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Strathblane

Strathblane

Strathblane (Scottish Gaelic: Strath Bhlàthain ) is a village and parish at the extreme south of the Stirling council area, in central Scotland. It lies at the foothills of the Campsie Fells on the Blane Water, north of Glasgow, east-southeast of Dumbarton, and southwest of Stirling. Strathblane is a dormitory village for Greater Glasgow, and has a total resident population of 1,811.

Historically, Strathblane was the name of a parish in Stirlingshire which comprised three villages: Edenkill, Netherton and Mugdock. Mugdock was the ancient seat of the Earls of Lennox, and to the east of Strathblane lies the town of Lennoxtown. Blanefield is a settlement contiguous with Strathblane's northwestern fringe. To the west is the volcanic plug Dumgoyne, Glengoyne Distillery and the Trossachs National Park. The West Highland Way—a long-distance trail—passes close to the village.

The Gaelic name Srath Bhlàthain translates as "the valley of the (river) Blane". The Blane itself it called Uisge Bhlàthain or "Blane Water" but has also been referred to as Beul-abhainn meaning "mouth-river" after the numerous burns merging. The stream passes over the waterfall the Spout of Ballagan which shows 192 alternate strata of coloured shales and limestone (including pure alabaster). The Blane flows into the Endrick, which, in its turn, flows westward to Loch Lomond.

History

Historian William Forbes Skene suggested Strathblane to have been the site of the battle between the Britons and Picts in the year 750, during which Talorgan son of Fergus, brother of Óengus I of the Picts, was slain. The Annales Cambriae and Annals of Ulster refer to the battlefield as "Mocetauc" or "Catohic" respectively, which Skene and others have suggested referred to Mugdoch, a locality at the edge of Lennox, within the parish of Strathblane.

A rise in population during the early 19th century was due in part to the development of a large calico printfield at Blanefield (employing 78 adults and 45 children under 14) and two bleachfields at Dumbrock (employing 67 adults and 14 children under 14) working 10-11 hours per day, 6 days a week. There is no sign of this industry in the village today which has a rural, picturesque aspect while the majority of parishioners now commute to work in neighbouring towns.

Edmonstones of Duntreath

The principal local family were the Edmonstones of Duntreath who had ancient links to the kings of Scotland. In 1374 Sir John Edmonstone was an ambassador to France for King Robert II, subsequently his son Archibald settled the family at Duntreath. In 1425 William Edmonstone married Mary Stewart, Princess of Scotland (second daughter of Robert III). More recently Edward VII's mistress Alice Keppel (née Alice Frederica Edmonstone) was the eighth daughter of the 4th baronet.

Governance

Until 1975, Strathblane lay within the county of Stirlingshire. From 1975 to 1996 it was part of the Central region of Scotland. Since 1996, Strathblane has formed part of the Stirling council area.

For elections to Stirling Council, Strathblane is part of the Forth and Endrick ward. The ward returns three councillors under a system of proportional representation. At the 2007 elections one councillor each from the Conservative, Labour and Scottish Nationalist Parties.

Strathblane community council represents the villages of Strathblane, Blanefield and Mugdock.

Geography

Neighbouring towns, villages and places.

At (55.986°, -4.306°) Strathblane is situated at the southern foot of the Campsie Fells, on the River Blane, above sea level. The prevailing rock of Strathblane's hills is basalt, and that of its lowlands Old Red Sandstone. The soil is sandy in the upper part of the valley, and clayey in the lower.

Demography

The village of Strathblane has a total resident population of 1,811, whilst the wider Strathblane Community Council Area, which covers , has a larger population of 2,396.

The population of the Parish was 620 in 1795, the 1871 census reported 1,235 which had grown to 1,811 by the time of the 2001 census.

Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1951
Population 734 795 748 1,033 894 1,010 1,388 1,235 1,343 1,671 880 1,024 1,275 1,354
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time

Economy

Tourism plays a prominent economic role in Strathblane. Tourists visit the area for the walks and the local scenery of the moors. There are local amenities in Strathblane, including newsagents, hairdressers, pawn shops and the apothecary to name a few.

Landmarks

Mugdock Castle was the stronghold of the Clan Graham from the middle of the 13th century. Its ruins are located in Mugdock Country Park at Strathblane's southern extremity with Milngavie.

The Stirling Observer dated 25 August 1921 reported the unveiling of "a monument erected in memory of those ..[25 men of Strathblane]... who fell in the Great War" by Sir Archibald Edmonstone, the Duke of Montrose. whose family seat was Duntreath Castle by Blanefield. The monument was designed by Robert Lorimer and was constructed of Doddington stone. It consists of a square base, each side being panelled to receive the inscriptions and names, a "slender shaft" rises from the base, and at the top of the shaft are four shields, the finish being a cross.

The Duke of Montrose in unveiling the monument paid tribute to the sacrifice made by those from the parish who had died for their country. He said "what the war had meant to those who took part in it, and what their sacrifice meant to those who had benefited by their death, and what it ought to mean to the people of our land as an incentive to noble and self sacrificing lives.

Strathblane Parish Church is a Church of Scotland, part of the Presbytery of Stirling, and Synod of Forth.

Education

Strathblane Primary School is the local primary school.

Sport

Blanefield Thistle F.C. is a local Association football team. There are clubs and organisations for darts, karate and snooker.

Notable people

John Smith (1724-1814) was a bookseller born in Strathblane, who established Glasgow's first public library.

James Gordon, Baron Gordon of Strathblane is a businessman and manager granted a Life Peerage granted the territorial qualification of Deil's Craig in Stirling.

References

External links

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