steeply to the streams and would be easily defended. The rocks at some places seem undermined and could have formed caves or shelter. The whole area may have been a place of strength from very early times. (Compare the Statistical account, p. 47I.) Of late years vandal hands have been at work, breaking down and removing some of the stone work.

The old church of St. Ninian has a strange and wonderful site, beautiful also from its view across the river. It stands upon a high promontory above the Avon, sloping precipitously on the north down to the river. As mentioned before, it was a pre-Christian place of burial, taken and dedicated to St. Ninian. The foundations are there, but all that now remains of a building is a gable-end of a pre-Reformation church, standing in the midst of an ancient burial ground which is still approximately round.

In the Commissariat Records of Glasgow there is a will quoted by Hamilton of Wishaw which sets forth that Joneta Bailye, lady of Cruddildykis, wife of John Hamilton of Stanhous (Stonehouse) in her ‘ latter will dated at Stonehouse the tenth day of October 1552, ordains, “ Corpusque meum sepeliendum in pulveribus Sancti Niniani “; that is she wished that her body should be buried in the dust, or earth, of St. Ninian. (4) She must then be buried in that lofty old churchyard or church.

And at this date it was accepted that St. Ninian, or his companions, had brought earth from St. Ninian’s church at Whithorn and scattered it over the site of the church at Stonehouse, thus dedicating the church to St. Ninian, or recognising that it was one of his foundations, or belonged to him. Near the church is the site of the well dedicated to St. Ninian.

Pre-Reformation Clergy
Sir Roger Rector of Stonehouse 1267 and earlier
Hugh de Burgo 1298
A cleric presented by Edward II 1319

Note: Archibald, Earl of Douglas erected Bothwell Church in I398 into a Collegiate Church and mortified the teinds of Stonehouse (Hessildene and Kittymuir) for the upkeep of three prebendaries in his Collegiate Church. Thereafter Stonehouse Church would sink to the level of a vicarage, served by vicars supplied from Bothwell, few of the names of which have been preserved. The lands for these vicars lay between the village and the Avon.

Mathew Sandilands ‘notar and curate ’ 1557
Sir Thomas Wilson, Vicar 1560
William Taylor, Prebendary 1560
Robert Hamilton, Prebendary 1560
D. Thomas Neilsoun, Vicar 1566

Roger, the rector of Stanhuss (Stonehouse) was one of the witnesses to a charter in which Alexander de Vallibus (de Vaux) stated that ‘ his father John de Vaux having committed an offence against the Church of Glasgow, by way of amends had granted and confirmed by written document to God, St. Kentigern and the Church of Glasgow a sum of 5 marks annually to be paid in perpetuity by himself and his heirs for the upkeep of divine service to be held in that church ’— Alexander de Vaux on his oath promised to pay this penalty from the revenue of his mill at Haddington (or other source should the mill be not working). His father’s offence against the church is not stated. Robert, the treasurer * of the Cathedral and Robert, the sub-dean both witnessed this charter as well as ‘ Dominus Roger, rector of the church of Stanhuss’. (5) At this date, 1267, the Bishop was the unpopular John de Cheyam (Cheam), who died next year in the north of France. (See the Monklands, Carmyle.)

In September, 1298, Edward I made appointments to certain churches in Scotland.
‘The King to John de Langeton his Chancellor. Commands. . . . Similar in favour of Hugh de Burgo clerk, to the vacant church of Stonehouse in the diocese of Glasgow.’ (6) Under letters to the Bishop of Glasgow from Durham, this was confirmed in November.

In 1319 King Edward II presented persons to several churches in Scotland, and among these was Stonehouse: ‘ Stanhous ‘, in the diocese of Glasgow. (7) These presentations were not always effective. It was in 1398 that Archibald, E. of Douglas erected his Collegiate Church of Bothwell (see above). (8) A few of the names of prebendaries have been preserved. (See Bothwell parish.)

