Netherlee is a suburban residential area in East Renfrewshire, Scotland. It is situated on the west bank of the White Cart Water about 4 miles south of Glasgow city centre. Part of the Greater Glasgow conurbation, it is contiguous with the city but just outside its boundaries, classified as a separate census locality; as of 2012, Netherlee has a population of 4,550. A small rural hamlet dependent upon the mills along the river, Netherlee became extensively urbanised in the 20th century, developing into an affluent commuter suburb. In a 2014 Royal Mail survey, the G44 postcode – which includes Netherlee – was rated as the most desirable area of Scotland to live in. Netherlee is served by a parish church, primary school and library, as well as a number of local shops. Cathcart Cemetery falls within the boundaries of the area. In the medieval era, the area of modern Netherlee and Clarkston was known as the Lands of Lee, centred on Lee Castle; the small hill on which the castle stood is now the park behind Netherlee Post Office.
In the 15th century, the Lands of Lee were split up into Netherlee and Overlee. From the 1660s onwards, the Maxwell family of Bogton developed the original Williamwood House and the surrounding Williamwood Estate; the house was built adjacent to the site of Lee Castle, the latter being demolished around this time. The original hamlet of Netherlee developed in connection with a paper mill, opened on the western bank of the White Cart Water around 1700. Towards the end of the 18th century, the Netherlee House mansion was built by one of the mill's owners, John Muir. By the 1790s, Netherlee had expanded from the riverside to a new village centre on the main road from Glasgow to Kilmarnock. In the 1830s the mill became a calico printworks, which provided the main source of employment in the area until the 1880s; the early years of the 20th century saw the first phase of urbanisation. New housing developments red sandstone terraces, began to eat up former agricultural land. Due to building restrictions as a result of the First World War, however, it was not until the 1920s that the majority of residential streets off the main artery were developed as they appear today.
Modern Netherlee began to take shape in the mid-1930s with the construction of the parish church, primary school and the MacLaren Place building. Netherlee is in East Renfrewshire, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland for local government purposes. East Renfrewshire Council, the unitary local council, is based in nearby Giffnock and is responsible for local government. For local electoral purposes, Netherlee was a ward electing a single councillor to East Renfrewshire Council, but is now grouped with Stamperland and Williamwood as a larger multi-member ward electing three councillors. Netherlee and Stamperland together form one of East Renfrewshire's designated community council areas, but following the dissolution of the previous community council in 2015 there were insufficient nominations for it to be re-established at that time; the Netherlee area has been part of the historic county of Renfrewshire since medieval times. From 1890 onwards, Renfrewshire was an area of local government administered by a county council.
Although Renfrewshire ceased to be used for local government purposes in 1975, it continues to exist as both a Lieutenancy area and registration county. Netherlee is within the ancient parish of Cathcart, which formed the lowest tier of local government between 1845 and 1930, which continues to exist for some statistical purposes. Between 1930 and 1975, Netherlee was within the First Landward District of Renfrewshire. Following the abolition of administrative counties in 1975, Netherlee became a part of the new Eastwood District within Strathclyde Region under the two tier system of local government which lasted until the creation of the present unitary authorities in 1996. In the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Netherlee is represented in the House of Commons as part of the county constituency of East Renfrewshire. Kirsten Oswald of the Scottish National Party was elected as MP for East Renfrewshire in the 2015 General Election. For the Scottish Parliament, Netherlee forms part of the Eastwood constituency within the West of Scotland electoral region.
As such it is represented by Jackson Carlaw of the Scottish Conservative Party as the constituency Member of the Scottish Parliament in addition to the seven regional list MSPs. At 55°48′7″N 4°16′12″W, Netherlee is in Scotland's Central Lowlands; the community is 175 feet above sea level, 4.2 miles northwest of East Kilbride, 4.4 miles south of Glasgow and 5 miles east of Barrhead. The area is contiguous with forms part of the Greater Glasgow conurbation, it lies on the west bank of a tributary of the River Clyde. For census purposes, Netherlee is classed as a locality within the settlement of Greater Glasgow. According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, Netherlee had a total resident population of 4,562; the population is 88% White Scottish, with white people as a whole making up 97.1% of the total. 2.4% are Asian with 0.5% from other ethnic backgrounds. 62.2% of the population identified as Christian, with 28.9% stating they had no religion. The most recent estimate, from mid-2012, suggests the population of Netherlee has decreased slightly to 4,550.
