The Village and Parish of Law
Extract from the Third Statistical Account of Lanarkshire
Law, in the north - west corner of the civil parish of Carluke, was
erected a quad sacra parish in 1885. The following particulars relate to that area.
As far as Mauldslie estate is concerned, there were no important
changes in landholdings prior to 1947. Since 1947 the Carmichael and Mauldslie Estates have sold four farms, three of them to sitting tenants --- East Law, Stravenhouse, Waterlands - and Gillhead to the owners of the Preserve works. The steading of Lawmuir is now derelict and there are only traces remaining of the South Law
steading. Areas for housing have recently been sold to private
individuals and to the County Council, the rates varying from £75 to £240 an acre. Local authority purchases are now based on district valuers’ prices. The fueing rate has varied from £12 to £20 an acre and a number of fues were taken for market gardening purposes at
£12 an acre. This is the type of long lease, usually 99 years, in which
the buildings revert to the proprietor at the end of the lease, and it has caused a lot of agitation recently, mostly emanating from the Stonehouse district.
Mauldslie Castle, a prominent landmark in the vicinity, was demolished in 1935. This stately and imposing building was erected in 1793. The last wing was completed in 1890. ln 1914, just previous to the outbreak of war, King George V paid an official visit to the castle. At one time what is now known as Lawhill was called Bouttree, the bowling green was called Shepherd"s Butts, while Brownlee was called Cadgersgait.
A certain amount of overcrowding exists, but this has been
somewhat relieved of late by removal of families to Carluke. As more houses become available in Carluke, this problem should gradually disappear. There are, however, some rows of houses in Brownlee Road which have served their purpose and ought to go.
The lack of space and conveniences makes them unhygienic.
The tile works started on Whitsunday 1918. The whole mineral
position at Law seems to have suffered from lack of care in extraction of the coal. A number of pockets have been left and various small firms have attempted to work these after the main workings were abandoned, but none of these ventures has been successful and some have involved a considerable loss to the proprietors through damage caused to the surface. During the second half of last century (19th) the village of Law was a hive
of activity, for it contained no fewer than ten collieiies, with a daily
output of 2,000 tons, which supplied the Lanarkshire steel works, etc.
The following is a list of those collieries with dates of opening (and in most cases) closing down ;
No-1 Blueknowes (1885),
Burns Mine (1860),
No. 1, 2, 3, Shawfield (1860-1934),
No.3, 4, Stravenhouse (1870-1914),
No.2 Jelly Pit (1893-1910),
No.8 WaterLands (1910-19220,
No.6 Duck (1912- 1930),
Mauldslie Mine(1929·- 1939).
There are no pits being worked now, so that miners who live in the village have to travel to Kingshill (Shotts), Castlehill (Carluke`) or Hillhead pits.
Law has become somewhat conspicuous by the railway junction.
The centenary of the opening of the main railway line between Glasgow and London by linking up of the mainline near Garriongill took place four years ago. All main trains from Glasgow and Perth to England pass through Law Junction station.
The night postal trains from Glasgow and Aberdeen are combined at Law Junction each night and letters for main provincial towns in England are sorted out on the train en route to London by the post office staff on the train. The number employed at Law Junction
station and marshalling yards is 95. During the early part of the late
war freight traffic was meeting with serious delay at Carlisle and it was necessary to open a marshalling yard to section out the freight traffic passing from the industrial area of Scotland to England.
Because of its position, Law Junction was chosen for this purpose in
1940. ln addition to freight traffic, five fish trains from Aberdeen arrive
in up yard each night.
Fruit preserving was begun in Law more than 60 years ago;
Mauldslie preserve works were in operation in1884, and since then have greatly developed, both in man-power and input. When opened the works had one clerkess, today there are 16. In the factory, 120 men and women are employed, (closed in 1956).
A new industry which has grown to considerable proportions within
recent years is that of tomato-growing. There are 20 tomato growers, and 195,200 square feet of soil under glass used for this purpose. Most of the produce goes to the markets in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The fruit is reckoned to be of the finest quality in the country.
The closing down of the pits in Law meant that those employed had
either to travel out of the village or seek new employment. Some have been absorbed into the steel works, the preserve works, the tomato-growing industry, and into the staff of Law hospital, which employs a considerable number of Law residents.
