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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Carmunnock: A model suburban Village and Parish

CARMUNNOCK is 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. Mr. Hugh Macdonald, who visited and described it, in his famous Rambles Round Glasgow, fully forty years ago, 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.

A reference to the Scottish Educational Blue Book of 1890-91 shows the population of the parish in 1881 as 1,379; one school, with accommodation for 164, and an average attendance of 88.

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