MacLaren Place is a Category B listed building on Clarkston Road. A long three-storey tenement building with shops on the ground floor, its design combines traditional Glasgow tenement stylings with contemporary art deco details. Desig
Newton Mearns is an affluent suburban town and the largest settlement in East Renfrewshire, Scotland. It lies 7 miles southwest of Glasgow City Centre on the main road to Ayrshire, 410 feet above sea level, it has a population of 22,636, stretching from Whitecraigs to Mearnskirk. It is part of the Greater Glasgow conurbation, its name derives from being a new town of the Mearns. Until the 20th century, the land around Newton Mearns was agricultural. Ownership passed from the Pollocks to the Maxwells of Caerlaverock around 1300, it passed to the Maxwells of Nether Pollok in 1648 and the Stewarts of Blackhall in 1660. A new turnpike road from Eastwood Toll, now the main Ayr Road, was constructed in 1832; the 1893'Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland' describes it as "pleasantly situated on a rising ground 410 feet above sea-level". It reveals that it was a'burgh of barony' which bestowed the right to hold a weekly market and two annual fairs. However, the Gazetteer describes the village as being only a "single street on the Glasgow and Kilmarnock highroad" By the end of the 18th century quarrying had developed and more numerous textile mills and finishing works became established availing themselves of the numerous rivers and lochs for water supply.
From the early 20th century, with the introduction of improved roads and railways to the area, it became a growing commuter suburb of Glasgow. In the 1930s, between speculative and local authority housing ventures, a further 6,000 houses were added to the area and after a lull during the war years, in the 1950s, house building began again in earnest; the old core village suffered neglect during and after WW2 and was all but derelict by the 1960s. It was purchased and turned into a shopping centre, to become'The Avenue at Mearns' in 1991. Historical buildings in the area include the 15th century Mearns Castle, Greenbank House owned by the National Trust for Scotland and the 1813 Mearns Kirk. At national level, Newton Mearns forms part of the Eastwood constituency, it was one of Scotland's safest Conservative seats. From the 1997 general election, when Barrhead and Neilston were added to the constituency, until 2015 the seat was held by Labour. Since the 2015 UK election it has been represented by the SNP's Kirsten Oswald MP in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
However at the 2017 Election the seat was gained by the Conservative Paul Masterton Newton Mearns forms part of the Eastwood constituency in the Scottish Parliament. The seat was held by Labour's Ken Macintosh from 1999, when the parliament reconvened, until 2016. In 2016, Jackson Carlaw MSP, won the seat for the Conservatives. Following the breakup of Strathclyde Regional Council in 1996, Newton Mearns became part of the new East Renfrewshire Council area. On more than one occasion, Glasgow City Council has applied to the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland to have Newton Mearns re-allocated to its control; as a result of the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote system for Scottish local council elections, it was planned that, in time for elections taking place in and after 2007, the town would be divided into two multi-councillor wards: Liboside and Newton Mearns North and Newton Mearns South. However, due to a number of complaints about the new divisions, the former was renamed Neilston and Newton Mearns North, in a move to keep Neilston an integral part of the council.
The current councillors for the areas are as follows: Newton Mearns is a a residential area, with most of its inhabitants travelling by car or public transport to Glasgow for employment and shopping. However, there are a number of small businesses in the area, as well as an indoor shopping centre; the Avenue Shopping Centre is the main large retail centre in Newton Mearns. It comprises a total of 44 stores including two supermarkets, three banks, nine clothing stores, food shops and library; the line of the main mall at the Avenue runs the course of the old Mearns Main Street. There are shopping units and restaurants at Broom on the Ayr Road, shopping units and restaurants at Broomburn on the Mearns Road, shopping units and restaurants at Crookfur on Harvie Avenue; the newly constructed Greenlaw Village close to the M77 at Crookfur Road has two supermarkets, a hotel, smaller shops and a number of restaurants. Some significant businesses operating within Newton Mearns are: Vets 4 Pets, Eric N Smith, Claro Print, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Nicol Estate Agents, Pets N Vets, Farming continues to be important to the south of Mearns Cross and stretching to Fenwick and Eaglesham Moors.
