History Podcasts

Roman Commomerative Slab Fragment from Cappuck

Roman Commomerative Slab Fragment from Cappuck

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Treasure hunting in databases: forgotten early medieval sculptures from Lochem

It's not so bad to work from home. Online databases contain hidden treasures of medieval art: such as these two stone carvings from Lochem.

Checking the database of the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed for my current research on medieval building inscriptions in the Netherlands, to see whether any examples had been missed, I stumbled upon the image shown below of two more or less rectangular, very high quality remnants of early medieval carvings in the Hervormde Kerk (formerly the St. Gudula Church) in Lochem, a town situated some 25 km to the southeast of Deventer.

The early medieval carvings on the two slabs in Lochem. Photographer J. van der Wal (1992), collection RCE, Amersfoort.

Where the sculpture was found

During the 1973-1975 restoration of the church, when two late Gothic panels on the exterior of the church, located left of the tower entrance, were taken out of the wall, it was discovered they had earlier carvings on their reverse. This stupendous find was first published by Harry Tummers in a 1993 article. He, incidentally, only mentions the slab with the lady on the right of the photograph and suggested a date in the tenth and possibly even the ninth century, and argued that, in view of the small measurements of the stone, it was a commemorative panel rather than a funerary slab. When still complete, it would have been slightly over a meter high. While a commemorative panel of such an early date would have been spectacular enough, I think the find is even more momentous.

The late Gothic carvings on the two slabs. Photographer J. van der Wal (1992), collection RCE, Amersfoort.

Two of the oldest medieval sculptures in the Netherlands

The fragment on the left of the first photograph shows an inscribed cross, with on top the remains of an indented medallion containing the hand of God held out in blessing. The medallion is encircled by a frame containing an inscription in classical Roman lettering. Obviously, the relief had an outer frame with an inscription also, but what remains is too fragmentary to decipher.

Somewhat more remains of the second panel. It shows a subtly modelled, standing, veiled lady holding her arms in a traditional early-Christian prayer or pleading posture, with the elbows close to the sides of the body and with her hands outstretched sideways, palms up. Such figures are known as ‘orans’ (male) and ‘orante’ (female) figures. The ‘orante’ posture of the lady went out of fashion after the eleventh century, when folded hands became the customary prayer posture.

The Lochem lady is wearing a long gown that leaves her feet free, with very wide sleeves, so as to reveal the long sleeves of the tunic she wears underneath. On the front, the gown has incised vertical pleats with a vertical array of beading down the middle and along the lower hem of the garment. The sleeves are likely to have been embellished with beading also, but they are too badly worn to be able to make this out. The wide rectangular frame around the lady is inscribed and, what is still there of the text, reads: …PRI. ANIM … (on the right side of the panel), A[?] … IA’ (on the bottom), and, ‘S. REQUI …’ (on the left side of the panel). The panel has therefore something to do with the soul (anima) and resting (requi…).

The lettering, style and ‘orante’-posture indicate these are very ancient carvings indeed, dating to the eleventh century at the latest. This makes them unique, as there is very little medieval sculpture from this period anywhere. In spite of their international importance, they are surprisingly unknown. The two reliefs did not even get a place in the Lochem ‘canon’ and go unmentioned in the 2000 inventory of monuments in the province of Gelderland!

The ‘orante’ posture

The ‘orante’ posture goes back to pagan times and was adopted by Jews and early Christians alike. In early-Christian art, it is seen mainly in the catacombs and on sarcophagi. The precise meaning of the ‘orans’ or ‘orante’ posture is contested. It has been held to symbolize the soul of the deceased awaiting resurrection to represent the Christian soul in Paradise or to symbolize the blessed soul in heaven interceding on the behalf of the community or praying for those still on earth. Often, the early ‘orans’ figures are generic female types, representing deceased souls in heaven, praying for their friends on earth, which accounts for the fact that there are often female ‘orantes’ on the tombs of deceased males.

From the fourth century onwards, ‘orans’ and ‘orante’ figures were gradually individualized and came to represent specific saints and martyrs. Thus, St Agnes is shown with her arms spread upwards on a fourth-century altar antependium in Rome. In the catacombs of the Via Nomentana in Rome even the Virgin Mary raises her arms as an ‘orante’ figure. In the dome of the Hagios Georgios in Thessaloniki, martyrs named by inscriptions stand side by side raising their arms in the ‘orans’ posture. We also see St. Apollinaris holding his arms thus in the sixth-century apse mosaic of the church of St. Apollinare in Classe near Ravenna. It seems, then, that from the fourth century onwards the gesture indicated the intercessory prayers of the saints. This having been said, in other locations ‘orans’ figures could still, on occasion, represent the prayers of the faithful or the blessed in paradise, as on one of the Merovingian sarcophagi in the crypt of Jouarre.

/> A 4th-century ‘orante’ figure from the dome of the S. Georgios in Thessaloniki (Greece). Photo author.

Interpreting the sculptures

Tummers considered the stone with the standing ‘orante’ figure in Lochem to be a commemorative stone, like an epitaph. However, he seems not to have been aware of the presence of the second stone with the cross and the hand of God, which rather changes matters, as the two obviously belong together. The lady on the Lochem panel is therefore more likely to be a figure from whom to ask for intercession, a saint, praying to God or asking for his blessing, reminding him of Christ’s sacrifice, represented by the Cross. From the top of the panel, the hand extending downwards symbolizes that God’s blessing has been granted. In medieval art, the hand of God (Manus Dei), is used to indicate God’s intervention in or approval of affairs on earth. A good example of this hand of God, set in a medallion, can be found in the church of the abbey church of Gandersheim (Germany). The Gandersheim stone is thought to commemorate the consecration of the church which took place in 1007.

The presence of the Lochem female figure, shown turning slightly to the left, suggests that another figure panel stood to the left of the stone with the cross and the hand of God, with a figure turning to the right. Together these stones would have had a width of at least 147 cm, the panel with the lady being 49 cm wide. The cross and hand of God relief looks as if it may have been somewhat higher than the panel with the lady. It is thus quite possible that the two Lochem reliefs were once part of a tripartite altar retable with a kind of stepped arrangement. Although few altar retables of such an early date have survived, their former existence is attested in medieval sources from at least 1000 onwards.

The hand of God on an eleventh-century relief from Gandersheim (Germany). Photo Inschriften-net.


But what are such unique sculptures doing in a place like Lochem? The very fine classical Roman lettering and the style of the sculpture suggest it came from an important workshop with high-status connections. Indeed, sculpture of such a very early date tends to come from major ecclesiastical sites and Lochem can hardly be called that. Although the origins of the Lochem church date back to the Carolingian period, at some time before 1200 the counts of Zutphen gave the church to the chapter of the church of St. Walburgis in Zutphen. This suggests it was a church of secondary importance at best. No wonder that Tummers suggested the reliefs may have come from elsewhere, the more so as it was normal practice in the Middle Ages to sell outdated church furnishings and statuary to the minor churches in the region when one was refurbishing. It is of course impossible to say whether, and, if so, when this happened. All we know is that the reliefs were in Lochem by the early fifteenth century when they were reused as part of a piece of church furnishing.

If the reliefs did indeed come from elsewhere, Zutphen is the obvious place to look to, as the Lochem church was apparently in the possession of the St. Walburgis church there. Having been destroyed by Vikings in 882, the church at Zutphen was rebuilt and dedicated to St. Peter and St. Walburga. At some stage between 1025-1050 it was given collegiate status, and was first mentioned as such in 1059. In the eleventh century, Zutphen was obviously a place of great import as a large palace was built here with a façade, 53 meters in length.

As a date in the first half of the eleventh century would to my mind perfectly suit the sculptures in question, a provenance from Zutphen does not seem at all unlikely. It may even have been a series of panels commemorating the dedication of the altar or the consecration of the church. In that case, the figures flanking the panel with the cross and the hand of God are likely to have been St. Peter and St. Walburga, the two patron saints of the Zutphen church.

So, there we are. Social isolation, awful though it may be, also has some positive side effects. Being locked up in the house gives one the opportunity to search our country’s wonderful databases and hunt out the hidden treasures that they still contain. I can thoroughly recommend it!


Harry A. Tummers, ‘Recente vondsten betreffende vroege grafsculptuur in Nederland, dertiende en veertiende eeuw’, Bulletin van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Oudheidkundige Bond 1993, 34-40.

© Elizabeth den Hartog and Leiden Medievalists Blog, 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Elizabeth den Hartog and Leiden Medievalists Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


The temple was begun by Octavian in 42 BC after the senate deified Julius Caesar posthumously. Octavian dedicated the prostyle temple (it is still unknown whether its order was Ionic, Corinthian or composite) to Caesar, his adoptive father, on 18 August 29 BC, after the Battle of Actium. It stands on the east side of the main square of the Roman Forum, between the Regia, Temple of Castor and Pollux, and the Basilica Aemilia, on the site of Caesar's cremation and where Caesar's testament was read aloud at the funeral by Mark Antony.

