Inferior cum Baronia Glascuensi
The Nether Warde of
Clyds-Dail, and Baronie of Glasco
The Upper Warde of Clyds-Dail
Glasgow - Kirkintilloch Road
The Lower Clydesdale sheet is one of the few to show
a road. This ran between Glasgow and Kirkintilloch on
a very direct line. It had gone out of use before 1750
as it is not shown on the maps of the Military Survey.
It is not shown on Pont's original map so may date from
the mid 1600's although there would undoubtedly have
been a route of sorts in his day.
Routes - Upper and
Lists of distances between places survive and
although many date from the 1640's when work on the
Blaeu Atlas was progressing some were recorded by Pont.
These lists are quite different in character from other
entries which lists places in relation to other nearby
places. It is highly likely that these lists entail
routes between these places: the known mileages must
have been gained from actual travel and there would
be little point in knowing the distances between places
unless people were travelling between them. In addition,
some of the entries list intermediate points between
centres as if they were on a route, and there are entries
like "The hie way fra Edinburgh to Glasgow is throw
Falkirk" and references to milestones north and south
of Ayr. In any case there is often evidence from other
sources to support the idea of a network of routes at
this time and Pont himself on his original maps shows
bridges and fords that could only have been used for
A list of these routes is given in a following section
and an attempt made to reconstruct each route by referring
to the river crossings and placenames on Pont as well
as other sources. In some cases a route is reasonably
certain but in others much less so. The maps should
be used in conjunction with the notes as some of the
routes shown are speculative.
So far as these sheets go there was an old route between
Ayr and Lanark which went up the Irvine valley. It crossed
at the Clydesholme ford which is known to have been
in use in the 1500's. Glasgow had routes to Kirkintilloch,
Falkirk, Partick (and ultimately Dumbarton), Ayrshire,
the Monklands, Hamilton and Lanark and to the south.
Lanark had routes to Biggar and Peebles and down to
Douglas and Crawfordjohn and ultimately Dumfries. Biggar
also had a route south to Crawfordjohn. There were other
routes, as indicated on his map of the Lothians where
roads are shown leading from Edinburgh towards Monklands
(and presumably Glasgow), and two others on either side
of the Pentlands, one of which led to Lanark and the
other to Biggar and the south. These will be dealt with
under the Lothians sheet.
and Placenames - Upper and Lower Clydesdale
A number of bridges and fords are shown and
these can help to identify some of the major routes.
Others were probably just of local use. The location
of these crossings has been identified and an assessment
made of what routes they might be associated with. One
surprising fact is that some of them are very old or
are replacements for older bridges. Glasgow for example
had a bridge as early as the 1340's and the Old Avon
Bridge in Hamilton is thought to have been built by
monks in the middle ages.
Placenames can often give clues to the existence of
a road or track. There are several examples of compounds
with words like bridge or ford, and gait or road is
quite common. There are two interesting references to
boats or ferries, Crookbait and Baithils near Lanark
and several Spittals - these often functioned as resting
places for travellers. There is a possible use of drochaid,
gaelic for a bridge which must date from at least a
thousand years ago and a possible use of heol, a Brythonic
word for road which is probably older - in this instance,
north of Lanark, it is situated beside a Roman road.
Again the location of these placenames is identified
and an assessment made of routes they might be associated
When placenames and crossings are correlated with the
putative routes indicated by the lists of distances,
some are quite isolated and probably relate to more
local routes. A list of these is given along with suggestions
as to what routes they were associated with.
This map shows routes, crossings and placenames on
the one sheet.
In all this, it is assumed that the roads depicted
on the maps were roads as distinct from routes, i.e.
they were constructed, albeit of a probably poor standard.
Routes on the other hand were just "beaten tracks",
no doubt improved here and there with stones and planks
laid across streams but still routes that took a course
determined by the geography between places.
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