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Lost village of Cadzow

From BBC Scotland

Artefacts from ‘lost’ medieval village found near M74


This is an excellent new website created to promote the Antonie Wall as part of the World Heritage Site, Frontiers of the Roman Empire (covering the Antonine Wall, Hadrian’s Wall and the German Limes).

The Antonine Wall: Frontiers of the Roman Empire is funded by Historic Scotland and the five local authorities that the wall runs through, which includes North Lanarkshire. It’s full of pictures, diagrams, an interactive map, and of course, loads of information about the building and maintenance of the wall, and evidence of what life must have been like for those who lived in and around it.

It’s an excellent educational site, but I particularly like the visiting guide which provides details of how to access each location.  Very useful.

Really wish there was something similar for all of the other archaeological sites in Scotland, but it’s a start 🙂

Kate NicNiven

Last couple of days I’ve been afflicted by a flu-ey kind of rotten cold. So long as I stay sat, I’m ok, but anything energetic, like standing up, quickly leads to sitting down again. In between dozing off, I’ve been reading, and read a blog on a standing stone, now destroyed, at Clarkston Farm near Lesmahagow, on Northern Antiquarian, Dec 26th , 2008

The blog quotes Chambers’ Popular Rhymes, p242-3, which tells the story of previous owners who believed this rhyme was connected to the Clarkston Farm stone:

Between Dillerhill and Crossfoord,
There lies Katie Neevie’s hoord.

Stories of treasure under standing stones and mounds are hardly new, but who is Katie Neevie? Chambers refers to her as Mrs Katherine Nevin, without any indication of her role in the story. But the name that immediately came into my mind was Kate NicNiven, Queen of the Faeries (and also an infamous, and probably fictional, witch, although there are plenty from around Monzie in Perthshire who claim she’s genuinely historical).

In other words, it’s possible that the rhyme is suggesting fairy gold, another well worn folktale.

However, from a geographical point of view, the imaginary line between Diller Hill and Crossford doesn’t actually suggest Clarkston Farm. Halfway along is Blackhill Farm, which still has a barrow, albeit rather ploughed away, and in the past there was also a standing stone close by. If ever in the vicinity, it might be an interesting diversion to climb Diller Hill itself and see whether Crossford can be seen in the Clyde Valley to the north. Of course, you might find the bulk of Black Hill itself in the way, which actually wrecks the entire story.

This 19th century Tourist’s Guide to Glasgow is not only a fascinating read, but has some beautiful colour plates at the end.

Glasgow University, from Tourist’s Guide to Glasgow, 1887

There’s one of the university without its spire that is stunning, as well as views of the Clyde, Trongate, George Square, the Royal Exchange (with hat-free Duke of Wellington statue 🙂 ) and some beautiful images of the cathedral.


Buchanan Street, from Tourist’s Guide to Glasgow, 1887

However, the image of the Stock Exchange caught my eye, because at the bottom of Buchanan Street, a church can be clearly seen in St Enoch Square. Enoch is actually a linguistic mangling of Thenew, who was mother of St Kentigern/Mungo, so it’s no surprise that there would be a church there – I’d just never known of one before.

What I had heard of was a holy well, dedicated to St Thenew, with an associated chapel, marking where Thenew was supposedly buried.

There’s more details about how the well was used:

It was shaded by an old tree which drooped over the well, and which remained till the end of the last century. On this tree the devotees who frequented the well were accustomed to nail, as thank-offerings, small bits of tin-iron – probably manufactured for that purpose by a craftsman in the neighbourhood – representing the parts of the body supposed to have been cured by the virtues of the sacred spring – such as eyes, hands, feet, ears and others

Andrew Macgeorge, Old Glasgow, the place and the people, 1880

St Enoch's Square, NLS maps

St Enoch’s Square, NLS maps

Holy wells often have an associated chapel. Wells and natural springs were commonly important in pre-Christian times and they were often consecrated when Christianity took over to encourage continuity of religious practice. Since folks were coming along anyway, you may as well convert them while they’re around.