Caesar was the first resident of Rome to be deified and so honored with a temple. [2] A fourth flamen maior was dedicated to him after 44 BC, and Mark Antony was the first to serve as Flamen Divi Julii, priest of the cult of Caesar.

The high platform on which the temple was built served as a rostra (Rostra ad divi Iuli) and, like the rostra at the opposite end of the Forum, was decorated with the beaks of ships taken at the battle of Actium.

The Temple of Caesar was the only temple to be entirely dedicated to the cult of a comet (referred to as a 'comet star') [1] The comet, appearing some time after Caesar's murder (44 BC), was considered to be the soul of the deified Julius Caesar and the symbol of the "new birth" of Augustus as a unique Roman ruler and Emperor. [3] In Greek and Roman culture, comet is an adjective describing the distinctive characteristic of a special star. "Comet star" means "long-haired star", and it was so represented on coins and monuments. Here is an excerpt of an account by Pliny, with parts of a public speech delivered by Augustus about the comet, his father Caesar, [4] and his own destiny:

The only place in the whole world where a comet is the object of worship is a temple at Rome. . His late Majesty Augustus had deemed this comet very propitious to himself as it had appeared not . long after the decease of his father Caesar. . People believed that this star signified the soul of Caesar received among the spirits of the immortal gods. [1]

The "Divine Star" was represented on coins, and probably worshiped in the temple itself either as a "comet star" or as a "simple star". The simple star had been used as a general symbol of divinity since 44 BC, as can be seen on the 44 BC coin series after the appearance of the comet, the simple star was transformed into a comet by adding a tail to one of the rays of the simple star, as is shown on the 37–34 BC, 19–18 BC and 17 BC coin series.

According to Appian [5] the place near the Regia and probably part of the main square of the Roman Forum was a second choice, because the first intention of the Roman people was to bury Caesar on the Capitoline Hill among the other Gods of Rome. However, the Roman priests prevented them from doing so (allegedly because the cremation was considered unsafe due to the many wooden structures there) and the corpse of Caesar was carried back to the Forum near the Regia, which had been the personal headquarters of Caesar as Pontifex Maximus. After a violent quarrel about the funeral pyre and the final destiny of Caesar's ashes, the Roman people, the men of Caesar's party, and the men of Caesar's family decided to build the pyre at that location. It seems that in that very place there was a tribunal praetoris sub divo with gradus known as the tribunal Aurelium, a structure built by C. Aurelius Cotta around 80 BC near the so-called Puteal Libonis, a bidental used for sacred oaths before trials. [6] After the funeral of Caesar and the building of the temple, this tribunal was then moved in front of the Temple of Caesar, probably to the location of the so-called Rostra Diocletiani.

Caesar's corpse was carried to the Roman Forum on an ivory couch and set up on the Rostra in a gilded shrine modelled on the Temple of Venus Genetrix, the goddess from whom the family of the Iulii claimed to have originated. Mark Antony delivered his famous speech followed by a public reading of Caesar's will, while a mechanical device, positioned above the bier itself, rotated a wax image of Caesar so that people were able to clearly see the 23 wounds in all parts of the body and on the face. The crowd, moved by the words of Mark Antony, Caesar's will, and the sight of the wax image, attempted but failed to carry the corpse to the Capitol to rest among the gods. In the end the corpse was placed on a funeral pile created near the Regia by making use of any wooden objects available in the Forum, such as wooden benches, and a great cremation fire lasted all the night long. It seems that an ordinary funeral had been prepared for Caesar at the Campus Martius.

An altar and a column were briefly erected at the cremation site for the cult of the murdered pontifex maximus, a sacred man, against whom it was strictly prohibited to use cutting weapons and objects. The column was of Numidian yellow stone and had the inscription Parenti Patriae, i.e., to the founder of the nation. But this first monument was almost immediately taken down and removed by the anti-Caesarian party. In 42 BC Octavian, Lepidus and Mark Antony decreed the building of a temple to Caesar.

Some time after the death of Caesar a comet appeared in the sky of Rome and remained clearly visible every day for seven days, starting one hour before sunset. This comet appeared for the first time during the ritual games in front of the Temple of Venus Genetrix, the supposed ancestor of the Julii family in the Forum of Julius Caesar, and many in Rome thought it was the soul of deified Caesar called to join the other gods. After the appearance of this sign, Augustus delivered a public speech giving an explanation of the appearance of the comet. The speech is partially known since a partial transcription by Pliny the Elder has been handed down. After the public speech Augustus caused a few series of coins devoted to the comet star and to the deified Caesar, "Divus Iulius", to be struck and widely distributed, so it is possible to have an idea of the representation of the comet star of the deified Julius Caesar.

During his public speech about the appearance of the comet, Augustus specified that he himself, the new ruler of the world, was born politically at the very time his father Julius Caesar appeared as a comet in the sky of Rome. His father was announcing the political birth of his adoptive son he was the one born under the comet and whom the appearance of the comet was announcing. Other messianic prophecies about Augustus are related by Suetonius, including the story of the massacre of the innocents conceived in order to kill the young Octavius soon after his own birth. Augustus wanted to be considered the real subject of any kind of Messianic prophecies and accounts. Later during his reign, he ordered that all other books of prophecies and Messianic accounts be gathered and destroyed. The temple therefore ended up as representing both Julius Caesar as a deified being and Augustus himself as the newborn under the comet. The comet star itself was an object of public worship.

The consecration of the temple lasted many days, during which there were reconstructions of the siege of Troy, gladiatorial games, hunting scenes, and banquets. On this occasion a hippopotamus and a rhinoceros were displayed in Rome for the first time. It seems that the doors of the Temple were left opened so that it was possible to see the statue of the deified pontifex maximus Julius Caesar from the main square of the Roman Forum. If this is true, the new interpretation about the location of the Rostra Diocletiani and Rostra ad Divi Iuli cannot be correct.

Augustus used to dedicate the spoils of war in this temple. [7] The altar and the shrine conferred the right of asylum. [8] Every four years a festival was held in front of the Rostra ad Divi Iuli in honour of Augustus. [8] The Rostra were used to deliver funeral speeches by succeeding emperors. Drusus and Tiberius delivered a double speech in the Forum Drusus read his speech from the Rostra Augusti and Tiberius read his from the Rostra ad Divi Iuli, one in front of the other. The emperor Hadrian delivered what was perhaps a funeral speech from the Rostra ad Divi Iuli in 125 AD, as can be seen on the coin series struck for the occasion.

The temple remained largely intact until the late 15th century, when its marble and stones were reused to construct new churches and palaces. Only parts of the cement core of the platform have been preserved.

The plan of this temple is missing in the Imperial Forma Urbis. The remaining fragments for this area of the Roman Forum are on slabs V-11, VII-11, VI-6 [9] and show plans of the Regia, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Fons and Lacus Iuturnae, the Basilica Iulia and the Basilica Aemilia. Vitruvius [10] wrote that the temple was an example of a pycnostyle front porch, with six closely spaced columns on the front. However, the arrangement of the columns is uncertain, as it could be either prostyle [11] or peripteral. [12]

The column order originally used for this temple is uncertain. Ancient coins with representations of the Temple of Divus Iulius suggest the columns were either Ionic or composite, but fragments of Corinthian pilastre capitals have been found on the site by archaeologists. Some scholars hypothesize that the temple had an Ionic pronaos combined with Corinthian pilasters on the cella walls, i.e., at the corners of the cella other scholars consider the temple to have been entirely Corinthian and the coin evidence as bad representations of Corinthian columns. The distinction between Corinthian and composite columns is a Renaissance one and not an Ancient Roman one. In Ancient Rome Corinthian and composite were part of the same order. It seems that the composite style was common on civil buildings and Triumphal arch exteriors and less common on temple exteriors. Many temples and religious buildings of the Augustan Age were Corinthian, such as the Temple of Mars Ultor, the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, and others. [13] [14] [15] [16]

The temple was destroyed by fire during the reign of Septimius Severus and then restored. Comparisons with coins from the times of Augustus and Hadrian suggest the possibility that the order of the temple was changed during the restoration by Septimius Severus. The entablature and the cornice found on the site have a modillions and roses structure typical of the Corinthian order.

The original position of the staircase of the podium remains uncertain. It may have been at the front and sides of the podium, [17] or at the rear and sides of the podium . [18] The position at the rear is a reconstruction model based on a hypothesized similarity between this temple and the Temple of Venus Genetrix in the Forum of Caesar. This similarity is not proved and merely based on the fact that during the public funeral and Mark Antony's speech the body of Julius Caesar was set on an ivory couch and in a gilded shrine modelled on the Temple of Venus Genetrix. The front position is based on some evidence from 19th century excavations and on an overall impression of the actual site, and on the depictions on ancient coins.

Rostra Edit

Dio Cassius reports the attachment of a rostra from the battle of Actium to the podium. The so-called Rostra ad Divi Iuli was a podium used by orators for official and civil speeches and especially for Imperial funeral orations. The podium is clearly visible on coins from the Hadrian period and in the Anaglypha Traiani, but the connection between the rostra podium and the temple structure is not evident.

