The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd
Chryston - the late 1800s To the west of Muirhead there was further development by the establishment of the villages of Garnkirk and Crow Row, which housed mainly the workers at the two fireclay works. The majority of these families were from Ireland and their houses were in the Irish style of terraces with half doors. Crow Row was situated on the Cumbernauld Road, near to its present junction with Woodhead Road, and Garnkirk Village was at the top of that road. A smaller number of houses was erected at Heathfield, which stood to the east of the station, just off Station Road. In 1878 the Chryston Drill and Public Hall was built in Muirhead alongside the new road. Its affairs were originally conducted by trustees, but after 20 years they passed control to the Cadder Parish Council. The Council carried out remedial improvements by the installation of acetylene lighting, at a cost of £44, and on the south side added a lesser hall to accommodate 100 persons and also other small rooms. The "new" hall was opened again on 20th December 1898. The original forecourt of the hall was altered by the erection of the War Memorial, unveiled on 13th October 1923 by Lord Lamington, Depute Lord Lieutenant of the County of Lanark. It bore the names of 85 men killed of missing in the 1914-18 conflict. A further 25 names were added after the 1939-45 war. The stone for the memorial came from a Fife quarry and was dressed by employees of local builders Allan Bros., Watson & Henderson. Directly opposite the hall on the site presently occupied by the Health Clinic stood the Police Station, built in the 1880s; it was in use for almost 80 years until a new office and houses were built in Elmira Road. In the early 1900s Crow Row was demolished, following the closure of the Garnkirk Fireclay Works. On the site stone villas (Woodside Gardens) were built and stood for almost 50 years before being demolished to allow construction of the A80 by-pass of Muirhead. Building of residential villas also took place in the Lilybank area and on both sides of Cumbernauld Road east of the police station and the public hall. In 1924 the first council houses, at Hillcrest, consisting of six semi-detached and two blocks of four houses were occupied in South Loan (Chryston Road). These were soon followed by further development south towards Cumbernauld Road, and in Bothlyn Road, originally a farm track. Later further building took place to extend Bothlyn Road. Millbrae Avenue, Lorn Avenue and Pentland Road were added to the development, so completing the cover of the green fields between the two villages. At the west end of Muirhead, over the period 1924-30, council houses were built and occupied in the Crowwood Road - Laurelbank Avenue area, also on the north side of Cumbernauld Road from "Oakbank" westwards, and in Knowe Road. Many families displaced by the demolition of Garnkirk village were rehoused. In the 1950s the area behind the Cumbernauld Road houses was built on by the Scottish Special Housing Association (SSHA), many of these houses being occupied by miners working in the local collieries. In due course the construction of the Berryknowe estate extended almost to Lenzie Road.
Public Hall in 1923
Public Hall in 1992