It seems likely from the description that this was a ancient sacred place, especially given the metalwork being used as votive offerings. Part of St. Enoch Square seems to have been the burial ground associated with the chapel so it’s not surprising that the church is named for St Enoch as well. So far as I can tell, the chapel fell into ruins following the Reformation, a new church was built in 1780, and the final St Enoch church was demolished in 1926 after the congregation moved.

It turns out that this area was part of the ‘Old Green’ and therefore, common land. Interesting that Argyle Street, St Enoch Square and Jamaica Street had already been named when Glasgow Council advertised the land for sale in 1777; wonder if there’s any connection to Andrew Buchanan’s advert for “a street to be opened directly opposite to St Enoch’s Square” the previous week!  (Senex: Old Glasgow and its environs).

All connection to St Thenew/St Enoch beyond the name is now invisible, but it’s intriguing to wonder if the cemetery, chapel, well and churches are a reason why the Square has managed to remain an open space.

More information
Sidelights on Scottish History by Michael Barrett
Glasgow history blog with lots of photos from old postcards, including St Enoch Church.
The Glasgow Story has a page on St Enoch Church, and a beautiful sketch from 1797
Holy wells in and around Glasgow
Canmore has data on St Enoch’s Church and the well
The Glasgow Story has a nice map from 1894, claiming to represent Glasgow in 1547, showing chapel, cemetery and the well a t the end of a ‘vennel’

Dalmarnock Ford

Looking for some mentions of Mary Queen of Scots, I got caught up with the description of her army’s route towards Langside on the East End Glasgow History page. Mary had been captured at the Battle of Carberry Hill, been forced to abdicate in favour of her son (James VI), imprisoned in Lochleven Castle, and escaped to the Hamiltons in Lanarkshire. Scotland was now in the middle of a civil war, between the Queen’s Men, led by the Duke of Arran, and the King’s Men, led by Mary’s half-brother, the Earl of Moray. In her attempt to regain the throne, it’s been decided to march from from Lanarkshire to other allies at Dumbarton Castle.

On the morning of the 13th May, aware that the Queen’s army was on the move and still on the south side of the river, he [the Earl of Moray] marched his forces through the Gallowgate Port onto the Gallowmuir. From this position, if Mary chose to cross the Clyde at Dalmarnock ford then he could engage her on the Gallowmuir itself. If she continued on the southern route towards the Dumbuck ford then he could cross the river and block her path at Langside. From the elevated ground of his location, Moray at last observed the Queen’s army leave Rutherglen and remain on the southern path, and his plan was put into effect.

And that’s the first I’d ever heard of a ford at Dalmarnock. I’ve only ever known Clyde fording points in the Clyde Valley; it seems surreal that it could once be forded when it’s now so deep. Not that it seems that it was safe then either: another page on the same site shares the information that the Dalmarnock Ford

was not the safest of crossings – indeed an edition of the “Glasgow Journal” for 1774 tells of one unfortunate Rutherglen farmer who fell from his cart and drowned when his horse stumbled while fording the Clyde.

A Rutherglen farmer, eh? And according to the Gentleman’s Magazine another young chap, Mr John Lindsay, aged 16, drowned August 3rd, 1811

while bathing in the Clyde, a little above Dalmarnock’s Ford

According to Duncan’s itinerary of Scotland (1820),

When the Clyde is low, nearly a mile may be saved [rather than heading for Rutherglen Bridge] by taking the left hand road at Barrowfield Toll, and crossing at Dalmarnock Ford

The ford was lost when the tidal weir was built beside Albert Bridge at Glasgow Green, and a series of wooden bridges replaced it, to be followed by the current Dalmarnock Bridge.

Additional 20th January
I forgot that the Clyde was in times past commonly low enough to ford, often banked up by sand. Naturally, I can’t find any examples to point towards.