Also in this case there are many different hypothetical reconstructions of the general arrangement of the buildings of this part of the Roman Forum. According to one, the Rostra podium was attached to the Temple of Divus Iulius and is actually the podium of the Temple of Divus Iulius with the rostra (the prow of a warship) attached in a frontal position. [19] According to other reconstructions, the Rostra podium was a separate platform built west of the temple of Divus Iulius and directly in front of it, so the podium of the Temple of Divus Iulius is not the platform used by the orators for their speeches and not the platform used to attach the prows of ships taken at Actium. This separate and independent podium or platform, known as Rostra ad Divi Iuli, is also called Rostra Diocletiani, due to the final arrangement of the building. [20]

Upper decoration of the frontal pediment Edit

From an analysis of ancient coins it is possible to determine two different series of decorations for the upper part of the frontal pediment of the temple. Fire tongues (their identification is uncertain) decorated the pediment, as in Etruscan decorated antefixes, similar to the decoration of the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. The fire tongues perhaps recalled the flames of the comet (star) on Augustan period coins. With a star as the main decoration of the tympanum, as can be seen on the Augustan coins, the whole temple had the function to represent the comet (star) that announced the deification of Julius Caesar and the reign of Augustus, as reported by Pliny the Elder.

A statue at the vertex of the frontal pediment and two statues at the end corners of the pediment, the classical decoration for the pediments of the Roman temples, date to Hadrian's reign.

Other Augustan era buildings with that particular type of Etruscan-style decoration appear on coins, as well as on representation of the frontal section of the Curia.

The niche and the altar Edit

The niche and the altar in front of the temple podium are also a problem of interpretation based on scarce data. They were visible in 29 BC when the temple was dedicated and when Augustus' coin series with the temple of Divus Iulius was struck from 37 BC to 34 BC. For the period after the coinage of that series there is no clear evidence. It is known that at some time the altar was removed and the niche filled in and closed with stones to create a continuous wall at the podium of the temple. According to various hypotheses this was done either in 14 BC, [21] or probably before the 4th century AD, [22] or after Constantine I or Theodosius I, due to religious concerns about the pagan cult of the emperor. [17]

Richardson and other scholars hypothesize that the filled in niche may have not been the altar of Julius Caesar, but the Puteal Libonis, the old bidental used during trials at the Tribunal Aurelium for public oaths. According to C. Hülsen the circular structure visible under the Arch of Augustus is not the Puteal Libonis, and other circular elements covered in travertine near the Temple of Caesar and the Arcus Augusti are too recent to belong to the Augustan era.

Measurements Edit

The temple measured 26.97 metres (88.5 ft) in width and 30 metres (98 ft) in length, corresponding to 91 by 102 Roman feet. The podium or platform area was at least 5.5 m high (18 Roman feet) but only 3.5 m at the front. The columns, if Corinthian, were probably 11.8 to 12.4 m high, corresponding to 40 or 42 Roman feet.

Materials Edit

    (inner parts of the building)
  • Opus caementicium (inner parts of the building) (walls of the podium and the cella) (podium revetement, columns, entablature and pediment of the temple probably marble from Luni, i.e., Carrara marble)

Decoration and position of the remains Edit

The frieze was a repetitive scroll pattern with female heads, gorgons and winged figures. The tympanum, at least during the first years, probably showed a colossal star, as can be seen on the Augustan coins.

The cornice had dentils and beam type modillions (one of the first examples ever in Roman temple architecture) and undersides decorated with narrow rectangular panels carrying flowers, roses, disks, laurel crowns and pine-cones. Remnants of the decorations, including elements of a Victory representation and floral ornaments, are visible on site or in the Forum Museum (Antiquarium Forense).

Interior Edit

Augustus used the temple to dedicate offerings of the spoils of war. It contained a colossal statue of Julius Caesar, veiled as Pontifex Maximus, with a star on his head and bearing the lituus augural staff in his right hand. When the doors of the temple were left open, it was possible to see the statue from the Roman Forum's main square. In the cella of the temple there was a famous painting by Apelles of Venus Anadyomene. During the reign of Nero Apelles' painting deteriorated and could not be restored, so the emperor substituted for it another one by Dorotheus. There is also another painting by Apelles, depicting the Dioscuri with Victoria.


Early history Edit

Cumbernauld's history stretches at least to Roman times, as Westerwood [10] was a Roman fort on the Antonine Wall, [11] the furthest and most northerly boundary of the Roman Empire. [12] Two Roman temporary camps have been discovered and digitally reconstructed east of the fort, [13] at Tollpark (now covered by Wardpark North) [14] [15] and at Garnhall, [16] [17] similar to the two at Dullatur. One of the most discussed [18] Roman finds from Cumbernauld is a sandstone slab depicting Triton and a naked, kneeling captive. It was found on a farm at Arniebog [19] (between the runway of Cumbernauld Airport and Westerwood Golf Course). [20] The slab [21] can now be viewed at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow along with an uninscribed altar from Arniebog [22] and other artefacts like the inscribed altar, and statuette found at Castlecary and an older copy of the Bridgeness Slab. [23] In addition to these, an altarstone to Silvanus and the Sky dedicated by a centurion named Verecundus and his wife [24] has been found. [25] [26] Cumbernauld also has the only Roman altar still in the open air in Scotland: the Carrick Stone. [27] [28] The stone has also been linked with Robert Bruce, being the place where he reportedly set up his standard on his way to Bannockburn. [29] There is some evidence that coffins were laid on top of the stone on their way to the cemetery in Kirkintilloch [30] and that the stone has been somewhat worn away. [31]

Cumbernauld's name probably comes from the Gaelic comar nan allt, meaning "meeting of the burns or streams". There are differing views as to the etymology [32] of this. One theory is that from its high point in the Central Belt, its streams flow both west to the River Clyde and east to the Firth of Forth so Cumbernauld's name is about it being on a watershed. Another theory ascribes the name to the meeting point of the Red Burn and Bog Stank streams within Cumbernauld Glen. 'Cumbernauld' is generally considered to be a Gaelic name. However, early forms containing Cumyr- hint at a Cumbric predecessor derived from *cömber, 'confluence' (c.f Welsh cymer, 'confluence'), [33] synonymous with Aber. This seems to be suffixed with Cumbric *-ïn-alt, a topographical suffix perhaps referring to a hill or slope (Welsh yn allt, 'at a hill').

There is a record of the charter of the lands of Lenzie and Cumbernauld, granted to William Comyn by Alexander II in 1216. [36] Cumbernauld Castle was first built as a Norman-style motte and bailey castle. Owned by the Comyns, it was situated at the east end of the park, where the motte (mound) is still visible. [37] The Flemings took possession of Cumbernauld Castle and its estate (c. 1306) after Robert the Bruce murdered the Red Comyn. Robert Fleming was a staunch supporter of Bruce, and one of his companions that day. [38] To provide proof that Comyn was dead, Fleming cut off his head in order to "let the deed shaw", a Fleming family motto ever since. [39] On 1 October 1310 Robert the Bruce wrote to Edward II of England from Kildrum [40] trying, unsuccessfully, to establish peace between Scotland and England. [41] Abercromby describes Malcolm Fleming as returning home to Inverbervie with the formerly exiled 21-year-old King David II. [42] Around 1371, the family built a second castle where the Cumbernauld House now stands. [43] One castle wall exists but most of the stonework was recycled for the House or other buildings. King Robert III knighted Malcolm and granted Sir Malcolm Fleming and his heirs the charter to Cumbernauld Castle on 2 April 1406, just two days before the king's death. [44] Malcolm (and his heir [45] in 1427 [46] ) were used as hostages to ransom James I back from the English. He also seems to have been arrested by James and imprisoned briefly in Dalkeith Castle. [47] In 1440, this Malcolm Fleming attended the Black Dinner along with his 16-year-old friend Earl William Douglas and his 11-year-old brother David Douglas at Edinburgh Castle. [48] Immediately after the dinner, at which a black bull's head was served, there was a trial on trumped-up charges and the brothers were beheaded in front of the 10-year-old King James II. Malcolm shared their fate three days later. [49] Malcolm was succeeded by his son Robert. [50]

The castle played host to the royalty of Scotland. James IV (1473–1513) wooed Margaret Drummond at Cumbernauld Castle, where Margaret's sister was married to Lord Fleming. The Drummond sisters lie buried in Dunblane Cathedral following their poisoning, possibly by a government determined to marry an unwilling King James to the sister of Henry VIII of England, Margaret Tudor. The murders made James IV a frequent visitor to Cumbernauld, Margaret Tudor accompanying him on one occasion. It is recorded that during this James' reign in 1500, the Black Death led to a special plea from the surviving people of Cumbernauld to the church authorities in Glasgow to allow them to establish their own cemetery rather than taking all their dead to St. Ninian's in Kirkintilloch. [51] They were granted permission to do so, and used the ground at the existing Comyns' chapel which dates from the end of the 12th century.