Matthew Sandilands was ‘ notar and curate Stanehouse ‘ in 1557 and earlier. In October of that year he took part in a marriage ceremony of a peculiar nature (when a marriage pall or ‘ cair claith ‘ was used) whereby Claud Hamilton, son of John and Elizabeth Hamilton was legitimated. (9)

Thomas Wilson was Vicar of Stonehouse in 1565 and ‘ with consent of the provost and prebendaries of the Collegiate . Church of Bothwell, who were patrons of the said vicarage ’, he rented out the vicarage lands to John Hamilton of Broomhill—the same man who had contracted the singular marriage mentioned above to legitimate his son. (10)

(Tailzifer) held the prebend of Stonehouse in 1560 and it produced £30 13s. 4d., from which he paid a substitute £16 to officiate for him in the Collegiate Church of Bothwell.

Robert Hamilton held the prebend of Hezildeane, and the rectory of Torrance. (11)

In February 1565-6 D. Thomas Neilsoun is styled perpetual vicar. ‘ The King and Queen confirm D. Thome Neilsoun as perpetual vicar of the parish church of Stanehouse with consent of John Hamilton prepositus (provost) of the Church of Bothwell.’ (12)

The early owners are of importance as they possessed the advowson of the Church. ‘ The barony and patronage of the Church are found in the possession of the Earls of Douglas until their forfeiture.’ (13) The earliest mention of a landowner in Stonehouse appears to be about the year 1220. For ‘ between the years 1214-49 Sir William the Fleming of Stanhus appears as a witness to a charter by William Purveys of Mospennoc, along with Sir Archibald Douglas and A.’of Douglas’. (14)

Here the difficulty arises as to whether Sir William the Fleming is to be identified as a Douglas or as the immediate ancestor of the Douglases. It has been suggested that the Douglas family descended from Theobaldus Flamaticus (the Fleming), who about 1150 received from Arnald, Abbot of Kelso, land on the bank of Douglas Water, opposite the lands of Douglas and that Theobald’s son William became owner of Stonehouse. There is, however, no certain proof of this theory which is upheld by Chalmers (Caledonia, II, p. 579) and other writers. This grant of Arnald is contained in a short charter of great beauty in the Book of Kelso, but Cosmo Innes in his preface points out that deductions from it do not prove the Douglas origin. (15) (See Bibliography below and Douglas Parish.) Another early mention of the barony of Stonehouse is that recorded in the Acts of Parliament when in 1259 an Inquest was held at Dunbarton as to the lands of Polnegulan. Among the baronies represented was Stahus: the owner is not mentioned, but the probability is the Douglas. (16) The advowson of the church was held by the Douglas family and in 1398 Archibald the Grim, as mentioned above, mortified lands in Stonehouse for the support of three prebendaries in his Collegiate Church of Bothwell.

Later, in the reign of James II, his policy of destroying the power of the Douglases and turning to the Hamiltons is borne out in Stonehouse parish. The Douglases were forfeited and the barony and its church passed under the power of the Hamiltons. The first grant, however, of James II to James, Lord Hamilton and his wife (Euphemia, Countess of Douglas and Lady of Bothwell) was ‘ dimedietate baronie de Stanehouse ‘—(the half of the barony). (17)

Lands on the left bank of the Avon were at a very early date in the possession of Godfrey de Ross. They are described in a charter confirmed by David II in 1362 as having been given by Godfrey de Ross to Alexander of Elfynston. (18) Andrew, son of Godfrey de Ros, acknowledged the Sovereignty of Edward I; and this may have had something to do with the change of ownership of land in Stonehouse. (19)

Another family that owned land in Stonehouse was that of Mowat, but this family could not have influenced church appointments. (20) The daughter of John Mowat, Janet, married William, Lord Somerville and the land settled on her, upon her marriage, continued in the Somerville family. (See Memorie of the Somervilles, pp. 152-179.) Hamiltons were living in Catcastle about the year 1500.

Among the documents discovered in 1887 in the Hamilton Chamberlain’s office is a notarial instrument, ‘ narrating that in terms of a charter granted by himself, Alexander Hamilton of Catcastell passed to the one-mark land of Wodland and the half-merk land of Brownland, Iying in the barony of Stanehouse and sheriffdom of Lanark and there gave sasine of these lands with his own hands to James Wynzet, his heirs and assignees in usual form. 29th Jan., 1511-12.

