Farming in the Parish

Ballagan House (From Guthrie Smith)
Ploughing in the Kirkland Fields - date unknown

Farming at the beginning of the 19th Century

Guthrie Smith provides the following description of the parish in 1801 :

The parish was much barer than it was in 1886. There was evidence that Strathblane had once been densely wooded with oak trees having been found lying in the moss up at Mugdock.. There were more drystane dykes but fewer hedges. There was not so much land under the plough and the fields when divided were small and irregular in shape. In Mugdock land was often held in runrig - one rig or ridge in a field belonging to one farm or croft and the next belonging to another.Good land was wasted with brambles and thistles everywhere. Drainage was rarely practised . This was reflected in the names of farms such as "The Hole" , "Puddock Hole" and "Dirty Mailins". Barley appeared to have been the staple crop then.

Various factors , Guthrie Smith said , contributed to the develoment of agriculture in the parish. The new raod from Glasgow to Balfron held but it was the contribution of the Rev Mr Gibb minister from 1791 to 1809 and Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal. Their efforts were such that a report on the agriculture of the area in the Farmer's Magazine of 1808 stated that "Strathblane is now the best cultivated parish in the neighbourhood" Archibald Edmonstone was an enterprising breeder of cattle.

Ballagan House (From Guthrie Smith)

©Alison Dryden, Strathblane Heritage Society 2003