Post Reformation history Edit

James V is recorded as staying for a couple of days at the castle around 14 December 1529. [52] In November 1542, Malcolm Fleming, Lord Chamberlain of Scotland to King James V, was taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Solway Moss, but released at a ransom of 1,000 marks, paid on 1 July 1548. Mary, Queen of Scots visited the castle and reportedly planted a sweet chestnut tree in the grounds in 1561 [53] she's also said to have planted a yew tree at Castlecary Castle, only a mile or two away, which still grows there. The whole great hall collapsed while the queen was staying at Commernalde on 26 January 1562, and 7 or 8 men were killed. Most of the queen's party were out hunting. [54] Mary was not hurt and visited the relatives of those who were injured or killed in the village below. [55] Royalty often visited the town to hunt the rare Scottish ox, [56] or white cattle, which roamed in the woods around Cumbernauld. These woods were a surviving fragment of the ancient Caledonian Forest, in which the oxen abounded at least till 1571 and probably until the building of the new house. Many of these were deliberately killed by Regent Lennox's men and a plaintiff complains: "And amonges others greite enormyties perpetrated be th' erles men of werre they have slayne and destroyed the dere in John Fleming's forest of Cummernald and the quhit ky and bullis, to the gryt destructione of polecie and hinder of the commonweil. For that kynd of ky and bullis hes bein keipit this money yeiris in the said forest and the like was not mentenit in ony uther partis of the Ile of Albion as is well knowen." [57] "(In English, And amongst others, great enormities perpetrated by the Earl's soldiers, they have slain and destroyed the deer [58] in John Fleming's forest of Cumbernauld and the white cows and bulls, to the great destruction of the park of the estate [59] and hindering of the common good. For those kind of cows and bulls have been kept these many years in the said forest and their like was not maintained in any other parts of the British Isles as is well known.") [60] [61]

John Livingstone stayed often at Cumbernauld between 1632-1634. He was staying there during the Shotts Revival on Monday 21 June 1630 when he preached and 500 people in one day had "a discernible change wrought upon them." [62] In 1640, eighteen Scottish noblemen met at Cumbernauld to sign the Cumbernauld Bond to oppose the policies of the Earl of Argyll who controlled the dominant political faction in Scotland. [63] Cumbernauld may have been created a Burgh of barony in 1649, [64] although there is some dispute from Hugo Millar. The Earl of Wigton was ordered to garrison the castle in 1650. [65] Cumbernauld Castle was besieged and largely destroyed by Cromwell's General Monck in 1651. [66] Irvine records that the old castle was burned to the ground by "a party of Highlanders during the rebellion of 1715." [67]

Cumbernauld House, which still survives, was designed by William Adam and built in 1731 near the older castle. In 1746, the retreating Jacobite army was billeted for a night [68] in Cumbernauld village. Rather than stay in Cumbernauld House, the commander, Lord George Murray, slept in the village's Black Bull Inn, where he could enforce closer discipline on his soldiers. After the new house was built, the castle was converted to stables, but was accidentally burnt down by dragoons posted there in 1746. The House's grounds, located in the Glen, are used today as a park, known as Cumbernauld Park.

Post-Industrial Revolution Edit

Workers laboured on about 40–50 farms and details from 1839 have been recorded for both arable and livestock farming. Some of them were said to make a "very considerable income" for their owners. [70] Weaving was an important part of the town's industry particularly during the Industrial Revolution. Irvine records that in 1841 a fifth of the whole population of 4501 people worked on about 600 hand looms. [71] Cotton weaving was not a lucrative profession in fact cottage workers struggled to make ends meet especially when competing with ongoing industrialisation. [72] In October 1878, this was compounded by the failure of the Bank of Glasgow in which much of the village's money was invested. [73] Many lowland workers migrated and Groome's Gazetteer 1896 records a dwindling population and states "Handloom weaving of checks and other striped fabrics is still carried on, but mining and quarrying are the staple industry." [74] There tended to be plenty of work but even for skilled labourers like the nearby Calton weavers, times were very hard.

The mining and quarrying industries flourished after the completion of the Forth and Clyde Canal in 1790. Quarrying of limestone, coal [75] and clay took place in Cumbernauld, for example at Glencryan, where adits to the old fireclay mines are still clearly visible. [76] Groome's Gazetteer (1882–86) states: "A colliery is at Netherwood [just north of the airport [77] [78] [79] ] ironstone has been mined to a small extent by the Carron Company [at Westerwood farm [80] ] and limestone, brick-clay, sandstone, and trap are all of them largely worked, the sandstone for building, the trap for road-metal, paving, and rough masonry." The mine at Netherwood was hand-pumped, although other mines in Cumbernauld had machine pumps to clear them of water. [81] There was a fire clay works at Cumbernauld owned by the Glenboig Union Fireclay Company Limited. [82] Cumbernauld railway station was built by the Caledonian Railway and opened in August 1848 on their line from Gartsherrie (on the former Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway) to Greenhill on the Scottish Central Railway. It closed within a year but re-opened in the 1870s.

Parish records give a snapshot of heads of family's occupations in 1835 and 1839 including several bakers, servants, shoemakers and wrights. [83] The Ordnance Survey Name Books of 1860 provide land-use information from around the same period. [84]

Cumbernauld was long a staging-post for changing horses between Glasgow and Edinburgh and there were several inns and a smiddy as well as half a dozen coaches a day to various towns. [85] Old maps like the 1899 O.S. map show other employment like a gas works and a stocking factory in The Village [86] and a corn mill [87] at Lenziemill close to the old brick and pipe works. [88] [89] Three schools were run but the teachers were not always paid by the heritors. There were several church ministers and the Established church paid, out of collections, about 25 poor people a week who couldn't support themselves. [90] Groome also records clerical work as there was a post office, two banks (held two days a week in a room in the inn [84] ) and a library with a newsroom. [91]

Towards the end of the 1890s, Jane Lindsay (also called Luggie Jean on account of having three ears according to Millar) was murdered in a pool of water [92] on the edge of Fannyside Moor. The forensic experts, professors at Glasgow and Edinburgh, appeared as witnesses on opposing sides and a not proven verdict was returned. [93]

Historically Cumbernauld has variously been in several administrative jurisdictions [94] including Stirlingshire, Dunbartonshire (sometimes spelled Dumbartonshire [95] ), and the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District of Strathclyde region. Since 1995 it has been part of North Lanarkshire. The arms of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Council featured the white cattle and the Vulcan sounding motto of "Daur and Prosper" boldly asserting Dare and Prosper. [96] However the open Bible and the miner's lamp were the only symbols which were carried on to the North Lanarkshire coat of arms. [97]

New Town history Edit

Cumbernauld was designated a New Town [98] on 9 December 1955. This being in the post-war era there are abundant film, photographic and paper records [99] of this which are now being digitised. There was an inaugural ceremony on 28 June 1957 with Viscount Muirshiel, Secretary of State for Scotland of which some silent, colour footage survives. See the On film and TV section for link to this and other footage from this period.

After the Second World War, Glasgow was suffering from a chronic shortage of housing and those that did survive the German bombing, were often of poor quality and had residents living in unsafe conditions particularly in areas such as the Gorbals. As a direct result, the Clyde Valley Regional Plan 1946 allocated sites where satellite new towns were to be built to alleviate the problem through an overspill agreement. [100] Glasgow would also undertake the development of its peripheral housing estates. Cumbernauld was designated as a New Town in 1955, the third to be designated in Scotland. The others were East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Livingston and Irvine (Cowling 1997).

The development, promotion and management was undertaken, until 1996, by the Cumbernauld Development Corporation (CDC). This was a quango appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland (Cowling 1997). The area allocated was 4,150 acres (1,680 ha) lying between and incorporating the existing villages of Condorrat and Cumbernauld. The first new housing became available in 1958. An additional 3,638 acres (1,472 ha) was added to the designated town area on 19 March 1973 to accommodate a revised [101] target population of 70,000.

Cumbernauld is the clearest example of a modernist new town vision in the UK. [102] Housing was originally built in a series of satellite neighbourhoods clustered around the hilltop town centre. Separation of people and cars was a major element of the first town master plan, and this was carried through for much of the development of the town. Cumbernauld pioneered designs for underpasses [103] and pedestrian footbridges as well as segregated footpaths. This seemed strange to many settlers arriving from Glasgow, and the town's nickname of Noddy Land [104] [105] (Glaswegian sometimes Noddytown [106] [107] ) was coined. Early neighbourhoods were designed by the CDC and were constructed at Ravenswood, Muirhead, Seafar and Kildrum, north of the Town Centre and Carbrain to the south. [108] Other neighbourhoods were later developed at the Village, Greenfaulds, Condorrat, and Abronhill. Much of the housing in these areas won awards for their innovative designs.

Cumbernauld town centre's lead designer was Geoffrey Copcutt. Phase 1 was opened by Princess Margaret in 1967, of which some footage survives.

When originally designated as a New Town, the target population was 50,000. In 1961, only five years after becoming a new town, the area to the north of the A80 was added to the town's area with new planned neighbourhoods at Westfield, Balloch, Westerwood and Carrickstone. As a result, a revised target population of 70,000 was set. [109] However, the 2011 UK Census still only shows about 52,000 residents.