Statistical Account by Rev. Robert Clement Pollock 1950
The Physical Basis: The parish of Stonehouse, a thriving little community, lies in the heart of Lanarkshire, the village being some 18 miles South-East of Glasgow, and midway between the townships of Strathaven and Larkhall, about 3.5 miles from each. Roughly 5.5 miles in length north to south and 2 to 3 miles in breadth, the parish covers an area of 6,249 acres (not counting water). It is bounded to the North-West by Hamilton parish, North-East and east by Dalserf, South-East by Lesmahagow, South-West and west by Avondale, and west by Glassford. The surface rises gently from 200 feet above sea-level in the north to 600 or 700 feet in the south. The Avon Water intersects it at its northern end, after bordering it in the west, and then serves as its eastern boundary.

The tree plantations of nearly a hundred years ago have, almost all of them, been cut down, except for that at Spittal, and only a few isolated trees are left. Sycamores in the old churchyard, the copper beech, beech and elm still stand round about the manse. In the main, the parish presents undulating slopes of greenness, on which cows contentedly graze, or crops of wheat or oats or hay, in season, push their green heads through the rich soil.

Stonehouse village lies halfway between Edinburgh and Ayr. The main arterial highway from Glasgow to Carlisle bypasses it about 2.5 miles to the North-East. The road junction is at Canderside Toll. That main road carries all the heavy transport and most of the traffic, which, consequently does not pass through the village. Buses run to Strathaven and to Glasgow, via Larkhall and Hamilton. In appearance the village is like a taut thread, stretched from the Cander Water, on the one side, to the junction of Manse Road and Strathaven road on the other. Its expansion has been more or less in a straight line along either side of the main street. The Cross is no longer its geographical centre, even if it still be the social. Council houses have been added at both ends of the village.

The little village of Sandford, with its 100 or so houses and its very old school, is also in the parish. It lies beside the Kype Burn, which marks the boundary in the South-West. There are no transport services to cover the five miles that lie between Sandford and Stonehouse, whereas some Glasgow-Strathaven buses extend their journey to Sandford, so that Sandford people are more closely connected with Strathaven, going there to church and to shop and to find their entertainment. Strathaven supplies them with ministers and doctors, although the Stonehouse district nurse attends them, and the ministers of Stonehouse act as chaplains to the school.

Population: The population of the parish increased steadily and rapidly in the nineteenth century, rising from 1,259 in 1801 to 2,781 in 1851 and to 3,665 by 1901. In the present century the advance was checked, the census totals being: 1911), 3,688; (1921), 4,204, and (1931), 3,703.

The 1951 census showed a complete recovery to 4,306, the maximum ever recorded. Of these, 2,069 were males. Stonehouse village, with 3,483 inhabitants, accounts for fully 80 per cent. of the total parish population.

In the main, the population is composed of people born in the parish. In recent years, however, and especially since the end of the war, there has been a steady influx of ‘strangers’, still commonly regarded by the villagers as ‘incomers’. If this stream of people continues it will not be very long before most of the population will have been born outside of the parish. As old folk come to die, families that have been resident in the parish for generations are dying out with them. Stonehouse has always been a little isolated, and so hitherto the population has changed but slowly. Now that change is beginning to move much more quickly.

Public and Social Services: Stonehouse forms part of the area known as the Fourth District and is administered by the Fourth District Council. The water supply to the Fourth District comes from reservoirs at Camps and Glengavel, after being filtered at the large filter works at Glassford. Electricity is supplied by Clyde Valley Electricity Company, now taken over by the State, and is administered by the South Western Electricity Board. Gas is supplied from the large plant at Uddingston, formerly owned by the county council but also now state-controlled. Sewage is dealt with by works situated at the North-Eastern end of the village. There is, however, a part of Lawrie Street and Green Street from which the sewage is taken in pipes to a field near the viaduct, whence it runs to the river Avon. Maintenance and cleansing of roads and streets is on a very high standard. The streets are gas-lit still; only in the new housing scheme is electricity used to light the streets. The health of the village is attended to by two doctors in separate practices, and one district nurse. There is one chemist. A 500-bed general hospital - known as the County Hospital - is in the parish. Originally it was a small orthopaedic hospital, designed to meet the needs of orthopaedic-tuberculosis in the county. During the war it became an emergency medical service hospital and wards were added. When the war ended the hospital was still used in a small way for general diseases, until in 1949 it was given its full status as a hospital and training school. The health service is, of course, state-owned and state administered.

