Formerly Save Woodhall and Faskine Greenbelt.(SWAF)
Now known as,
Woodhall Faskine and Palacecraig Conservation Group
(A registered Scottish charity no. SC048862)
Our combined communities have spoken and the message was loud and clear that Woodhall, Faskine and Palacecraig must remain countryside. As a community group we now need to focus on the long term goal of developing the area between Carnbroe and Calderbank as a Natural Country Park that serves us all.
This will be a journey for us all to take together. In order to get the ball rolling, it’s time to make some changes.
The organisation has been formed to benefit in particular the communities of South Coatbridge, Carnbroe, Greenend, Sykeside, Cairnhill, Brownsburn, Monkland Glen, Calderbank, Chapelhall, Holytown and the Newhouse area.
Its aims are to conserve and protect the natural environment and regenerate its use for local community enrichment as a community-owned Country Park.
This will promote and encourage public interest in the conservation, history and recreational benefits of the Woodhall, Faskine and Palacecraig area that deserve to be better known.
The charity supports the Campaign against Euro Park Developers (Orchardbrae) who want to build 2600 plus houses and 50plus commercial units, on this gem of greenbelt steeped in local history and nature where we plan to develop our country park.
We believe that this natural asset needs to be protected and promoted for the continued green recreational use for all of the people of Airdrie, Coatbridge and beyond.
The email address is
Or just twitter search SWAF Greenbelt@SwafGreenbelt
These are ancient lands and ‘green’ since the ice rolled back over 7,000 years ago. Crogal’s Castle, a hill fort, guards the crossing of the North Calder Water south of Calderbank, where earthworks and ditches may be seen. In the 11th century Faskine was chosen by Cistercian monks from Newbattle Abbey in the Lothians for a hermitage – a place where they would be safe from invasion and war (‘fasgadh’is a shelter in Gaelic). The monks were farmers who grew crops, raised sheep and gave the name ‘Monklands’ to the district.
By the 1600s, Woodhall had become a Hamilton property and noted for its trees. In 1711 the estate was bought by Daniel Campbell of Shawfield, a wealthy Glasgow merchant who had a splendid mansion in Palladian style built. Being an improving landowner, the old style ‘runrig’ strip cultivation was soon replaced by regular fields and hedgerows, with woods in geometric patterns. Later, a Lily Loch and a Walled Garden were created.
Soon coal and iron pits were dug and James Watt of steam engine fame designed the Monkland Canal that opened to Woodhall in 1794. It carried coal to Glasgow driving forward the use of steam power in industry there. At Calderbank, there was local demand for coal from the iron, and later steel works. In 1830, the early Monkland & Kirkintilloch Railway opened from Palacecraig to take coal from a pit to the Forth & Clyde Canal for export to either Glasgow or Edinburgh. (The M&KR is the first line in the world to mention steam locomotives in its Act of 1826).
By the 1850s, the wealth creators at Woodhall had been replaced by the ‘big spenders’ and financial problems had to be faced. A trust took over, but in 1874 Alexander Whitelaw, an associate of Bairds of Gartsherrie, the noted ironmasters, purchased Woodhall for its minerals, especially coal. By the 1900s, fire and neglect had destroyed the grand mansion, but coalmining continued. Subsidence then resulted in the removal of other structures of architectural merit in the 1930s.
Since then, nature has recovered wonderfully, and its biodiversity is enhanced by active farming at Faskine and Palacecraig. Although areas have been lost to motorway construction, this green heartland with its twin arteries of the North Calder Water and the Monkland Canal is intact, and continues to bring health benefits to local people and visitors alike.
Dr Ann Glen
The Woodhall Ha-Ha Garden feature ditch is very old long. It runs down south by the West path which starts at the at the side of Woodhall House ruins and ends in a curve . Part of it has been covered by a railway embankment but a lot of it remains In 2009 only 12 were noted across Scotland. Historic Environment Scotland mention that a Ha-Ha is a listed building yet they haven,t recorded Woodhalls Ha-Ha as one . http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/…/historic_environment_and_…/2 .
By Martin Leeson
Ways you can help Help
We thank you for your donations. The group is entirely voluntary. We need your help to keep paying for unavoidable costs, meeting rooms, stationary and raising the area profile.
We value your imput and support please take a few minutes and kindly complete our survey and have your say below.
Watch out for the wildlife that live alongside the faries. Something for all to discover.
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