When Raymond Gillies, a local businessman, gifted Cumbernauld the St. Enoch's station clock, in 1977, the Queen was celebrating her Silver Jubilee. To mark the occasion, the Queen started the clock using the pendulum motion and unveiled a commemorative plaque at Cumbernauld Town Centre, at the staircase joining the upper mall area with the old Woolco store. The clock is featured in Gregory's Girl and is now in the Antonine Centre.

After the creation of the new town, diverse industries such as high-tech, electronics, and chemical and food processing became large employers, along with the Inland Revenue (now Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs). The main industrial estates were developed to the east and west along the A80 at Wardpark and Westfield. Areas at Blairlinn and Lenziemill to the south of the town have also been developed for industry.

The Cumbernauld Development Corporation (C.D.C.) disbanded in 1996. [110]

Modern times Edit

The Modern era for the town can be dated from the disbanding of the C.D.C. in 1996. Since then, the outlook has changed dramatically [111] and the New Town has won a number of very unflattering awards including Urban Realm's "Plook on a Plinth" in both 2001, and 2005. [112] In December 2005, the entire Town Centre won a public nomination for demolition in the Channel 4 series Demolition, where it was voted "the worst building in Britain". [113] As a result of this, it was featured on the BBC Radio 2 comedy programme It's Been a Bad Week, where it won the show's fictional "Worst Week of the Week Award, Awarded Weekly, on a Week-By-Week Basis" in 2003.

The intended core of Cumbernauld remains the Town Centre buildings, all of which is essentially contained within one structure, segmented into "phases", the first of which was completed in 1967, the latest of which began construction in May 2003 for completion around September 2004. [ citation needed ] Initially the basic groundwork for the new shops began in 1997 and were finally completed in summer 2007. Designed to be a commerce centre, an entertainment and business venue and a luxury accommodation site, it was widely accepted as Britain's first shopping centre and was the world's first multi-level covered town centre. [102] However, the town never developed to its planned size, and the town centre has never had the life envisaged by town planners. Wealthy occupiers for the penthouses situated within the "Alien's Head" (locals' acerbic moniker for the top section of the building [114] [115] ) never materialised. Further expansion has been primarily to provide further space for shops. A substantial portion of the original Shopping Centre was demolished due to structural damage and has been redeveloped as a new shopping and leisure complex. [116]

As well as the unfulfilled ambitions for the town, the passage of time has exposed serious defects in post-war concepts of centrally-planned retail and civic centres developed in the absence of proper community consultation or sensitivity to local environmental and economic conditions. This has been reflected in a country-wide backlash against brutalist architecture in general. [ citation needed ] Cumbernauld's Town Centre is widely regarded as one of the ugliest [117] and least-loved [118] examples of post-war design in Scotland. [ citation needed ] The confusing layout is an abiding source of frustration for both visitors and residents, many of whom are the descendants of skilled workers who aspired to escape the frequently appalling social and housing conditions of the Glasgow conurbation in the 1960s and 1970s.

Despite its bad press, from a purely aesthetic standpoint Cumbernauld is regarded as representing a significant moment in town design, and in 1993 it was listed as one of the sixty key monuments of post-war architecture by the international conservation organisation DoCoMoMo.

The residential structure of Cumbernauld is noteworthy in that there were no pedestrian crossings, i.e. zebra or pelican crossings – pedestrians originally traversed roads by bridge or underpass. These underpasses could collect litter, sometimes smelled like public toilets, or were used by local youths trying to keep out of the rain. These are not issues the original planners anticipated, but mean that pedestrians sometimes choose to avoid them, especially at night or if they feel vulnerable. Some efforts have been taken to redress some of these matters but the problem is ongoing. [119]

Some well-known companies use Cumbernauld as a base including Mackintosh, [120] and Farmfoods [121] [122] who operate in Blairlinn. Cumbernauld in the last few years has seen a surge of business activity with the OKI UK headquarters moving across town to Westfield close to Yaskawa Electronics. [123] Irn-bru makers A.G. Barr also has its world headquarters in the Westfield part of the town. [124] The old Isola-Werke factory in the Wardpark area has been converted into film studios and production facilities for the TV series Outlander which frequently films within the town's greenspaces. In particular, the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Cumbernauld Glen reserve, has been used as a backdrop whose ancient oak forest remnant provides a convenient stand-in for 18th Century Highlands' scenes. In May 2016, North Lanarkshire Council agreed to the expansion the Wardpark site if funding could be found. Another industrial estate Lenziemill is home to Dow Waste Management [125] and furniture maker Aquapac amongst others. [126]

Cumbernauld consists of more than 50% green space, [127] and was designed to incorporate green spaces as a resource for the community.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust owns four wildlife reserves in the town – Cumbernauld Glen, [128] Luggiebank Wood, [129] Forest Wood, [130] and Northside Wood. [131] These habitats include ancient Oak forest (with attendant bluebell displays in early summer) and large areas of Scots Pine coverage.

Cumbernauld (like Ben Lomond) lies on the Scottish watershed, the drainage divide which separates river systems that flow to the east from those that flow to the west. There are two main waterways which flow out of Cumbernauld: the Red Burn (from which the town's Gaelic name is derived) and the Luggie Water (immortalised by David Gray). The Red Burn [132] flows through the Glen and there are walkways alongside this and the Bog Stank.

There is also a footpath along the Glencryan Burn with miles of pathways up towards Pallacerigg and Fannyside Lochs.

Fannyside Muir, to the south of the town, is part of the Slamannan plateau, an area of 183 hectares of lowland bog. This habitat is being restored by a variety of organisations including the national insect charity Buglife. The plateau is designated as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and an SPA (Special Protection Area), partly because of its nationally important population of Taiga Bean Geese (Anser fabialis fabialis).

There are a large number of parks, and there are also LNRs (Local Nature Reserves) and SINCs (Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation) owned and managed by North Lanarkshire Council. For example St. Maurice's Pond [133] as a SINC and Ravenswood [134] has a LNR. In 1993 Broadwood Loch, a balancing lake, was created by damming the Moss Water and using a plastic waterproof membrane, and a 6-metre (20 ft) wall to hold back the water. [135] This was primarily to prevent flooding downstream but also for recreation.

A landscape scale conservation partnership led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Cumbernauld Living Landscape (CLL), operates in the town with the aim of enhancing, connecting and restoring the greenspaces and improving people's perceptions of and access to them. [136]

In 2014, the CLL obtained camera trap footage of Pine martens living in the woods within Cumbernauld and the return of this species (formerly extinct across the Central belt of Scotland) has become a central plank of the organisation's strategy to improve perceptions of nature in the town.

In 1967 the Institute of American Architects voted Cumbernauld the world's best new town conferring the Reynold's Memorial Award. [137] Cumbernauld is a two-time winner of the Carbuncle Awards in 2001 and 2005. [138] The town has since received the award of 'Best Town' at the Scottish Design Awards 2012. [138] The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) awarded the town a certificate in March 2014 for its success as a New Town. In 2015 the Town Centre was awarded the Green Apple Environmental Award. [139] Cumbernauld won the 2013 Beautiful Scotland Award for the best "Small City". [140] It has also received silver medals each year since 2009, [141] the most recent being in 2017. [142] In 2017 Cumbernauld was also awarded the Garden for Life Biodiversity Award. [143]

Cumbernauld hosts Clyde F.C, who play football in the Scottish League One and reside at Broadwood Stadium, which has been their home since they relocated from their traditional base of Glasgow in February 1994. Their prior interim use of other football grounds has led Clyde fans to be known as the "Gypsy Army".

In 2012, Broadwood Stadium's grass pitch was replaced by a new artificial FIFA standard 3G surface in a partnership between fellow tenants and Lowland League club Cumbernauld Colts, North Lanarkshire Leisure and the local council. Cumbernauld is home to Junior football side Cumbernauld United who play at Guy's Meadow. Five-a-side can be played at the Tryst or Broadwood who also have seven-a-side and full size pitches. Pitches are bookable at Ravenswood and Oak Road too. Broadwood also has a BMX track [144] and spin classes for cycling.

The town's rugby team, Cumbernauld RFC, were formed in 1970 and grew to have 3 senior men's teams and several junior teams. [145] The club and council agreed in the late 1970s to develop the Auchenkilns area in South Condorrat. The multi-sports facility opened in 1979 and is now shared with Kildrum United FC. They play in West regional league 2, the 5th tier of club rugby. [146]

The Cumbernauld Gymnastics Club moved into its base at Broadwood Gymnastics Academy in the early 1990s it, a purpose built building at the same site as Broadwood Stadium. They also have tennis and short tennis at Broodwood. Dance classes are held at a number of location including Cumbernauld Theatre which also has drama classes and programmes.

The Cumbernauld Handball Team, Tryst 77, [147] which in 2007 came second in the British Handball Championships. The Tryst houses the Cumbernauld swimming team, the Tryst Lions wrestling club and squash and badminton courts as well as gyms. Martial arts are practised in The Link, the Tryst and at Broodwood. Raw Taekwondo also have a centre at Westfield Industrial Estate. [148]

The Palacerigg Field Archers, that meets for practice at the Tryst Sports Centre and has an archery course at the nearby Palacerigg Country Park where competitions are held. Palacerigg also has one of the town's three golf courses the other two are Dullatur Golf Club, and Westerwood, which was designed by Seve Ballesteros and Dave Thomas.

