“Tartans are representative of heritage. Most people are familiar with the tartans that represent the great Scottish clans and families . . . But tartans can also represent other things, and one of the oldest traditions is for a tartan to represent a place.
These are the district tartans, and they can be worn by anyone - with or without a clan - to honour the place that they represent.”
Martin Martin, 1703
Detail of William Roy’s Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-1755, showing the Baldernock area.
© British Library Board CC.5.a.441 5/7d, 5/7e, 5/6a, 5/6b.
Sett-ing the Scene for Baldernock
Baldernock, a small, rural parish six miles north of Glasgow, now has its own tartan – inspired by William Roy’s Military Survey of Scotland. Following the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Roy began the immense task of surveying and mapping Scotland in the summer of 1747, and on 1st August that year paragraph 16 of the 1746 Act of Proscription, banning the wearing of tartan, came into force. The Act was annulled on 1st July 1782 – the anniversary of which is marked by International Tartan Day in Australia.
The map detail shows Baldernock and its surroundings, with its largest settlement Ballmore [sic] marked just above the big loop in the River Kelvin just right of centre near the bottom of the image. Most of the names shown on the map can still be identified today. This section of the map is less vibrant in appearance than some other parts of the country, but the colours that local history enthusiast Niall Logan used in his design can be made out: black for the original drawing, wording and other detail (becoming grey for shading), yellow for the land, green for the trees, blue for water, red for buildings, and light grey for the gaps between the sections. More fancifully, the cross-hatching of the cultivated land is reminiscent of tartan.
The notion that the parish might have a district tartan was brought to the Community Council by Fiona Howie in March 2018, and the idea found ready support. Fiona asked East Dunbartonshire Council for permission to name a tartan after Baldernock, and the Council and Provost’s consent was duly given in the autumn of 2018. Fiona then formed a small working group, and it was agreed that there should be a competition – open to residents and others, adults and children, with links to Baldernock – to design a tartan reflecting the unique landscape, history and heritage of the parish. The submissions were shown, anonymously, in a public exhibition in the Church Hall at Balmore in late 2019, and a ballot was held to pick the winner. The sett was then registered by the Scottish Register of Tartans on 31st March 2020. At this stage things should have moved apace, but they did the opposite owing to Covid. The working group then explored possibilities for having the tartan woven and visits were made to Ingles Buchan, tartan specialist, within the constraints of the pandemic restrictions. Now that the weaver’s ticket has been produced, and the yarns selected, we are ready for Selkirk Weaving Company to make some throws, wraps and scarves in Baldernock Tartan.
Any profit from sales will be used for the community.
If you are interested in purchasing an item or want to find out more about our tartan, please contact