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Population : 952 (2001 Census)
Gartcosh is a village in North Lanarkshire, lying a few miles East of Glasgow and about a mile North of Coatbridge.
A Brief History of Gartcosh
'Gartcosh' is said to have evolved from the Gaelic word Gart meaning 'field' and Cos meaning 'hollow'.
Gartcosh was originally an agricultural village but became known for its role in Scotland's Industrial Revolution. At the beginning of the 19th Century several mines operated in the area and the railway line through the village transported coal to Glasgow. In the mid 1800's Gartcosh was known for its iron and fireclay works, the latter of which was established by James Binnie in 1863. In its early years the works had a varied output alongside its main produce of firebrick, such as items for the garden, e.g. fountains, pedestals, vases etc as well as cattle troughs, sewage pipes and more. However, Gartcosh Fireclay Works closed in the 1950's when local supplies of fireclay were exhausted.
The Woodneuk Iron Works were opened in 1865 by William Gray & Co. In 1872 Smith & McLeans bought the works and later changed hands again to become Colville's steel mills. British Steel took over the mill in 1962 and continued its operation until its closure in 1986. The mill has since been demolished.
There was considerable trouble with purchasing the land by Smith & McLeans in the 19th Century as most of Gartcosh's land was owned by two strict prebyterian spinster sisters. The sisters were not interested in the considerable financial offerings of the company and were more concerned with maintaining the ongoing spirit of Gartcosh, as they knew it. They eventually relented but only on the condition that no public house, bookmakers nor Catholic church would ever be built within the Gartcosh boundaries. This agreement is still honoured today. As a result Chapman's Public House is built immediately outside Gartcosh's natural boundary. Although the resident catholic population travel to Muirhead, Glenboig or Coatbridge for services and there has never been a licensed bookmakers in Gartcosh, in the 60's a successful application for licensed premises was made, on behalf of the Gartcosh Works Social Club.
Gartcosh Business Exchange has been developed on the site of the Old Strip Mill and Steel Works. To date over £20 million has been invested in the site in terms of land reclamation, transport links, including Gartcosh station and over developments. This project aims to provide over 170,000 square metres of business space serviced by the new improved transport links.
The proposed new SPSA (Scottish Police Services Authority) campus is currently being developed within Gartcosh Business Interchange. When completed the campus will house state of the art forensic science technology for Strathclyde Police in conjunction with the SPSA, new headquarters for the SCDEA (Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency), SSOCA (Scottish Serious and ORganised Crime Agency) and HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs).
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