Housing: The total number of houses owned by the county council and occupied to date is 332. Of that number 32 are two-apartment; 110 three-apartment; 130 four-apartment; and 60 are five-apartment. These under construction and drawing near to completion number 104, (56 four-apartment, and 48 five-apartment). Of 214 council houses to be erected on what was Newfield Estate about half have been completed and are occupied. About 80 years ago a number of privately-owned houses were built by various building societies on a 99 years lease. It is almost impossible to discover how many there are. The extent of overcrowding is rapidly diminishing; as new houses are being completed, pressure on families is being eased.

Farming: There are 55 farms in the parish. Nearly all the land is arable, and all the farms are dairy farms. More and more farm land has been taken over for house-building purposes and these farms that lie near to the village have suffered accordingly. On the outskirts, however, and up towards Sandford, farms are in extent what they have been for generations. Lockhart Estate, which formerly extended over almost the whole parish, has been broken up. Only two farms, Hamilton farm and the Yards farm, belong to the Lockhart Trustee and are farmed by tenants. All the other farms in the parish are owned by the farmers who farm them. The agricultural statistics for the parish, as supplied by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland, are as follows:—tillage, 1,205 acres; rotation grass, 1,466 acres; permanent grass, 2,466 acres; rough grazings, 213 acres.

Fruit-Growing: Since the first world war the parish has rapidly become a fruit-growing district, until now one of its major industries is tomato-growing and strawberry-growing. Around the outskirts of the village there are some 30 holdings (so called because they are held by their tenants from the Board of Agriculture). In addition, there are some 15 large and privately-owned fruit-growing holdings—making a total of 45 in all. The proper holdings extend usually to 5 or 6 acres—the biggest privately-owned holding is about 20 acres.

Industries: About a third of the people are miners. The main source of work is Canderrigg Colliery, more commonly known as the Broomfield and Canderrigg Mine, which lies nearby, but is now almost completely worked out. Already some of the miners have been sent to the coal-fields in Fife or Ayrshire. When, finally, the pit and the mine are abandoned, those miners who are not old enough to retire will migrate with their families to new areas.

Apart from two small firms, one making firelighters, the second (newly in production) making potato crisps, there is no other source of industry in the parish itself. There is, however, a fairly large firm of builders (George Wilson and Sons), employing about 1,000 men, not all of whom reside in the parish. Their work lies mostly outside the parish itself, on housing schemes at present under construction throughout the country.

A smaller firm of builders (Haston and McGhie), doing similar work, employ about 50 men. A great new industrial estate, still in the process of completion, has sprung up at Strutherhill, between Larkhall and Stonehouse. Some of the factories are in production and employ mostly female labour, part of which is taken, naturally enough, from this parish. Quite a few girls from the parish work in one or the other of the factories in Strathaven; offices in Stonehouse, Larkhall, Hamilton and Glasgow employ a fair percentage of the girls and British Railways about one-sixth of the men.

Churches: There are now three churches in Stonehouse. In September 1946 the Presbytery of Hamilton united the two Church of Scotland congregations - one the former Free church, known as Hamilton Memorial, and the other the former Parish church, known as St. Ninian’s. A very happy and harmonious union has resulted. Worship is held in the parish church building. The old Free church building has been sold. The congregation now numbers 725. The Congregational church, originally a split from the Free church and about 60 years old, is situated in Angle Street and has 240 members. The Paterson United Free church in Lawrie Street was formerly the United Presbyterian church. The congregation (about 400) refused to enter into the Union of 1929 and remained in the United Free Church.

