Profile of a Parish
This publication was compiled by Mrs Jean Stewart and Illustrated by Mr Ewen Bain in 1974 in order to raise funds for the Baldernock Amenity Society to use in the service of the community.
It became a major feature of the festivities throughout the community that year and is still very well remembered.
A PDF copy is available.
A vast amount of information is available for researching your family history in Baldernock, whether you are just beginning your quest or are an experienced genealogist.
Family history research can be carried out at the William Patrick Library, Kirkintilloch or at Bearsden Library.
post office directories
If you need help or can add to our information, please email email@example.com
The history of Baldernock
Whether you live in Balmore, Bankell, Bardowie, Barnellan, Barraston, Blairskaith, the Branziet, Craigmaddie, Fluchter or Langbank, you are in the Parish of Baldernock, which was once an administrative area, but is now only referred to as a church boundary. There has been a church at Baldernock since the 13th century.
People had been around since the ice had disappeared at the end of the last ice age. There is evidence of bronze age burials and of even earlier occupation of the wooded hills and moors. At that time, the wide Kelvin Valley would be very swampy and a natural barrier, which would explain why the Roman Wall runs along higher ground on its southern edge.
Later, in feudal times, the local landlords at Mugdock, Craigmaddie, Bardowie and Bankell let out their lands to tenant farmers.
The area was self-sufficient. As well as farmers and their cotters, there were craftsmen, trades people and even coal miners living fairly isolated lives because travel was difficult. People would get about on foot or, if lucky, on horseback, until the Statute Labour Roads and Turnpikes of the 18th century made wheeled traffic really practical.
The railway came from Glasgow to Milngavie in 1863 and the railway to Torrance was built mainly for coal traffic in 1879, but also carried passengers. This was the start of Glasgow folk settling in the country. After the First World War, there was a bus service and a few people had cars.
Today there is still a mix of farming folk and those who work in the City. We don’t all know each other, but there are many activities where it is easy to meet like-minded people.
(Geoffrey Jarvis 2002)
Places from our history
Allander Toll (Whinniehill in background)
Baldernock has changed little from the description in Hugh Macdonald's Rambles Round Glasgow, published in 1854; still a rural area but with fewer, but larger farms.
The main special places - some long gone - are:
Most of the places have been there for hundreds of years with some place names being reinstated such as Paterson's Laun - the recent housing development in Balmore.
Photo shows Balmore Station (courtesy of EDCL)
Baldernock would have been a much changed place if the railway had remained; when Bardowie Station was opened in 1905 an extensive housing development was planned. Only a few houses were built and the railway was closed to passengers in 1951.
The Kelvin Valley Railway ran between Kilsyth and Maryhill, Glasgow. It was opened in June 1878. Passengers and freight were carried but it was the transport of coal to the Glasgow docks and the Lanarkshire Steel works that proved most lucrative. It remained open until April 1966.
Torrance Station and Balmore Station had a single platform. The line then passed Balmore Colliery, Bardowie Station and Summerston Station before passing the Blackhill Brickworks on the way to Kelvin Valley Junction.
For more information, you can visit the links shown below. If you are local and would like to look at the plans drawn up for Bardowie Station by the North British Railway, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There has been a school in existence at Baldernock since the 1600s, and although records of the school at that time are scarce, it is known that in 1764 the school transferred to the new location at Fleuchtar. In 1873 a new schoolhouse was built in order to provide education for the additional pupils attending after the closure of Balmore Adventure School, as well as those from Balmore, Barraston and beyond.
By 1912 there were 110 pupils on the roll, although law allowed for only 92 pupils in a school of Baldernock's size.
In 1946 the pupils of the Advanced Division transferred to Torrance School and Baldernock's status changed to that of a Primary School. The book Recollections of a Rural School 1873-1999 is a source of great information not only about the school but about activities in the area.
The war years
Transcriptions have been carried out of Baldernock Primary School Log Books for the periods covering both WW1 and WW2, including information on evacuees billeted in Baldernock (mostly from Whiteinch in Glasgow)
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Craigmaddie Muir Decoy Site
The Craigmaddie Muir Decoy Site was a large decoy system installed during World War II, intended to lure enemy bombers away from their intended targets. Useful Links:
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland Decoy control bunker - Craigmaddie Muir
Baldernock Local History Group
This group was established in 2013, to promote interest in the local history of the parish. It is not restricted to residents of Baldernock, and all those with an interest in the history of the parish are welcome to attend our walks, talks and visits.
There are over 4,000 acres in Baldernock; in 1880, 14 farms were listed:
Ploughing matches were a regular occurrence following the introduction of the iron plough.
The parish of Baldernock is possessed of a quarry which is equalled in very few places. the upper strata is a good clayey loam . . . below that is a stratum of excellent peat-moss, which makes good fuel . . . immediately under that is a bed of good limestone . . . that again is incumbent on a thick seam of excellent coal, which lies upon another seam of good limestone . . . This valuable quarry is now worked in the surface way . . . the coal is at hand to burn the limestone. After the whole is finished, the ground may, at a very small expense be rendered arable.