Snooker is played at the Red Triangle. Bowling is played in the Village, Abronhill, Ravenswood and in Condorrat. A small attraction World of Wings near Blairlinn houses a collection of birds of prey, offering flying displays and conservation activities. [149]

In terms of public transport, Cumbernauld has bus links [150] to Glasgow, including the airport, [151] Stirling, Falkirk, Dunfermline and St Andrews, which are operated by FirstGroup and Stagecoach. Various parts of the town are linked by local bus services, operated by smaller companies such as Canavan Travel and Dunn's Coaches. Rail services to and from the town are provided by Abellio ScotRail.

The town has rail links to Glasgow, Falkirk, Motherwell and Edinburgh via Cumbernauld railway station. There is also a station at Greenfaulds. Croy railway station to the north of the town has rail links to Edinburgh, Alloa, Dunblane and Glasgow. A fully electric service to Falkirk Grahamston is proposed using the Cumbernauld Line. [ citation needed ] Other working lines include the Argyle Line and the North Clyde Line.

Nearby motorway links include the M8, M73, M74, M80, M876 and M9. A local campaign was recently initiated to protest at the proposed extension of the M80 within the town limits. The A80 was recently upgraded to the M80.

Cumbernauld Airport (EGPG) is primarily used for the training of fixed wing and rotary wing pilots, it also has an aircraft maintenance facility. The airport has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee, Cormack Aircraft Services Limited. The airport was opened by the Cumbernauld Development Corpororation in the late 1980s. Before the airport was constructed there was a grass strip in use on the same site.

The local Cumbernauld newspaper is the Cumbernauld News. Revival FM is a Christian based community radio station in Scotland, operating under a Community Radio Licence.

Cumbernauld FM is a community station broadcasting to the town of Cumbernauld and surrounding areas on 106.8 FM* and online.

Cumbernauld Theatre, which grew out of the community run Cottage Theatre (EST. 1963), was set up in 1978 as a charitable trust run civic theatre. Over the years it has built up a favourable reputation on the Scottish arts scene, for both its in-house productions and community outreach initiatives. In 2019 the company won a Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Cumbernauld has 11 council members out of 69 North Lanarkshire Councillors. [152]

Stuart McDonald is the area's elected MP for the UK Parliament constituency. He is a member of the Scottish National Party. [154] As he said in his maiden speech he has sometimes been mistaken for his namesake who is also an SNP MP. [155] [156]

Until the UK's withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, there were also 6 MEPs for Scotland (European Parliament constituency) from four different parties.

Historical Edit

The New Statistical Accounts of Scotland (April 1839) described 3 schools: Cumbernauld Village 80–90 pupils, Condorat [sic] 60–70 pupils, Garbethill [East Fannyside] 20 pupils. It records "few people between 6 and 15 are unable to read the Bible". [157] Groome's Gazetteer (1896) has "Three public schools – Cumbernauld, Condorrat, and Arns [near today's Abronhill] – and Drumglass Church school, with respective accommodation for 350, 229, 50, and 195 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 225,98,30, and 171." [158] With the coming of the railway a new school was built after some controversy. [159] Opening in 1886, it was known as the Southern District School and was close to the railway station. [160]

Historical New Town primary schools include: Cumbernauld Primary (village), Glenhead Primary, Hillcrest Primary (Carbrain Temporary School), Langlands Primary, Melrose Primary, Muirhead Primary, Sacred Heart Primary, Seafar Primary, and St Joseph's. Historical New Town secondary schools include: Abronhill High (Closed as of July 2014) and Cumbernauld High (became Cumbernauld Academy).

Primary schools Edit

  • Abronhill Primary
  • Baird Memorial Primary
  • Carbrain Primary
  • Condorrat Primary
  • Cumbernauld Primary
  • Eastfield Primary
  • Kildrum Primary
  • Ravenswood Primary
  • St. Andrew's Primary
  • St. Helen's Primary
  • St. Lucy's Primary
  • St. Margaret of Scotland Primary
  • St. Mary's Primary
  • Westfield Primary
  • Whitelees Primary
  • Woodlands Primary [161]

Secondary schools Edit

    with new school building which opened in 2019, old building has since been demolished. with new school building which opened in September 2016, old building has since been demolished. [162][163][164]

Special-needs schools Edit

Further education Edit

This parish was disjoined from Kirkintilloch by the Commissioners for the Plantation of Kirks in 1649, and was then called Easter Leinyie or Lenzie. Its church was built in 1659, and the name of Cumbernauld was then given to the parish. In 1725 the barony of Castlecary was taken from the parish of Falkirk and added to Cumbernauld. [167] Historically Groome's Gazetteer stated "pre-Reformation chapels are thought to have existed at Achenbee, Achenkill, Chapelton, Kildrum, Kilmuir, and Croy." In 1737 some left the Church of Scotland to form a Secession Church. [168] It split over the Burgher Oath. [169]

There are currently about 17 churches in the town. These include:

Church of Scotland [170] Edit

  • Abronhill Parish
  • Condorrat Parish
  • Cumbernauld Old – The historical Groome's Gazetteer has "The parish church here is an old building, containing 660 sittings."
  • Kildrum Parish
  • St Mungo's

Roman Catholic Edit

Other churches Edit

  • Apostolic Church [171]
  • Carbrain Baptist Church
  • Cornerstone Christian Fellowship [172]
  • Craigalbert Church
  • Cumbernauld Free Church[173] – Historically Groome's Gazetteer states "the Free church dates from 1826, having belonged to the Original Secession, but has been lately almost rebuilt and there is also a new United Presbyterian church." [174]
  • Freedom City Church [175]
  • Holy Name Episcopal Church [176]
  • Mossknowe Gospel Hall [177][178]
  • Jehovah's Witnesses on Abbotsford Place
Historic population of Cumbernauld
Year Population
1755 2,303
1791 1,600
1801 1,795 [179]
1811 2,176
1821 2,864
1831 3,080 [180]
1841 4,501
1851 3,778
1861 3,513
1871 3,602 [181]
1891 4283 [182]
1901 4,905 [183]
1911 5,120 [184]
1956 3,000 [185]
1961 4,065

Film Edit

  1. Cumbernauld (1957) colour 2 mins. Cutting turf silent – inaugural ceremony on 28 June 1957 with Viscount Muirshiel, Secretary of State for Scotland. [186]
  2. Building New Houses at Cumbernauld. (1959) colour 6 mins possibly Braehead Rd. Kildrum or Fleming Rd. Seafar? [187]
  3. Glasgow (1963) colour 20 mins Douglas Gray Includes very brief footage of East Kilbride and Cumbernauld[188] (1964) colour 9 mins clip From 6m55 in the YouTube clip[189]
  4. British Movietone News (1965) B&W 2 min Roundabout International journalists visit Cumbernauld. [190]
  5. The Design of Space (1966) Dir: Don C. Chipperfield (minutes 1–3) [191] with incredible pronunciation of Cumbernauld.
  6. Pathe News (1967) B&W 1 min Princess Margaret in Cumbernauld to open Phase 1[192]
  7. New Towns (1969) 22 mins colour. A study of the new towns of East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Cumbernauld and Livingston.[193]
  8. Cumbernauld, Town For Tomorrow (1970) 25 mins colour. Director Robin Crichton. Narrated by Magnus Magnusson[194]
  9. Marshall-Orr (1975) 17 mins colour silent Has some footage of the Town Centre and railway station. [195]
  10. Cumbernauld HIT (1977) 44 mins colour. A James-Bond type fiction film about an evil woman's plans to 'hi-jack' the New Town of Cumbernauld with a bio-weapon dir: Murray Grigor, Sponsor: CDC. [196] Has some chase sequences round the old Town Centre.
  11. Gregory's Girl Bill Forsyth's 1981 film set in Abronhill High and around the town. The name of the town in the film was Climackston New Town (sic) and it was signed as being 20 miles from Glasgow, 25 miles from Edinburgh and 9000 miles from Caracus. [197]
  12. Spaniards in Cumbernauld (2016) – A 13-minute documentary in English made for an HND project. [198]
  13. Night-time Window on Wildlife (2017) 4 mins – Cumbernauld Living Landscape's footage with volunteers' help. [199]
  14. Beats (2019) Brian Welsh's film set in 1994 about two Scottish friends who head out for a final night of partying before they go their separate ways.