A major Bleach Works and textile finishing centre was constructed at Netherplace, the site of, still visible from the M77 motorway. Traffic through the town was reduced after the M77 motorway extension opened in 1997. Transport links improved further in May 2006 with the opening of the Glasgow Southern Orbital dual carriageway, its connection to the M77; as well as minor and major roads, the town has bus links with the centre of Glasgow and Ayr. The town is served by two local railway stations and Whitecraigs which run trains to Glasgow Central station amongst others. One factor that has made the area popular with families is the quality of local schools. Mearns is served by eight primary schools and five high schools, including one independent school: Primary schools Kirkhill Primary School St. Cadoc's RC Primary School
1999 Scottish Parliament election
The first election to the devolved Scottish Parliament, to fill 129 seats, took place on 6 May 1999. Following the election, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats formed the Scottish Executive, with Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament Donald Dewar becoming First Minister; the Scottish Parliament was created after a referendum on devolution took place on 11 September 1997 in which 74.3% of those who voted approved the idea. The Scotland Act was passed by the UK Parliament which established the devolved Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive; the parliament was elected using Mixed member proportional representation, combining 73 constituencies and proportional representation with the 73 constituencies being grouped together to make eight regions each electing seven additional members to make a total of 129. This meant that it would be unlikely for any party to gain a majority of seats in the new parliament and either minority or coalition Scottish Executives would have to be formed.
The first general election to the Scottish Parliament overall produced few surprises with the Labour Party still enjoying high popularity following their landslide victory in the 1997 UK general election as expected was the largest party winning 56 seats in their traditional Central Belt heartlands, nine seats short of an overall majority. Labour formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats; the Scottish National Party had done well in opinion polls running up to the election, gaining 40% in some approval ratings, but this level of support was not maintained. The SNP were the second largest party with 35 seats, which still represented their best performance since the October 1974 UK general election; the Conservative Party, still recovering from their wipeout in the 1997 UK general election across Scotland, failed to win a single constituency seat but did manage to win 18 seats through the Additional Member System. The Scottish Socialist Party and the Greens picked up unexpected additional member seats.
Robin Harper became the first elected Green parliamentarian in the history of the United Kingdom. Dennis Canavan, who had failed to become an approved Labour candidate, won the Falkirk West constituency as an independent candidate. Following the election the new parliament met in the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh for the first time on Wednesday 12 May 1999 although the actual devolution of powers from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament did not take place until midnight on Thursday 1 July 1999 two months later. For a full list of MSPs elected, see Members of the Scottish Parliament, 1999-2003. For lists of constituencies and regions, see Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions. Voter turnout: 59.1% Labour – 56 Members of the Scottish Parliament SNP – 35 MSPs Conservative – 18 MSPs Liberal Democrat – 17 MSPs Scottish Green Party – 1 MSP SSP – 1 MSP Others – 1 MSP Labour – Donald Dewar SNP – Alex Salmond Conservative – David McLetchie Liberal Democrat – Jim Wallace SSP – Tommy Sheridan Scottish Green Party – Robin Harper Executive of the 1st Scottish Parliament Members elected to the 1st Scottish Parliament SourceForge.net
Neilston is a village and parish in East Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It is in the Levern Valley, 2 miles southwest of Barrhead, 3.8 miles south of Paisley, 5.7 miles south-southwest of Renfrew, at the southwestern fringe of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Neilston is a dormitory village with a resident population of just over 5,000 people. Neilston is mentioned in documents from the 12th century, when the feudal lord Robert de Croc, endowed a chapel to Paisley Abbey to the North. Neilston Parish Church—a Category B listed building—is said to be on the site of this original chapel and has been at the centre of the community since 1163. Little remains of the original structure. Before industrialisation, Neilston was a scattered farming settlement composed of a series of single-storey houses, many of them thatched; some domestic weaving was carried out using local flax. Water power from nearby streams ground corn and provided a suitable environment for bleaching the flax.