A gospel-hall, at the corner of Hill Road and Wellbrae, is the meeting place for about 20 members of the Plymouth Brethren. They are ‘open’ brethren. The Salvation Army has its meeting-place in Kirk Street and musters 23 soldiers. There is no Roman Catholic church in the parish and the few Catholics resident here attend church in Strathaven, where there is also a small R.C. school. And lastly, there exists a peculiar little group of dissenters known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, numbering 3 in all, who meet weekly in one another’s houses.

Education: Camnethan Street Public School, better known locally by its name ‘The Dominie’, was closed in 1947, and all the pupils are now housed in Townhead Street Public School. This building is awaiting reconstruction to meet the many requirements demanded of a modern school. As it is, accommodation is difficult and the school is crowded. The technical subjects, woodwork and domestic science are taught in Greenside School, Green Street, which is being used solely for that purpose until proper accommodation has been built in Townhead School itself. Townhead is a junior secondary school. All the children of the village are educated there up to the qualifying class. If and when they qualify, the children go to Larkhall Academy, a secondary school which educates them up to the sixth year and prepares them, if they so desire, for entrance to the University. It was possible until this year to send children to Hamilton Academy, but that privilege, I believe, must cease when the new Education Act comes into force. The children who fail to qualify, or who qualify and for any reason, e.g., home circumstances, are not allowed to go on to Larkhall Academy, are kept in Townhead School until they are fifteen years of age, at which age they are allowed to leave and seek work. There are 11 teachers in the school (a primary department with three, a junior department with six, and a senior department with two). John McLachlan is the headmaster.

Social Activities: In Stonehouse, as in so many villages throughout Scotland, social life and entertainments are arranged almost entirely by voluntary organisations. In the last two years there has been a great increase in their numbers. The adult education schemes of the County Council have been, in large measure, responsible for that.

A Girls’ Club meets in the school, on one night to sew, on another to play badminton, and on yet another for a drama group. The Athletic Club is in four sections, for boys and girls, young men and young women, all sections separate. They meet on different evenings in the school gymnasium for physical training, etc. The local troop of Boy Scouts is known as the 67th Lanarkshire and has 24 Scouts, 24 Cubs, 4 Rovers and 4 Scouters. Recently, another troop has been formed amongst boy-patients in the hospital. It is the 69th Lanarkshire, and has 10 Scouts, 10 Cubs and 3 Scouters. The 1st Stonehouse Company of Girl Guides musters 25 Guides, with 12 Guides in the extension of the Company in Ward 2 of the hospital. There are 3 Guide officers. There are two Packs of Brownies. No. I Stonehouse has 30, and No. 2 Stonehouse has 25 Brownies. There are 12 Brownies in Extension Company in Ward 2 of the hospital. There are 4 Brownie officers. A small company of the Army Cadet Force in the village has 26 boys in it. It is a part of the 4th Lanarkshire Battalion and, of course, the cadets wear the insignia of the Cameronians.

A flourishing dramatic club in the village, with about a dozen members, gives an annual performance in the Public Hall, which it takes for three or four nights. The proceeds are devoted to charity.

The Youth Fellowship of the parish church meets every Sunday night after the evening service for devotions, and every Tuesday night for badminton; and that of the Congregational church meets every second Sunday night and every second Tuesday night.

The parish church Woman’s Guild has a membership of 100; the Congregational church Women’s Meeting has 40; the Paterson United Free church, 60. In addition to the three guilds there is a very active branch of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, with 200 members and a very interested and varied programme, including a Highland dancing team, a choir of 32 voices, and a drama group. There are also the usual associations connected with a village. A Cage Bird Association and a Horticultural Society both hold annual shows in the Public Hall. The Agricultural Society, composed mainly of farmers, sponsors an Agricultural Show about the middle of May. A Leaseholders’ Association, formed originally to safeguard lease-holders, has developed into a self-elected Town.

Improvement Committee: There is a very flourishing lodge of Freemasons and a strong branch of the British Legion. A male-voice choir, of no mean ability, was first in its class two years ago at the Lanarkshire Musical Festival. It numbers about 40 voices. A self-elected body of interested persons have formed themselves into a committee which plans and carries through a Children’s Gala Day on the third Saturday of June each year. On that occasion the Flower Queen of the village is crowned. The Queen, her champion and retinue are chosen by ballot by the school children.