TV Edit

  1. STV Town Planning – The New Town of Cumbernauld (1966) Geoff Rimmer [200]
  2. STV – Gallimaufrey (c. 1970) 3 mins colour – A Cumbernauld Poem – A vision of a new town [201]
  3. STV – Cumbernauld (c. 1973) 3 mins colour, silent – A look at Cumbernauld whilst much of the area is still under construction [202]
  4. It's a Knockout (1981) BBC 45 mins Dunfermline vs Cumbernauld vs Glenrothes (can be found with video search). [203]
  5. STV's The Riverside Show had a 12-minute piece by Lizzie Clark on 28 August 2014 including interviews with Councillor Tom Johnston and Outlander producer David Brown. [204]
  6. STV had a short piece about the positives of the town: Reasons Cumbernauld is possibly the best place in Scotland. [205]
  7. Happy Birthday to the Town for Tomorrow! (May 2017) 3 mins – Short BBC compilation for 50th includes Dudley Leaker. [206]
  8. A look back at the town of Cumbernauld (December 2017) 4 mins – Sixty years on from Cumbernauld's inauguration as a new town, BBC Rewind visits to see how it has changed and hear the memories of some of the first residents. [207]

Wardpark Studios Edit

The Outlander TV series used Wardpark Studios as its base for sets. Several scenes from the TV series were shot in local woodland. In May 2016 approval was given to expand the site from 30,000 sq ft to 78,000 sq ft. [208] Marvel's Infinity War is being filmed at locations in Scotland and the Wardpark Studios are being used for CGI. [209]

Many of Cumbernauld's residential areas retain the names of previous farms in their vicinity. [210]

Building the Wall

It took no notice of earlier native settlements, and cut through pre-existing tribal boundaries.

Unlike its stone-built southern neighbour, Hadrian’s Wall, the rampart of the Antonine Wall was constructed mostly out of layers of turf and reached a height of 3 m. Not just a wall, the defences also included a huge ditch, nearly 5 m deep in places, which ran to the north of the Wall and an outer mound constructed from the earth thrown out of the ditch. Seventeen forts plus additional ‘fortlets’ accommodated the 6,000-7,000 men stationed along the Wall. The military way, a service road built to the south of the Wall was another important element, enabling troops to move swiftly along its course, bearing supplies, commands and news.

The Wall was entirely built by members of the three Roman legions stationed in Scotland, a labour force of around 7,000 men. During construction, the soldiers lived in leather tents or wooden huts situated inside temporary camps which were enclosed by light defences.

Leather tent fragment. © Hunterian Museum

The surveyors, engineers, masons, joiners and labourers within their ranks marked out the route, built foundations, shaped stones, cut and lifted turfs, gathered timber – and triumphantly recorded their completion of each section of the Wall with commemorative distance slabs.

The Bridgeness Distance Slab, Bo’ness

For obvious reasons, most of the the Roman distance slabs which have been discovered along the line of the Antonine Wall in central Scotland are now held in museums. In 2012, however, a replica of what is arguably the most impressive slab was erected near to the spot where the original was discovered in 1868.

The replica of the Bridgeness distance slab, Bo’ness

This replica slab, created using cutting-edge laser scanning technology, can now be found on Harbour Road, Bo’ness. Although the exact position of the eastern end of the Antonine Wall has yet to be discovered, a site not far from this spot seems likely. And of course, if you would also like to see the original second-century Roman sculpted stone, and marvel at its beautiful depictions of a victorious Roman cavalryman and a subsequent religious ritual, you will find it not far away at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland. A fascinating short film about the discovery and recreation of the panel can be viewed here.

Archeologists discover temple that sheds light on 'Dark Age'

The discovery of a remarkably well-preserved monumental temple in Turkey — thought to be constructed during the time of King Solomon in the 10th/9th-centuries BC -- sheds light on the so-called Dark Age.

Uncovered by the University of Toronto's Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) in the summer of 2008, the discovery casts doubt upon the traditional view that the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive.

Ancient sources — such as the Homeric epics and the Hebrew Bible — depict an era of widespread famine, ethnic conflict and population movement, most famously including the migrations of the Sea Peoples (or biblical Philistines) and the Israelites. This is thought to have precipitated a prolonged Dark Age marked by cultural decline and ethnic strife during the early centuries of the Iron Age. But recent discoveries — including the Tayinat excavations — have revealed that some ruling dynasties survived the collapse of the great Bronze Age powers.

"Our ongoing excavations have not only begun to uncover extensive remains from this Dark Age, but the emerging archaeological picture suggests that during this period Tayinat was the capital of a powerful kingdom, the 'Land of Palastin'," says Timothy Harrison, professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Toronto and the director of the project. "Intriguingly, the early Iron Age settlement at Tayinat shows evidence of strong cultural connections, if not the direct presence of foreign settlers, from the Aegean world, the traditional homeland of the Sea Peoples."

Excavations uncovered the temple's southern approach, which once faced a broad stone-paved courtyard, and consisted of a monumental staircase and porticoed-entrance, supported by a large, ornately carved basalt column base.

In addition, fragments of monumental stelae — stone slabs created for religious or other commemorative purposes — carved in Luwian (an extinct language once spoken in what is now Turkey) hieroglyphic script, were found. They are thought to have once stood on stone platforms in the courtyard.

"The building's central room was burned in an intense fire. It was filled with heavily charred brick and wood, as well as a substantial quantity of bronze metal, including riveted pieces and carved ivory fragments — clearly the remains of furniture or wall fixings. Fragments of gold and silver foil were also found along with the carved eye inlay from a human figure," added Harrison.

The temple's inner sanctuary — also know as its 'holy of holies' — will be the focus of the 2009 field season which begins on July 1.

A piece of the Parthenon in Washington, DC

In 2013, I spent a happy week at the Center for Hellenic Studies, where I did research on the ways in which Americans read the Odyssey in the 19th century. This was related to a book project I was beginning (now forthcoming), which investigated a long journey by Abraham Lincoln in 1861, to become the leader of a divided country that had forgotten its founding principles. In my research, I was attuned to the myriad ways in which Americans remembered ancient Greece, including their tendency to misremember it, or confuse it with other civilizations. The Washington Monument offers just one of many examples—as originally conceived, it was projected to include a 500-foot Egyptian obelisk, mounted atop a circular Greek temple, with a statue of George Washington in a Roman toga, seated in a Greek chariot, drawn by Arabian steeds, with an Etruscan winged victory nearby. In the end, only the obelisk was built.

But an interesting fragment of Greece survived the design process. At the time of the first phase of construction, in the 1840s and 1850s, an appeal was sent out to donate memorial stones. Many states, cities and fraternal associations answered the call, and a smaller number of foreign countries did as well. Greece was one of them. In 1854, an American missionary (and acting US consul in Athens), Jonas King, succeeded in persuading the Greek government to send a 30-by-45-inch slab of marble from the Parthenon to the construction site in Washington. The so-called Parthenon Stone now rests at the 190-foot level, in a stairwell (where it is off-limits to visitors). It is inscribed in Greek, with a few suitable phrases expressing the admiration of Greece, “the mother of ancient liberty,” for George Washington and the new order of liberty he launched.

In other ways, as well, an older past is present inside that darkened stairwell. Stones were sent from the Temple of Aesculapius on the island of Paros, from the Governor of Paros and Naxos, and from the ruins of Carthage. Thirteen of the stones were inscribed in Latin, and two in Greek (the Parthenon Stone and a stone sent by the Ohio Sons of Temperance, quoting Pindar, “water is best”). From Constantinople, the Ottoman Sultan Abdulmejid sent an extraordinary stone, elaborately carved and inscribed by Turkish artisans.

But another gift from the ancient world fared less well. Pope Piux IX sent a marble slab from the Roman Temple of Concord. But in 1854, masked men broke into the construction site, stole the stone, and dumped it in the Potomac River, where it remains to this day. Despite the reverence most Americans felt for the ancient world, these men, linked to the Know-Nothing movement, were angry that Washington’s shrine might be tainted by a foreign gift (and from the Pope, in particular). But the Parthenon Stone managed to evade the political crosscurrents of the 1850s, and to this day it rests serenely inside the dark stairwell, a genuine piece of the ancient world in a city mostly known for its imitation knockoffs.

Ted Widmer is Distinguished Lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York. His next book, Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington, will be published by Simon and Schuster in April.

Building the Wall

It took no notice of earlier native settlements, and cut through pre-existing tribal boundaries.

Unlike its stone-built southern neighbour, Hadrian’s Wall, the rampart of the Antonine Wall was constructed mostly out of layers of turf and reached a height of 3 m. Not just a wall, the defences also included a huge ditch, nearly 5 m deep in places, which ran to the north of the Wall and an outer mound constructed from the earth thrown out of the ditch. Seventeen forts plus additional ‘fortlets’ accommodated the 6,000-7,000 men stationed along the Wall. The military way, a service road built to the south of the Wall was another important element, enabling troops to move swiftly along its course, bearing supplies, commands and news.

The Wall was entirely built by members of the three Roman legions stationed in Scotland, a labour force of around 7,000 men. During construction, the soldiers lived in leather tents or wooden huts situated inside temporary camps which were enclosed by light defences.

Leather tent fragment. © Hunterian Museum

The surveyors, engineers, masons, joiners and labourers within their ranks marked out the route, built foundations, shaped stones, cut and lifted turfs, gathered timber – and triumphantly recorded their completion of each section of the Wall with commemorative distance slabs.

Building the Wall

It took no notice of earlier native settlements, and cut through pre-existing tribal boundaries.