The number of those who travel out of Law on business is 230 (50 by train and 180 by bus). Motor transport operates between Law, Wishaw and Carluke and is provided by Adam Duncan of Law.
The beginning of the church in Law goes back over 60 years. Church
of Scotland services were held in the school and conducted by a missionary from Carluke previous to 1886. The church (seating accommodation 500) was opened in Law in 1886 - A manse adjoining the church was built also in 1886 - ln 1924 a
hall in Station Road was purchased from the Territorial Association. This was sold in 1950. The second stream of church life in Law, the United Free church, also derived it’s impetus and inspiration from Carluke. The Rev. John White of the Free church, Carluke, was
instrumental in beginning the work in Law. The church was built in
1887 (seating accommodation, 300). A manse adjoins the church, and a hall was built in 1906. Since the union in 1929 these two churches are both Church of Scotland, and in 1940 they were united under one minister. lt cannot be said to have been a happy union. The inevitable disposal of redundant property aggravated the trouble. But there are signs that, with the passing of the years, this congregation will tend to forget its former divisions and strife and move forward in greater harmony . Today the church in Law
is well organised, both as regards Sabbath and week-night
activities. The membership
stands at 475 and financially it is in a sound position. Besides the
church the only other religious body is the “Brethern’°, meeting in a hall in Brackenhill Road.
The old fasting days have long disappeared, yet the Sabbath is still
looked on by some as a day set apart. Strict Sabbatarianism is no longer found, so that church-going and visiting friends on a Sabbath are not considered incompatible.
There is a school (built in 1874, and enlarged in 1908 and 1912), with a headmaster and seven teachers - The present number of scholars is 250.
There is one doctor, two district nurses, a masseur, and a chemist in
the district. Those requiring hospital treatment are sent to Law Hospital. Maternity cases are either dealt with at home or sent to Smellie Hospital, Lanark, or to Bellshill Maternity Home.
Of youth organisations there is a wide range, covering activities held
under the church, the school, and the community centre. These centres also provide women’s organisations, as does the co-operative society. Under education committee auspices, a ladies’ choir meets weekly and gives concerts in the surrounding district for
The Toc H choir gives voluntary services at hospitals in Lanarkshire.
The Law Highland Pipe Band has a membership of 30. Athletics of various descriptions are carried on and the community is well served with bowling, indoors and out-of-doors, football by local juveniles, tennis, badminton, and a wheelers club. The bowling green was opened in 1904 - lt has a membership of 60. The recreation park, provided by the district council, is beautifully laid out with trees, grass and flowers.
A war memorial was unveiled in Station Road in 1920, to the men
who made the supreme sacrifice during the first World War. lt bears 29 names. To these were added the names of 10 men and women who died during the second World War. The memorial was removed to the recreation park in 1949.
The social life of the people is strong and vigorous. There is
multiplicity of agencies which keep the communal spirit very active and bind the people together. Apart from the church, social activity chiefly centres around the Miners Welfare Hall, which was opened
in l900. The hall has a seating capacity of 250, and contains ante-
rooms for games and reading. A film projector was installed recently. The ever-growing number of clubs, classes, and social activities cater for every taste, while outdoor sports in the summer and indoor
in the winter help to fill in the leisure hours. There is no public library
in Law, but many are members of Wishaw library. Reading, listening to the wireless, a weekly visit to the cinema at Wishaw or Carluke, these fill in the odd hours of the day.
The [football]pool system has its roots deep in this as in every community, so that to hazard a guess, possibly 90 per cent. of
the adult population send in their weekly coupon. A fair percentage of
the men carry on a business with the "bookie” on horse betting, but this traffic is by no means confined to men.
The family life of the community is not so close and cemented as in
the past. Some of the men work different shifts from week to week, while some of the women have taken part-time work at the hospital. The latter kind of work is usually done by those who have no home
ties or by women who have no children, but where there are young
children and the mother is employed, the family suffers and home life tends to degenerate. It must be admitted, however, that the cost of living has forced many women into employment and no doubt the
position would rectify itself if the situation improved.