Way of Life: Perhaps the first thing to note is that the parish is strangely self-contained. It forms a single unit on its own merits. To this, the seemingly innumerable community activities bear witness. Contact is made with Strathaven and Larkhall, but only spasmodically, and mostly youths and girls out walking on a summer’s night. There is no deep or abiding communication. For the most part, the people travel further afield and merely pass through Strathaven or Larkhall. There are no such inter-communications as might well be expected in neighbouring villages, and they have no influence on each other. There is, it is true, in Stonehouse a branch of each of the Larkhall co-operative societies, but that is due to the fact that the indigenous co-operative begun in Stonehouse failed and was assimilated.

There is an understandable and keen rivalry in church life, and on the whole attendance at all the churches and various religious denominations in the village is good. Average morning attendances at the parish church number 200, save on the day of the Sacrament, when the number rises to 450. In the Congregational church, morning attendance remains static, also for Communion, at about 100. In Paterson U.F. church attendances at the moment are falling off, mainly on account of the serious illness of the minister.

There is also, comparatively speaking, a keen interest in all shades of politics, with the Socialists mainly to the fore in the village, keenly contested every inch of the way by a small but well organised Conservative Party. Recently the Scottish Nationalist Party has formed a branch, which, I believe, numbers 22 members.

Historically, in the last generation, Stonehouse has changed back from a weaving community to an agrarian community. In the New Statistical Account (1836) it is noted that over 400, out of a total population of 2,359, were weavers. Weaving became more and more popular as a means of livelihood. That process developed and reached its height about 75 years ago and then the village was at the very peak of its prosperity. Streets of privately-owned dwelling-houses, which also included four and often six-loom weaving shops, still stand and are inhabited memorials of the village in its heyday. They were handloom weavers and could not for very long withstand the encroachments of the power-looms. Gradually handlooms closed down one by one, until now there are only two weaving shops left in the parish—these are kept principally as museum pieces. All the others have been turned into very serviceable dwelling-houses. No industry has really come to take the place of weaving, and now the result is a distinct cleavage between the agrarian community proper and the village. Once, when last the community was agrarian, the village housed farm labourers, but now I think the best description of the village is to liken it to a dormitory—as being a place in which most of its people only sleep, leaving in the morning by train or bus and returning in the evening to their home.. Any morning about 10 o’clock, the children at school, the men and young men and women away to their office or shop or factory, the streets are deserted, save only for a few housewives going from one shop to another with their baskets. In the early afternoons the streets are usually completely deserted until the miners, home from their work, their faces washed and ‘shifted’ (as they describe their getting into the suits they use for lounging about at the Cross) take up their usual stance and get the latest racing results. The vast majority of the inhabitants only sleep here and here find their recreation.

The people themselves, as in most other villages, are neighbourly, with all the advantages and disadvantages that neighbourliness entails - too much taken up with their neighbours’ business and yet at the same time so neighbourly as to have no secrets from each other. They are, in general - and here, as right through this section, I must qualify all I say as being only my own personal opinion and therefore inclined of necessity to bias - more douce than pleasure-loving. They seem to show a fondness for pastel colours in their dresses. Perhaps this is due to the fact that over most other parts of Lanarkshire industrial chimneys make the wearing of such shades impossible. They find their relaxations mostly in communal occasions, in their outdoor sports in the summer - there is a very fine private bowling green that reached its jubilee this year, and a district council tennis court and putting green in the Park - and in their hosts of organisations in the winter time. I should like to bear witness to the fact that the people are charitable to a degree and many of their organisations are designed with charitable ends in view. In conclusion, let me set it down that they are rather like all such Scots villagers I have ever met, exercised in their minds at the moment over the threat to world peace. They are a little concerned at the possibility of their young men and women going off again to fight, although it is just five years since most us came back from the war. We are not sure of the atomic bomb. And yet, notwithstanding, we discharge the work that is ours to do, in high spirits. If there are tears in the homes of our mourners, there is laughter in our streets. And if there be worry sometimes and deep concern, there is also that calm under current of Scottish staidness and stolidity that carries us through.

