The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
Chryston -1834 In 1843 the Chryston Funeral Society was instituted. Its articles, 21 in number (revised and corrected in 1868), defined its boundary as the district of Chryston, and stipulated that any Member residing beyond the boundary must appoint a substitute within the bounds, to answer for his or her payments; each person must be above 15 years and not above 40 years of age, in good health and free from any hereditary disease. There was a sliding scale of fees: Ages 15-30, 2s. entry money; 30-40, 4s.; single entrants half-price. Unmarried members, when marrying, to pay the other half of their entry money. Quarterly payment of double members 1s. 2d., and single members 7d. No member was able to make a claim on the funds of the Society until six months after admission. Chryston - 1861-1888 By 1861 the population had risen to 617 in 129 occupied houses, which was the highest number reached before the end of the century. By that time Chryston boasted two churches with large manses set in a substantial acreage of ground, schools adjoining both churches, a ladies' school, blacksmiths' forges near to each church, a burial ground provided in 1825 next to the Chapel of Ease, and a new one at Bedlay, in 1861, required because all the lairs in the first ground had been taken up. The settlement of Muirhead hardly existed before the beginning of the 19th century, except for the open area known as "The Muir"- from which the village name was derived. The area is now known as the Moor or the Public Park. It was used extensively as a resting place by farmers taking their animals to the markets in Glasgow and Falkirk. About a tenth of the acreage of this was taken up by a pond, so it was a suitable place to stop, considering that the animals were driven along the dusty roads and not conveyed in trucks as today. The change following the building of the Toll Road around 1790 was marked by the erection of a five-barred toll barrier and toll house at the junction of the Kirkintilloch Road and the new road, so ensuring that travellers from all directions paid their tolls. By 1831 nine families, a total of 40 persons, were domiciled in Muirhead. The opening of the Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway and the setting up of nearby industries around that time had a definite bearing on the growth of the population and the rate of building. By 1861 there were 120 persons. A Post Office stood on the new road near to an inn with stabling facilities to its rear - about 150 yards east of the present junction of Station Road and Cumbernauld Road - while to the west of the junction there was a smithy and sawmill, near to the Toll House. Thirty years on, 73 houses formed the village and the population had doubled. The Post Office had by now been moved to its new site in Station Road (which had been constructed to allow passage of travellers and horse transport to Garnkirk Station and to the works set up near the Station). The first inn on the Toll Road was by now used for other purposes and a new inn was sited at the corner of Station Road, where indeed it remains at the present time though not used nowadays for accommodation purposes. In 1879 all road tolls were abolished and in 1888 the toll house was feued by Alexander Sprot, laird of Garnkirk, to John Hamilton of Sundrum. The house still stands today, having at one stage been used as a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland before reverting once more to a dwelling house.
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd
The Tollhouse
Cumbernauld Rd
Station Rd looking north