Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Wishaw

Wishaw, a town in Cambusnethan and Dalziel parishes, Lanarkshire, constituted a police burgh in 1855, and extended in 1874 so as to comprise Wishaw proper, Cambusnethan village, and Craigneuk village. Wishaw, standing 420 feet above sea-level, within 2 miles of the Clyde's right bank, and ½ mile S of South Calder Water, has a station on a section (1880) of the Caledonian, constructed at a cost of £150,000, and extending 6 miles north-westward from Law Junction to Carfin. It is 3 ¼ miles ESE of Motherwell, 5 E of Hamilton, 15 ESE of Glasgow, and 32 WSW of Edinburgh. Laid out in 1794, and pleasantly situated on the SW face of a hill, it was so late as 1840 merely a large village, but since has grown rapidly to the dimensions of a considerable though straggling town, and is the centre of a vast mineral trade. It has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, branches of the British Linen Co., Clydesdale, Commercial, and Royal Banks, 24 insurance agencies, 3 hotels, gasworks, a town-hall, a public library, a public park, a Saturday Liberal newspaper, the Wishaw Press (1876), fairs on the second Thursday of May and the fourth Thursday of October, etc. The Established Church has four places of worship, the Free Church two, the United Presbyterian two; and there are also Reformed Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Evangelical Union, Baptist, and Roman Catholic churches. Of schools there are nine, six of them under the school board. Few Scottish towns have grown more rapidly than Wishaw, such growth being due to the great extension of its mineral industries. These, at the census of 1881, employed 2294 of the 3670 persons here of the `industrial class' - 1687 being engaged in coalmining, 332 in the iron manufacture, etc. The burgh is governed by a chief and two junior magistrates and by nine police commissioners. A sheriff small debt court is held on every third Thursday, and a police court on every Monday, or as occasion requires. Municipal voters (1885) 1714. Valuation (1858) £8740, (1882) £23,800, (1885) £26, 500. Pop. of Wishaw proper (1841) 2149, (1851) 3271, (1861) 6112, (1871) 8812, (1881) 8953; of extended police burgh (1881) 13,112, of whom 6929 were males, and 1829 were in Cambusnethan, 2330 in Craigneuk. Houses in burgh (1881) 2532 inhabited, 369 vacant, 12 building.—Ord. Sur., sh. 23, 1865.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Lanarkshire ScoCnty
Place: Wishaw

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