The urbanisation and development of Neilston came with the Industrial Revolution. Industrial scale textile processing was introduced to Neilston around the middle of the 18th century with the building of several cotton mills. Neilston became a centre for cotton and calico bleaching and printing in the 18th century, which developed into a spinning and dying industry, continued into the early 20th century. Although Neilston is known as a former milling village, agriculture has played, continues to play, an economic role; the annual Neilston Agricultural Show is an important trading and cultural event for farmers from southwest Scotland each spring. Although heavy industry died out in the latter half of the 20th century, as part of Scotland's densely populated Central Belt, Neilston has continued to grow as a commuter village, supported by its position between Paisley and Glasgow, from 1,000 people in 1800 to 5,168 in 2001. Expansion continues due to several new housing developments. Local historians have proposed various theories for the origin of the name Neilston.
Although the first element is to derive from either the Gaelic forename "Niall" or else from the French Nigel, there is disagreement as to whether the second element represents the English "stone" or "town". The earliest mention of Neilston is in the Chartulary of Paisley Abbey, which mentions that the Anglo-Norman knight, Robert Croc of Crocstown, assigned the patronage of Neilstoun to the monks of St Mirren's in 1163, on condition that masses should be said for the benefit of his soul. G. W. S. Barrow suggested that the settlement may be identified with the follower of Walter fitz Alan, Lord of Kyle and Strathgryfe, named Nigel de Cotentin. Despite this, some writers have given etymological explanations which post-date 1163. For instance, it has been written that "Neil" was a General of King Haakon IV of Norway, fleeing from the Battle of Largs, was overtaken in this locality and put to death. According to the custom of the age a burial mound was erected over his grave and the locality received the name of the General.
In a similar semi-legendary popular etymology, Neilston's origin was said to derive from a stone erected over the grave of a Highland chief named Neil, killed at the Battle of Harlaw, in the reign of King James I of Scotland. Before its recorded history began, before its founding, the territory of what became Neilston is known to have formed part of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde. Evidence attests that Neilston is much older than its larger neighbour Barrhead, as the first recorded mention of Barrhead was 600 years after Neilston's mention in the Chartulary of Paisley Abbey of 1163; the chartulary dealt with the foundation of the Clunaic Monastery in Paisley and its relationship to a chapel in Neilston, which were both answerable to Rome via the Clunaic Movement. Because of its chapel, which became a parish church, Neilston was the most important settlement in the Levern Valley and much of rural Renfrewshire. In the Middle Ages Neilston's position in the Barrhead Gap, a pass linking Ayrshire to Glasgow, gave it strategic importance.
Robert Croc may have had a watchtower at Coldoun in Neilston in the 12th century. "Doun" is a corruption of "dun" meaning castle or fort, the prefix implies the lack of physical warmth within the tower or the greeting received by unwelcome guests. Despite this distinction of local importance, Neilston remained a scattered community of small dwellings and farms, changing only with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution. In the 17th century Neilston shared in a national hysteria about witchcraft. In 1650 a number of people from Inverkip and Neilston were accused of witchcraft. However, they passed certain tests. In 1697, Christian Shaw of Lambroughton succeeded in convincing a Minister that she was a victim of witchcraft. A Commission of Enquiry, which included the Laird of Glanderston, was appointed to investigate; as a result of the investigation known as the Paisley Witch Trials, four women and three men were arrested and condemned to death and executed at Paisley. The Minister of Neilston Church, the Reverend David Brown, officiated at the hanging.
