Archaeology and Development
by E Patricia Dennison, Dennis Gallagher, Gordon Ewart & Laura Stewart
The historic town of Kilsyth is situated in the Kelvin valley in North Lanarkshire. First appearing in historical records, in the early 13th century, as the lands of ‘Kelvesyth’ in the parish of ‘Monyabroch’, the town was to later grow up between the site of the medieval parish church and Kilsyth Castle, a tower house built by the Livingston family about 1500.
The book charts the development of the town from the scatter of ferm touns in the area in the late 1500’s, through the elevation of Kilsyth to a burgh of barony in 1620 and the subsequent expansion of the ‘new town’, serving as a market and a centre of the textile industry.
Kilsyth’s position, astride the old road between Glasgow and Edinburgh, ensured a colourful history, particularly during the civil wars of the mid seventeenth century. Royalist forces fighting for Charles I defeated a Covenanters’ army just outside the burgh in 1645 and the ‘Usurpers armie’ of Oliver Cromwell destroyed Kilsyth Castle as they passed through in 1650. The ruins are just one of the many tangible reminders of the town’s history and archaeology.
The construction of the Forth and Clyde canal in 1770 encouraged quarrying and coal mining and these became increasingly important to the town’s economy as handloom weaving declined in the course of 19th century. The volume outlines the urban growth of the Victorian era and the rapid changes of the last century are also explored.
Info: 70pp, full-colour broadsheet, 30 b&w illustrations; buy online
E Patricia Dennison
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