Monkland Canal


This former canal ran east from Port Dundas to Coatbridge and on to Faskine, near Calderbank.

The canal carried coal from the collieries east of the city to Glasgow and served the growing iron industry which led to the development of Coatbridge around a bridge over the canal.

Construction took some time. There was a flight of locks, duplicated as traffic grew and inclined plane shiplift at Blackhill.

Portions remain today but the canal is not open.


  /  /1770Monkland Canal
Canal and associated waggonways authorised. Construction begins at Sheepford (later Sheepford Locks). Engineer; James Watt.
  /  /1773Monkland Canal
Project partly abandoned due to lack of money as the Ayr Bank is liquidated, canal only runs from Sheepford (later Sheepford Locks) to Blackhill (later Blackhill Locks).
  /  /1790Monkland Canal
Andrew Stirling of Drumpellier (Drumpeller) and William Stirling and Company take over canal and decide to extend it west to the Forth and Clyde Canal in Glasgow and east to Calderbank. Extensions authorised.
  /  /1790Monkland Canal
Canal extended eastwards, set of locks at Sheepford.
  /  /1792Monkland Canal
Dam built on North Calder Water to control water flowing into the canal.
  /  /1793Monkland Canal
Forth and Clyde Canal
Monkland Canal and Forth and Clyde Canal joined by a new section of canal at the Blackhill Locks.
  /  /1794Monkland Canal
Construction complete.
  /  /1799St Rollox Chemical Works
Charles Tennant and Charles Mackintosh open the St Rollox Chemical Works (Tennants Works), on the Monkland Canal in Glasgow, an alkali works for the production of bleaching liquor and powder.
  /  /1800Legbrannock Railway
Opened by William Dixon (Senior) to move coal from the Legbrannock Colliery, on the Woodhall Estate, to the Monkland Canal. (Alternative date 1813.)
  /  /1813Legbrannock Railway
Opened from Legbrannock Colliery to the Monkland Canal by William Dixon (Senior).
  /  /1813Monkland Canal
Alterations to details of original Act.
  /  /1819Monkland Canal
At Faskine Basin the Vulcan, the first iron-hulled passenger boat, is launched.
  /  /1824Calder Ironworks Waggonway
Opened to connect works to Monkland Canal.
  /  /1824Calder Ironworks Waggonway
Opened from Calder Iron works to Monkland Canal.
  /  /1825Charles Tennant
Charles Tennant, one of the promoters of the Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway, visits the Stockton and Darlington Railway with his family. Local suppliers and mines further afield via the Monkland Canal were struggling to meet the coal demands of the St Rollox Chemical Works.
  /  /1828Alexander Baird
Construction of Gartsherrie Iron Works begins, a blast furnace on the east side of the Monkland Canal^s Gartsherrie branch.
  /  /1828Monkland Canal
Gartsherrie, Hornock and Summerlee Branch of canal opened, to serve the under construction Gartsherrie Iron Works, Summerlee Iron Works (after 1836) and Howes Basin.
  /04/1835Monkland Canal
Short branch canal to Dundyvan Basin under construction.
  /  /1836Monkland Canal
Short Dundyvan Basin branch opened.
  /  /1843William Baird & Co
16 blast furnaces now in operation at Gartsherrie Iron Works with an annual capacity of 100,000 tons, 8 new blast furnaces opened on the west bank of the Monkland Canal^s Gartsherrie branch.
04/07/1843Drumpeller Railway
Line authorised with permission for the Monkland Canal to buy the railway.
  /  /1846Monkland CanalForth and Clyde Canal
Monkland Canal authorised to be taken over by the Forth and Clyde Canal.
01/11/1849Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Glasgow Buchanan Street opened on a new extension which branched off at Milton Junction and ran parallel to the original line before passing under it and the Monkland Canal in a tunnel. English trains via the Caledonian Railway main line are diverted from South Side [CR] to the new more suitable station.
  /  /1850Monkland Canal
Traffic reaches its peak.
  /  /1851Drumpeller Railway Forth and Clyde Canal
The Drumpeller Railway is purchased by the Forth and Clyde Canal (not the Monkland Canal with which it connected).
  /  /1860Monkland Canal
Baillieston Shed in use at Nackerty on railway.
  /  /1865City of Glasgow Union Railway Monkland Canal
Authorisation for a deviation of the Monkland Canal.
  /  /1867Forth and Clyde Canal Monkland Canal Forth and Cart Canal Grangemouth Railway (Forth and Clyde Canal Company) Drumpeller Railway Caledonian Railway
Forth and Clyde Canal (Forth and Clyde Navigation) including the Port Dundas branch, Monkland Canal, Forth and Cart Canal and various assets such as the Grangemouth Railway (Forth and Clyde Canal Company) and Drumpeller Railway, bought by the Caledonian Railway to compete with the North British Railway in the Forth - Clyde Valley. The North British Railway is given running powers over the Grangemouth Railway (Forth and Clyde Canal Company). Caledonian Railway given running powers over the Stirlingshire Midland Junction Railway to Larbert Junction
  /  /1867Monkland Canal
Dundyvan Basin Branch of the Monkland Canal absorbed by the Caledonian Railway.
  /  /1867Monkland Canal Caledonian Railway
The Monkland Canal is absorbed by the Caledonian Railway.
  /  /1872Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
New alignment opens with a bridge which takes the line over Monkland Canal, West Canal Street and Bank Street in central Coatbridge. The junction with the Sheepford Branch (Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway) is taken out and a new alignment laid in to the south which crossed the Dundyvan Basin canal branch.
  /  /1872Whitelaw Fountain
In memory of Alexander Whitelaw, partner in William Baird & Co, who organised the raising of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway onto a bridge in 1847, rather than crossing the road over the Monkland Canal in Coatbridge with a level crossing.
  /  /1873Monkland Canal
The Vulcan, the first iron-hulled passenger boat, is withdrawn from service.
  /  /1882Airdrie Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Lock Street Viaduct built over the Monkland Canal to extend the line from Whifflet Upper to Airdrie [CR].
  /  /1882Monkland Canal
Authorisation to abandon a portion of canal at Blochairn. By the Blochairn Iron Works, allowing the Blochairn Steel Works Branch (Caledonian Railway) to occupy its site on the south side of the works.
  /  /1893Monkland Canal
Rebuilding of Millburn Bridge (Robertson^s Bridge) authorised. Millburn Chemical Works to north east. Craigpark Works to south east.
  /  /1940Monkland Canal
Canal abandoned.
  /  /1960Monkland Canal
Piped, filled in and the M8 Motorway built over the top from Easterhouse to Glasgow.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.

