infobox UK place
|country = Scotland
gaelic_name= Cill Saidhe
population= 10,100(2004 Estimates)
Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East
postcode_district = G65
"For other places named Kilsyth, see
Kilsyth (Possible origin: Gaelic "Cill Saidhe") is a town of 10,100 (2004 Estimates) roughly halfway between
Glasgowand Stirlingin North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Kilsyth is at 60M above sea level and occupies a narrow strip of land between the
Kilsyth Hillsto the north, and the River Kelvinto the south. To the east and west it is bordered by marshland and bogs. The centre of the town is close to the confluence of the Garrell and Ebroch burns.
From earliest recorded times Kilsyth was one of the main routes between
Glasgow, Falkirkand Edinburgh, and is very close to the Roman Antonine Wall, the Forth and Clyde canaland the main Glasgow to Edinburghrailway line, with the nearest station at Croy. The main A80/ M80 motorwayis close by to the south.
The town occupies a sheltered position in the Kelvin Valley, and is bisected by the A803 between
Kirkintillochand Falkirk. The old drovers' roadfrom Stirling, (the Tak Ma Doon Road), and the route south to Cumbernauldvia Auchinstarry bridge, intersect the A803 at Kilsyth.
History and development
There is archeological evidence of settlement since
Neolithictimes [Dennison, Ewart, Gallagher and Stewart, Historic Kilsyth (Historic Scotland, 2006), 2.] . The Romans recognised the strategic significance of Kilsyth with forts at Colziumbea (NS 7391 7774) and Castle Hill (NS 7091 7610) as well as the Antonine Wall forts of Bar Hill and Croy Hill which are clearly visible from the present-day town. In the Middle Ages, Kilsyth held a key strategic position on one of the main routes across the narrowest part of Scotland and was the site of two castles (now destroyed) at Balcastle and Colziumshown in Timothy Pont's map of 1580.
to regain the crown.
Kilsyth was rich in mineral resources, especially coking coal, whinstone, ironstone, and
limestone. The town economy has shifted over the past three centuries from farming, handloom weaving and extractive industries to light engineering, transportation and service industries. Many of the townsfolk of working age now commute to work in nearby Glasgow and other larger towns nearby.
Kilsyth is believed to be the place where the Winter Sport of
Curlingwas first invented and played. The town had the World's first Curling Club which is still surviving to this day. Curling was played on the Curling pond in the ColziumEstate in the East of the Town.
Religion and revivals
Following its foundation as an early monastic settlement, the town has a long tradition of radical
protestantismand was the scene of major revivals under the leadership of James Robe [http://www.paperclip.org.uk/kilsythweb/history/archivesources/robe.htm] in 1742 and William Chalmers Burnsin 1839, part of the Second Great Awakening. William Irvine (Scottish evangelist and founder of the Christian Conventionssect) was born in Kilsyth in 1863. The formation of the new Pentecostal Church of God [http://www.kcog.eu/history.html] in 1902 led to further outbreaks of religious fervour in 1908. The influx of Roman Catholicimmigrant workers from Irelandled to outbreaks of sectarian violence at the Duntreath Arms Inn in 1905. Today, Kilsyth is a more tolerant town with a wide variety of faiths which co-exist in harmony through the auspices of the ecumenical"Kirks The Gither" movement [http://www.kilsythdistrictchurches.org/] .
Kilsyth was originally part of the earldom of Lennox. The parish was called variously Monyabroch, Monaeburgh, or Moniabrocd, but part of the parish was called Kelvesyth by the beginnings of the 13th century. The lands passed through the hands of branches of the Callendar and Livingston families as their fortunes waxed and waned, eventually becoming the property of the Edmonstones. Kilsyth was established as a Burgh of Barony in 1620. A Town Charter was granted in 1826, permitting the holders of plots to elect a Town Council. Formerly part of
Stirlingshire, the town is presently within North Lanarkshirejurisdiction.