The foundations of a textile industry in Neilston were laid by the monks of Paisley Abbey who mastered the local woollen trade in the Middle Ages. Neilston became a centre for cotton and calico bleaching and prin
Clarkston, East Renfrewshire
Clarkston is a suburban town in East Renfrewshire, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies 4.7 miles east of Barrhead, 7.2 miles east-southeast of Paisley and 3.9 miles northwest of East Kilbride. A small dormitory town with a population of 14,944, Clarkston is on the southern fringe of the Greater Glasgow conurbation and directly adjoins the neighbouring suburbs of Busby and Stamperland. On 21 October 1971, the shopping centre was the scene of the Clarkston explosion, which killed 22 people and injured around 100. A plaque on the site commemorates the event. Greenbank Garden, a National Trust for Scotland property, is located on the outskirts of Clarkston; when a new road from Paisley to East Kilbride was built through the area in the 1790s, a toll point was set up where it crossed what was the main route from Glasgow to Kilmarnock and Ayr. A man named John Clark built a house at the toll, the name'Clarkston' came to be used for the locality; the Maxwell family advertised the creation of a new village there in 1801, but it grew slowly.
Clarkston at this time had no industry of its own, villagers were employed in the mills at nearby Netherlee. The area began to expand more following the opening of Clarkston railway station by Busby Railways in the village in 1866, the expansion of the Glasgow tram network to Clarkston in 1921; the 1920s saw the final breaking up of the Williamwood Estate, encouraging further house building. Clarkston expanded in the 20th century as new suburban housing developments sprang up; the first area was Overlee, followed by Stamperland Carolside and Williamwood going towards the 1960s. During the 21st century there have been far fewer developments, including Aidan's Brae off Mearns Road and Seres Drive on the old site of Williamwood High School. Clarkston is in East Renfrewshire, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland for local government purposes. East Renfrewshire Council, the unitary local council, is based in nearby Giffnock and is the body responsible for local governance. For local electoral purposes, Clarkson was a ward electing a single councillor to East Renfrewshire Council, but is now grouped with Busby and Eaglesham as a larger multi-member ward electing three councillors.
Clarkston is one of East Renfrewshire's designated community council areas, but following the dissolution of the previous community council in 2015 there were insufficient nominations for it to be re-established at that time. The Scottish Parliament is responsible for devolved matters such as education and justice, while reserved matters are dealt with by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Clarkston forms part of the county constituency of East Renfrewshire, electing one member of parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Kirsten Oswald of the SNP was elected as MP for East Renfrewshire in the 2015 General Election. Before the constituency's creation in 2005, Clarkston lay in the Eastwood Constituency. For the purposes of the Scottish Parliament, Clarkston forms part of the Eastwood constituency, represented by Jackson Carlaw MSP, of the Conservative party. At 55°47′9″N 4°16′32″W Clarkston is situated in Scotland's Central Lowlands; the community lies 4.7 miles east of Barrhead, 3.9 miles northwest of East Kilbride and 5.57 miles south of Glasgow.
The territory of Clarkston is contiguous with Glasgow and forms part of Greater Glasgow, the United Kingdom's fifth-largest conurbation. Clarkston experiences a temperate maritime climate, like much of the British Isles, with cool summers and mild winters. Regular but light precipitation occurs throughout the year. Clarkston is a postal district within the post town of Glasgow in the G postcode area. Clarkston consists of postcode district G76, which extends beyond the town boundary to include neighbouring settlements Busby, Carmunnock and Waterfoot. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, the census locality of Clarkston had a total resident population of 19,944, or 21% of the total of East Renfrewshire; the median age of males and females living in Clarkston was 38 and 41 compared to 37 and 39 years for those in the whole of Scotland. Fifty-nine percent were married, 3.7% were cohabiting couples, 7.0% were lone-parent families and 23.2% of households were made up of individuals. The place of birth of the towns residents was 97.1% United Kingdom, 0.5% Republic of Ireland, 0.5% from other European Union countries and 1.9% from elsewhere in the world.
Compared with the average demography of Scotland, Clarkston has higher proportions of people born in Scotland and young children. Of residents 16–74, 44.0% were in full-time employment, 13.1% in part-time employment, 7.2% self-employed and 1.9% unemployed compared with Scotland as a whole which has 40.3%, 11.1%, 6.6% and 4% respectively. Additionally, in Clarkston 4.5% students have jobs while 4.2% do not, 15.4% are retired, 4.8% look after their home or family, 3.0% are permanently sick or disabled, 1.9% are economically inactive for other reasons. Greenbank Garden is a National Trust for Scotland property situated on Flenders Road, consisting of the 18th-century Greenbank House and its walled gardens; the house is a Category A listed building. Overlee Playing Fields is a park situated on Moray Drive in the Stamperland area of Clarkston; the area is home to four separate sports a playground and a pavilion. The pavilion has been abandoned for around five years after large amounts of bats made their home there.