Glasgow to Faskine

Blackhill and Sheepford locks to be added.

This was the Glasgow terminus of the Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway. It was on the north bank of the Monkland Canal just east of the Port Dundas Basin.

More details

See also
Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway
Port Dundas Branch (Caledonian Railway)

This large chemical works, once the largest in the World, was in the north of Glasgow (229 Castle Street). It started by producing bleaching chemicals for cloth. The works was built on the north bank of the Forth and Clyde Canal / Monkland Canal Cut of Junction (the link between the canals). It was most famous for it^s huge chimney dating from 1842, the ^St Rollox Stalk^, which was 435.5 ...

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This works opened in 1855 for the production of wrought iron, later malleable iron and later still steel. It was located on the north bank of the Monkland Canal, used to deliver coal to the site. The works was served from Garngad to the north west by sidings from the City of Glasgow Union Railway of 1875, which bordered the works to the west. It was also served from [[Blochairn ...

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See also
Blochairn Steel Works Branch (Caledonian Railway)

A model of the inclined plane which was located next to the Blackhill locks. Not as famous as some of its English counterparts the site is now under ...
Ewan Crawford //
1 of 1 images.

This canal basin was located on the Monkland Canal at Cuilhill Gullet. From the south, it was approached by the mineral Drumpeller Railway and the location was a transshipment point.

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See also
Drumpeller Railway
I think this is the only visible evidence of the Drumpellier Railway. The picture is of one of the pillars of the viaduct which carried the ...
Alastair McLellan 05/11/2017
1 of 1 images.

This iron works, in the south west of Coatbridge, was opened in by Robert Addie, Robert Miller and Patrick Rankin. A range of blast furnaces were built in an east-west orientation on the north bank of the Luggie Burn.

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See also
Langloan Railway
The former site of the rail-served Langloan Ironworks looking east. ...
Ewan Crawford //
1 of 1 images.

This iron works, constrained between the Glasgow, Garnkirk and Coatbridge Railway (to the west) and the Gartsherrie Branch of the Monkland Canal (to the east) was opened by Wilsons and Co and John Neilson.

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Summerlee Iron Co

This basin is today a tranquil location on the former Gartsherrie Branch of the Monkland Canal. It was formerly a transshipment point between the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and the canal, having coal drops on its eastern side served from Howes on the M&K.

More details

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Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway

This was a large iron works to the north of Coatbridge. It was built by William Baird & Co in 1828. The location was chosen due to the quantity of blackband ironstone, coal and limestone in the area. The works produced forge quality iron which was internationally famous.

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See also
Gartsherrie Ironworks and Railways (William Baird & Co)
Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway

Originally built as a transshipment point between the Monkland Canal and Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway One main use of it was as the northern outlet for coal from the Wishaw and Coltness Railway. Between the two basins were coal staithes. A small basin lay between the M&K and GG&C lines, served by lines from the M&K and Dundyvan Iron Works.

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The Sheepford branch railway crosses over the (dry) Sheepford portion of the Monkland Canal. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
A former railway bridge, over what was the Monkland Canal, at the entrance to Sheepford Mineral Depot. Seen on 6th May 2019. This line and swing ...
Alastair McLellan 06/05/2019
2 of 2 images.

Formed by William Dixon (Senior) of Govanhill (1753-1822) in 1801 with David Mushet. The works was served by the ^Dixon^s Cut^ of the Monkland Canal.

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The cleared site of the Calder Ironworks viewed from the east. The Meadowbank Works are in the distance. ...
Ewan Crawford //
1 of 1 images.

Faskine on the Monkland Canal. In the field to the left was the original terminus of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway. The Vulcan was floated ...
Ewan Crawford //
Faskine, on the Monkland Canal, was the opposite extremity of the line from Kirkintilloch. The canal can be seen to the right. This no doubt unrelated ...
Ewan Crawford //2001
2 of 2 images.