The ward is currently represented by three elected councillors; Jean Jones (Labour) David Key (SNP) and Mark Griffin, (Labour) who won a by-election on 31st Jan 2008 with 1855 votes to take his father's former seat.
Cathie CraigieMSP was re-elected as Cumbernauld and Kilsyth (Scottish Parliament constituency)member of the Scottish Parliamenton 3rd May 2007 with an increased majority. Rosemary McKennais the WestminsterMP for the Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East (UK Parliament constituency).
Kilsyth Community Council : [http://www.kilsyth.org.uk/index.htm] , as the locally elected representative body, is an active community group but enjoys very limited powers.
Kilsyth has many of the elements associated with a Scottish market town, including a pedestrianised Main Street with a wide range of local and specialist independent shops [http://www.paperclip.org.uk/kilsythweb/Business/shops.htm] , attractive parks and gardens at Burngreen and Colzium complete with bandstands, welcoming hostelries [http://www.paperclip.org.uk/kilsythweb/Tourism/kilsyth_scotland_hotels.htm] such as the Curling Stone, Coachman Hotel and the Scarecrow pub, and a choice of local restaurants [http://www.paperclip.org.uk/kilsythweb/Tourism/Kilsyth_Scotland_Restaurants.htm] . The nearby villages of Croy, Banton,
Queenzieburn, and Twecharare within easy walking distance from Kilsyth.The town is easily accessible and ideally located for a day trip, family holiday, or as a base for a walking, golf, fishingor touring holiday, by car, canal boat, horseor bike.
The town is overlooked by [http://www.kilsythlennox.com Kilsyth Lennox Golf Club] which is one of the most picturesque courses in Central Scotland with a panoramic view across the central belt of Scotland from the River Clyde in the west to the River Forth in the east. The original nine hole course was founded in 1899, in the Balmalloch area of the town, but moved in 1905 to the present position North East of the town. The club completed a new [http://www.kilsythlennox.com/_images/clubhouse2.jpgclubhouse] in 1995 after a fire, and things continued to improve as time went on. Between 1997 and 2002, the majority of the greens and tees were redesigned by Rocky Roquemore, the renowned American Golf Course architect who has built courses all over the world. The club hosts a Festival of Golf in the first week in July with opportunities for anyone to take part assuring them of a friendly welcome from the residents of Kilsyth.
Nearby attractions include the
Falkirk Wheel, a huge boat lift that connects the Union and Forth & Clyde Canal networks, and the Antonine Wall- marking the northern edge of the Roman Empire. Kilsyth is less than an hour from Glasgow, Stirlingand Edinburghby car, bus or train from nearby Croy station.
Kilsyth holds an [http://www.paperclip.org.uk/carnival.htm international carnival (popularly known as KIC)] in mid-August - in 2007 this was held on Sunday August 12th and headlined the
Peatbog Faeriesand David Sneddon. It is held in the grounds of the wooded Colzium estate nearby. Civic Week festivities are held in June each year, with the traditional crowning of the Civic Queen.
The town is also the home of
Kilsyth Rangers F.C.and indie rock band The Twilight Sad.
Kilsyth has three primary schools: Kilsyth Primary and Balmalloch Primary (non-denominational), and St Patrick's Primary School (
Roman Catholic). Children from both Kilsyth Primary and Balmalloch primary progress to the non-denominational Kilsyth Academy while children from St Patrick's primary advance to St.Maurice's High (located in nearby Cumbernauld).
Business and economy
Kilsyth is the home of a range of small and medium-sized manufacturing, transport, and specialist retail businesses, including Paul's Quality Butchers.
It is also home to the company
Scotdisc[http://www.scotdisc.co.uk/home.htm] who sell and distribute CD's and DVD's of traditional Scottish music by artists such as The Alexander Brothersand the DVD of Highland Cathedral by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. These can also be bought at Edinburgh Woollen Millshops and other similar traditional Scottish factory outlets.
* Incorporates material from http://www.paperclip.org.uk/kilsyth.htm made available under the GFDL.
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