Last Updated : 17-02-2004


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The name Carmunnock means the round hill of the monk. The village itself once belonged to the Castlemilk estate and is the only rural village within the city boundaries today.

Mr. Hugh Macdonald, who visited it in his famous Rambles Round Glasgow, described Carmunnock in the 19th century as a pleasant little village, with some score or so of houses, situated at the western extremity of the Cathkin hills, about five miles south of Glasgow Cross. He waxes eloquent over it, and depicts it then, as we have no doubt it is still, as quite a little social elysium. He states: "The population of the parish, consisting principally of agriculturists and weavers, numbered at the late census 717, being an increase of only ten individuals within the last decade. It has an old-fashioned barn-like church, which stands about the centre of the village, and an exceedingly commodious and well-built school, from which, as we pass, the juvenile Carmunnockians are pouring forth with that dinsome glee which is only heard at the skailing o’ the schule, and which at once calls back to the memory of us children of a larger growth the joys of other years."

In the Statistical Account of Carmunnock published about 1840, there is a fact stated which must fill with envy the assessment-crushed unfortunates of our city parishes. There has hitherto been no levy for poor-rates, and the worthy minister, with justifiable complacency, expresses his belief that such a thing as a compulsory assessment for the support of the poor is not at all likely ever to be required. What a delightful little city of refuge this must appear to the pauper-ridden denizens of St. Mungo; what an oasis in the desert, far away from the persecuting tax-gatherer, who, on some pretence or other, is eternally prying into our books, and making town’s talk of our most secret affairs!

The minister likewise boasts that no individual belonging to the parish was ever convicted of a capital crime. Why, the golden age would seem to be lingering at the south-west end of the Cathkin braes, and we should not be surprised, if the knowledge of these good matters once gets wind, that the next census will show an infinite addition to the ratio of increase in the population of this really pleasant and picturesque, as well as almost pauperless and felonless, parish.

Hugh Macdonald

Hugh MacDonald was born in Bridgeton to Highland parents who had moved south to find work in the Glasgow cotton mills. The family was poor and MacDonald went to work when he was young, apprenticed to a block printer in a calico printing mill. He left to run a grocer's shop but the business failed and he returned to work as a printer.
MacDonald became a supporter of the Chartist movement and began to write articles and poems for Chartist newspapers. He is particularly associated with the Glasgow Citizen, a weekly newspaper founded in 1842, which first published his Rambles Round Glasgow describing walks round the city and the surrounding countryside with the Literary and Artistic Club. He became a member of staff on the newspaper in 1849, moving to the Glasgow Sentinel in 1855, and later editing the Glasgow Times.

Alexander Orr

LaighFlichts and Humorous Fancies
Alexander Orr 1882

Alexander Orr, was born 11 March 1845 and died 14 July 1923. He was a brass turner to trade, but poetry was his passion. He lived most of his days in Bridgeton in Glasgow but owned a cottage in Carmunnock and lived in the village from about 1900 to 1920. He moved to Carmunnock on his retirement and was known as Linty Orr from his liking to keep caged skylarks. He loved the countryside and his politics were left wing. He published many of his poems over the years in the Glasgow press and was known as the Brigton Radical. He travelled to the United States two or three times -- which led to verses such as the Paisley Weaver. Many of his poems including, Whaur the Caller Breezes Blaw are set around, Carmunnock, East Kilbride and Rutherglen. His full collection of poems entitled LaighFlichts and Humorous Fancies can be found at the link below.

LaighFlichts and Humorous Fancies(© L. Harrison 2003)

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