Unlike its stone-built southern neighbour, Hadrian’s Wall, the rampart of the Antonine Wall was constructed mostly out of layers of turf and reached a height of 3 m. Not just a wall, the defences also included a huge ditch, nearly 5 m deep in places, which ran to the north of the Wall and an outer mound constructed from the earth thrown out of the ditch. Seventeen forts plus additional ‘fortlets’ accommodated the 6,000-7,000 men stationed along the Wall. The military way, a service road built to the south of the Wall was another important element, enabling troops to move swiftly along its course, bearing supplies, commands and news.

The Wall was entirely built by members of the three Roman legions stationed in Scotland, a labour force of around 7,000 men. During construction, the soldiers lived in leather tents or wooden huts situated inside temporary camps which were enclosed by light defences.

Leather tent fragment. © Hunterian Museum

The surveyors, engineers, masons, joiners and labourers within their ranks marked out the route, built foundations, shaped stones, cut and lifted turfs, gathered timber – and triumphantly recorded their completion of each section of the Wall with commemorative distance slabs.

Princess Nefertiabet&rsquos funerary slab stele

A stele ( / ˈ s t iː l i / , STEE-lee) [Note 1] is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument. Grave steles were often used for funerary or commemorative purposes. Stelae as slabs of stone would also be used as ancient Greek and Romangovernment notices or as boundary markers to mark borders or property lines.

The surface of the stele usually has text, ornamentation, or both. The ornamentation may be inscribed, carved in relief, or painted.

Traditional Western gravestones may technically be considered the modern equivalent of ancient stelae, though the term is very rarely applied in this way. Equally, stelae-like forms in non-Western cultures may be called by other terms, and the words « stele » and « stelae » are most consistently applied in archaeological contexts to objects from Europe, the ancient Near East and Egypt, [1] China, and sometimes Pre-Columbian America.

Giacobbe Giusti, Stone monuments

The funerary stele of Thrasea and Euandria, c. 365 BC

Steles have also been used to publish laws and decrees, to record a ruler&rsquos exploits and honors, to mark sacred territories or mortgaged properties, as territorial markers, as the boundary steles of Akhenaton at Amarna, [2] or to commemorate military victories. [3] They were widely used in the Ancient Near East, Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and, most likely independently, in China and elsewhere in the Far East, and, independently, by Mesoamerican civilisations, notably the Olmec [4] and Maya. [5]

Giacobbe Giusti, Stone monuments

Stela of Iddi-Sin, King of Simurrum. It dates back to the Old Babylonian Period. From Qarachatan Village, Sulaymaniyah Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan. The Sulaymaniyah Museum, Iraq

The large number of steles, including inscriptions, surviving from ancient Egypt and in Central Americaconstitute one of the largest and most significant sources of information on those civilisations, in particular Maya stelae. The most famous example of an inscribed stela leading to increased understanding is the Rosetta Stone, which led to the breakthrough allowing Egyptian hieroglyphs to be read. An informative stele of Tiglath-Pileser III is preserved in the British Museum. Two steles built into the walls of a church are major documents relating to the Etruscan language.

Standing stones (menhirs), set up without inscriptions from Libya in North Africa to Scotland, were monuments of pre-literate Megalithiccultures in the Late Stone Age. The Pictish stones of Scotland, often intricately carved, date from between the 6th and 9th centuries.

An obelisk is a specialized kind of stele. The Insular high crosses of Ireland and Britain are specialized in steles. Totem poles of North and South America that are made out of stone may also be considered a specialized type of stele. Gravestones, typically with inscribed name and often with inscribed epitaph, are among the most common types of stele seen in Western culture.

Most recently, in the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, the architect Peter Eisenman created a field of some 2,700 blank steles. [6] The memorial is meant to be read not only as the field, but also as an erasure of data that refer to memory of the Holocaust.


Giacobbe Giusti, Stone monuments

Egyptian Hieroglyphs on an Egyptian funerary stela in Manchester Museum

Many steles have been used since the First Dynasty of Egypt. These vertical slabs of stone depict tombstones, religious usage, and boundaries. [7]


Urartian steles were freestanding stone obelisks that served a variety of purposes, sometimes they were located within temple complexes, or set within monumental rock-cut niches (such as the niche of the Rock of Van, discovered by Marrand Orbeli in 1916 [8] ) or erected beside tombs. Others stood in isolated positions and, such as the Kelashin Stele, had a commemorative function or served as boundary markers. Although sometimes plain, most bore a cuneiform inscription that would detail the stele&rsquos function or the reasons for its erection. The steel from Van&rsquos « western niche » contained annals of the reign of Sarduri II, with events detailed yearly and with each year separated by the phrase « For the God Haldi I accomplished these deeds ». [9] Urartian steles are sometimes found reused as Christian Armenian gravestones or as spolia in Armenian churches – Maranci suggests this reuse was a deliberate desire to capitalize on the potency of the past. [10] Some scholars have suggested Urartian steles may have influenced the development of the Armenian khachkar. [11]


Greek funerary markers, especially in Attica, had a long and evolutionary history in Athens. From public and extravagant processional funerals to different types of pottery used to store ashes after cremation, visibility has always been a large part of Ancient Greek funerary markers in Athens. Regarding stelai (Greek plural of stele), in the period of the Archaic style in Ancient Athens (600 BCE) stele often showed certain archetypes of figures, such as the male athlete. [12] Generally their figures were singular, though there are instances of two or more figures from this time period. [13] Moving into the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, Greek stelai declined and then rose in popularity again in Athens and evolved to show scenes with multiple figures, often of a family unit or a household scene. One such notable example is the Stele of Hegeso. Typically grave stelai are made of marble and carved in relief, and like most Ancient Greek sculpture they were vibrantly painted. [14] For more examples of stelai, the Getty Museum&rsquos published Catalog of Greek Funerary Sculpture is a valuable resource [15]


Giacobbe Giusti, Stone monuments

Chinese ink rubbings of the 1489 (left) and 1512 (right) steles left by the Kaifeng Jews.

Steles (Chinese: bēi 碑) have been the major medium of stone inscription in China since the Tang dynasty. [16] Chinese steles are generally rectangular stone tablets upon which Chinese characters are carved intaglio with a funerary, commemorative, or edifying text. They can commemorate talented writers and officials, inscribe poems, portraits, or maps, and frequently contain the calligraphy of famous historical figures. [17] In additional to their commemorative value, many Chinese steles are regarded as exemplars of traditional Chinese calligraphic scripts, especially the clerical script. [18]

Chinese steles from before the Tang dynasty are rare: there are a handful from before the Qin dynasty, roughly a dozen from the Western Han, 160 from the Eastern Han, and several hundred from the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern, and Suidynasties. [19] During the Han dynasty, tomb inscriptions ( 墓誌 , mùzhì) containing biographical information on deceased people began to be written on stone tablets rather than wooden ones. [19]

Erecting steles at tombs or temples eventually became a widespread social and religious phenomenon. Emperors found it necessary to promulgate laws, regulating the use of funerary steles by the population. The Ming dynasty laws, instituted in the 14th century by its founder the Hongwu Emperor, listed a number of stele types available as status symbols to various ranks of the nobility and officialdom: the top noblemen and mandarins were eligible for steles installed on top of a stone tortoise and crowned with hornless dragons, while the lower-level officials had to be satisfied with steles with plain rounded tops, standing on simple rectangular pedestals. [20]

Steles are found at nearly every significant mountain and historical site in China. The First Emperor made five tours of his domain in the 3rd century BC and had Li Si make seven stone inscriptions commemorating and praising his work, of which fragments of two survive. [21] One of the most famous mountain steles is the 13 m (43 ft) high stele at Mount Tai with the personal calligraphy of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang commemorating his imperial sacrifices there in 725. [21]

A number of such stone monuments have preserved the origin and history of China&rsquos minority religious communities. The 8th-century Christians of Xi&rsquoan left behind the Nestorian Stele, which survived adverse events of the later history by being buried underground for several centuries. Steles created by the Kaifeng Jews in 1489, 1512, and 1663, have survived the repeated flooding of the Yellow River that destroyed their synagogue several times, to tell us something about their world. China&rsquos Muslim have a number of steles of considerable antiquity as well, often containing both Chinese and Arabic text.

Thousands of steles, surplus to the original requirements, and no longer associated with the person they were erected for or to, have been assembled in Xi&rsquoan&rsquos Stele Forest Museum, which is a popular tourist attraction. Elsewhere, many unwanted steles can also be found in selected places in Beijing, such as Dong Yue Miao, the Five Pagoda Temple, and the Bell Tower, again assembled to attract tourists and also as a means of solving the problem faced by local authorities of what to do with them. The long, wordy, and detailed inscriptions on these steles are almost impossible to read for most are lightly engraved on white marble in characters only an inch or so in size, thus being difficult to see since the slabs are often 3m or more tall.

There are more than 100,000 surviving stone inscriptions in China. However, only approximately 30,000 have been transcribed or had rubbings made, and fewer than those 30,000 have been formally studied. [19]

Watch the video: Στέγη: πλάκα δαπέδου και ξύλινη οροφή (May 2022).