The area has a
Proportional representation characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party roughly n% of seats will be won by that party; the essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats; the most used families of PR electoral systems are party list PR, the single transferable vote, mixed member proportional representation. With party list PR, political parties define candidate voters vote for a list; the relative vote for each list determines how many candidates from each list are elected. Lists can be "closed" or "open".
Voting districts can be as large as a province or an entire nation. The single transferable vote uses small multiple-member districts, with voters ranking individual candidates in order of preference. During the count, as candidates are elected or eliminated, surplus or discarded votes that would otherwise be wasted are transferred to other candidates according to the preferences. STV enables voters to elect independent candidates. Mixed member proportional representation called the additional member system, is a two-tier mixed electoral system combining a non-proportional plurality/majoritarian election and a compensatory regional or national party list PR election. Voters have two votes, one for their single-member district and one for the party list, the party list vote determining the balance of the parties in the elected body. According to the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, some form of proportional representation is used for national lower house elections in 94 countries. Party list PR, being used in 85 countries, is the most used.
MMP is used in seven lower houses. STV, despite long being advocated by political scientists, is used in only two: Ireland, since independence in 1922, Malta, since 1921; as with all electoral systems, both accepted and opposing claims are made about the advantages and disadvantages of PR. The case for proportional representation was made by John Stuart Mill in his 1861 essay Considerations on Representative Government: In a representative body deliberating, the minority must of course be overruled, but does it follow that the minority should have no representatives at all?... Is it necessary that the minority should not be heard? Nothing but habit and old association can reconcile any reasonable being to the needless injustice. In a equal democracy, every or any section would be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors would always have a majority of the representatives, but a minority of the electors would always have a minority of the representatives.
Man for man, they would be as represented as the majority. Unless they are, there is not equal government... There is a part whose fair and equal share of influence in the representation is withheld from them, contrary to all just government, above all, contrary to the principle of democracy, which professes equality as its root and foundation. Many academic political theorists agree with Mill, that in a representative democracy the representatives should represent all segments of society. PR tries to resolve the unfairness of majoritarian and plurality voting systems where the largest parties receive an "unfair" "seat bonus" and smaller parties are disadvantaged and have difficulty winning any representation at all; the established parties in UK elections can win formal control of the parliament with as little as 35% of votes. In certain Canadian elections, majority governments have been formed by parties with the support of under 40% of votes cast. If turnout levels in the electorate are less than 60%, such outcomes allow a party to form a majority government by convincing as few as one quarter of the electorate to vote for it.
In the 2005 UK election, for example, the Labour Party under Tony Blair won a comfortable parliamentary majority with the votes of only 21.6% of the total electorate. Such misrepresentation has been criticized as "no longer a question of'fairness' but of elementary rights of citizens". Note intermediate PR systems with a high electoral threshold, or other features that reduce proportionality, are not much fairer: in the Turkish general election, 2002, using an open list system with a 10% threshold, 46% of votes were wasted. Plurality/majoritarian systems can disproportionately benefit regional parties that can win districts where they have a strong following, while other parties with national support but no strongholds, like the Greens, win few or no seats. An example is the Bloc Québécois in Canada that won 52 seats in the 1993 federal election, all in Quebec, on 13.5% of the national vote, while the Progressive Conservatives collapsed to two seats on 16% spread nationally. In the 2015 UK General Election, the Scottish National Party gained 56 seats, all in Sc
Giffnock is an affluent suburban town and the administrative centre of East Renfrewshire in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies 3.7 miles east of Barrhead, 5.6 miles east-southeast of Paisley and 5.3 miles northwest of East Kilbride, at the southwest of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Giffnock is mentioned in documents as early as the seventeenth century as a scattered agricultural settlement. In the late eighteenth century, Archibald Montgomerie, the Earl of Eglinton, was forced to partition the land into a number of smaller properties; the urbanisation and development of Giffnock began in the mid to late nineteenth century with the construction of several sandstone quarries, this prompted the development of the first railway link with nearby Glasgow. Large-scale quarrying continued in Giffnock for a century. However, the quarrying ceased by the 1920s, other uses were found for the quarries. An additional railway service began at the start of the twentieth century followed by the arrival of Glasgow Corporation Tramways.