Historical Account of Stonehouse (mid 19th century) by Deanory of Lanark
This parish consists chiefly of a plain or gentle slope, Iying on the right bank of the Avon, which, with the Cander, forms for the most part its eastern boundary. The Kype is its boundary on the west. The part of the parish lying on the left bank of the Avon seems not to have been anciently portion of the barony which constituted the parish. It belonged to the parish, however, before the Reformation.

We have no early notice of this church. In 1267, Sir Roger, the rector of the church of Stanhus, witnessed a grant of 5 merks yearly, confirmed by Alexander de Vaux knight, as compensation for some offence done by his father to the church of Glasgow.

The church was dedicated to St Ninian, and stood with its village near the Avon, and not far from Catcastle, but on the opposite side of the burn; probably to the west of the present village.

On the farm of West Mains, on the bank of the Avon, near Catcastle, is an artificial mount and large cairn, in which were found (in 1834) many sepulchral urns, described as highly ornamented.

The rectory of Stanehous, formerly independent, along with its vicarage, was bestowed on the collegiate church of Bothwell (c.1398) by Archibald of Douglas, its founder. The value of the rectory, as divided among the “stallers”, or prebendaries of Bothwell, is stated in Baiamund at £53, 6s. 8d. The vicarage, to which belonged a manse and a glebe, was of small value. The vicar’s lands lay between the village and the Avon, and are still known by the name of “Vicars”. They were of two merks old extent. The whole vicarage was given up by the provost of Bothwell, in 1561, at 10 merks.

A place, still known by the name of Chapel, in the south end of the parish, seems to mark the site of a chapel anciently dedicated to St Lawrence. It had a ten shilling land of old extent, and in 1608 the land was in the possession of the Hamiltons of Goslinton.

On the Eastern side of the parish, near Castlehill, at a place still called Spittal, stood formerly an hospital, which is said to have been endowed with the lands of Spittal, Headdykes and Langrigs, all in its neighbourhood, and with the lands of Spittalgil and the mill in Lesmahago.

The Templars had a house and considerable possessions in the neighbourhood of the village. In 1674, William Lockhart of Lead knight, ambassador to France, was served heir to his father, among other church lands, in the two Templar lands of Woodlands, in the Templar lands of Catcastle, in the 3s. 4d. Templar lands in Stanehouse, in the half of the Templar lands called Tofts, in the 40d. Iands of Tofts, and in the 6s. 8d. Templar lands on the west part of the village of Stanehouse.

The manor of Stanehouse appears to have been the property of the family of Ros at an early period. In 1362, David II confirmed a charter granted by Alexander of Elfynston to Alexander, son of Sir Adam More, of the whole land of Kythumbre, in the barony of Stanehouse, (in exchange for land in Erthbeg,) which Godfrey de Ros gave to Alexander, the father of the said Alexander Elfynston.

The same king granted to William, the son of Maurice Murray, the forfaultrie of Godfred Ross, within the barony of Stanehouse. Kythumbre (Kitymuir) became afterwards the endowment of one of the prebends of Bothwell. Another prebendary possessed the revenues of Hesildene.

The barony and patronage of the church are found in the possession of the Earls of Douglas until their forfeiture, when the one-half came to Lord Hamilton, and the other to the Laird of Stonehouse. On 1st March, 1406, John Mowat of Stenhous was on the service of Sir Thomas de Somerville, as heir to his father, Sir John; and in 1435 Sir John Mowat of Stannas settled the fourth part of his estate on his daughter Janet, married to William Lord Somerville. The estate continued in this family for several generations.

Catcastle, the remains of which stand on a precipitous rock overhanging the Avon, had a five merk land of old extent, and was vulgarly called Crumach. Another ruin, similarly situated on the Avon, is called Ringsdale Castle, of which nothing is known. The name is probably a corruption of Rydenhill. Castlehill, the residence of the chief proprietor, seems to be the place called Kempscastle in Bleau.

The village of Stonehouse is undoubtedly ancient, and the muir or common of the barony was of considerable extent.

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