Giffnock's relative closeness to Glasgow coupled with the local industry and good transports links helped it to develop into a suburban town, as many wealthy merchants chose to construct villas in its smog-free environs and commute daily to the city. Although heavy industry died out in the area during the early twentieth century, as part of Scotland's densely populated Central Belt, Giffnock has continued to grow as a dormitory town, supported by its position within the Greater Glasgow area, from 1,425 residents in the early twentieth century to 16,178 in 2001. Expansion continues due to several new housing developments; the Scottish Gaelic name for Giffnock is Giofnag and is of Brythonic and Gaelic origin.'Cefn' comes from the Brythonic meaning'ridge' and the Gaelic cnoc meaning "hill". In Gaelic, oc or og is a diminutive, thus when added to cefn gives Giffnock the meaning of "Little Ridge"; the first written mention of Giffnock came in 1530, when James V presented Rockend Mill and the surrounding lands to Hugh Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Eglinton.
The settlement of Giffnock first appeared as Gisnock, in an atlas created by Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu in 1654, the first atlas of Scotland. Giffnock was a scattered farming community until the late 1780s, when Archibald Montgomerie, 11th Earl of Eglinton was forced to partition the land into a number of small properties for sale to raise finances. In 1835, the first sandstone quarry in Giffnock opened. Before long, the town became known for this industry, at its peak, there were four quarries in Giffnock, three surface quarries and one underground quarry, which together employed over 1,000 men; the quarries produced two types of sandstone: "liver rock" and "moor rock". "Liver rock" was popular with masons thanks to its lack of stratification, which made the stone easy to work with. In 1854, a coal mining firm managed by civil engineers Hugh Baird and Robert Stevenson took over the running of the quarries and by 1866 the Busby Railway was built, allowing them to transport the stone by rail.
A lower level line was laid from Giffnock railway station into the Orchard Quarry to facilitate the extraction of the stone. Sandstone from the Giffnock quarries was used within the nearby city of Glasgow and can be found in older parts of the University of Glasgow and the interior of Kelvingrove Art Gallery. A small amount of trade was done with Belfast, some of the finer "liver rock" was transported as far as America and South Africa to build both buildings and monuments. Quarrying in Giffnock continued until 1912 when, due to flooding and the high cost of extracting stone, work ceased. Numerous ventures tried to revitalise the quarries for other purposes, including the cultivation of mushrooms in the tunnels; as the pits began to fill with water, it became an issue. In the early 1930s, William Bearmore & Co began tipping slag from the production of steel into the Giffnock quarries; the slag tipping continued until 1969, when Derek Crouch Limited began scrap metal extraction, which lasted until the late 1970s.
Today the ground is a wasteland. Coal mining was carried out in Giffnock, between 1850 and 1926; the coal produced was of a poor quality and was of little value to householders. The main use of Giffnock coal was with industrial customers such as Busby Gas Works; the opening of Giffnock railway station in 1866 allowed business people to build sandstone villas and commute daily to the city. At the time, it was much more desirable to live in Giffnock. By the early 1890s, residential Giffnock began to grow around the railway station and Eastwood Toll, by 1892 gas was introduced to the area. Gas street lamps were erected by Busby and District Gas Company in 1893, it was not until October 1896, when Eastwood Parish Council took over street lighting, that the area was lit at night. In 1903, a second railway station was opened in Whitecraigs railway station; the station lay on the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway built to provide a through route from the Lanarkshire coalfields to ports such as Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast.
The growth of Giffnock was furthered in 1905 by the arrival of the first Glasgow Corporation Tramways tram in the town. The addition of this tram link and the nearby Whitecraigs railway station helped the popularity of Giffno