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Newton Mearns
Paidmyre Road, Newton Mearns - geograph.org.uk - 1804122.jpg
Paidmyre Road
Newton Mearns is located in Scotland
Newton Mearns
Newton Mearns
Population 26,600 (mid-2015 est.)
OS grid reference NS536556
Lieutenancy area
  • Renfrewshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GLASGOW
Postcode district G77
Dialling code 0141
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • East Renfrewshire
Scottish Parliament
  • Eastwood
List of places
UK
Scotland
55°46′18″N 4°20′05″W / 55.7716°N 4.3347°W / 55.7716; -4.3347Coordinates: 55°46′18″N 4°20′05″W / 55.7716°N 4.3347°W / 55.7716; -4.3347

Newton Mearns (Scots: The Mearns; Scottish Gaelic: Baile Ùr na Maoirne) is a suburban town and the largest settlement in East Renfrewshire, Scotland. It lies 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Glasgow City Centre on the main road to Ayrshire, 410 feet (125 m) above sea level. It has a population of approximately 26,993, stretching from Whitecraigs and Kirkhill in the northeast to Maidenhill in the southeast, to Westacres and Greenlaw in the west and Capelrig/Patterton in the northwest.

It is part of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Its name derives from being a new town of the Mearns (from Scottish Gaelic "a' Mhaoirne" meaning a stewartry).

History

Until the 20th century, the land around Newton Mearns was primarily agricultural. Ownership passed from the Pollocks (whose name is perpetuated in the nearby Glasgow housing estate of Pollok) to the Maxwells of Caerlaverock around 1300. It then passed to the Maxwells of Nether Pollok in 1648 and then the Stewarts of Blackhall in 1660. A new turnpike road from Eastwood Toll, now the main Ayr Road, was constructed in 1832. The 1893 'Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland' describes it as "pleasantly situated on a rising ground 410 feet above sea-level". It also reveals that it was a 'burgh of barony' which bestowed the right to hold a weekly market and two annual fairs. However, the Gazetteer also describes the village as being only a "single street on the Glasgow and Kilmarnock highroad" By the end of the 18th century quarrying had developed and more importantly numerous textile mills and finishing works became established availing themselves of the numerous rivers and lochs for water supply.From the early 20th century, with the introduction of improved roads and railways to the area, it gradually became a growing commuter suburb of Glasgow. In the 1930s, between speculative and local authority housing ventures, a further 6,000 houses were added to the area and after a lull during the war years, in the 1950s, house building began again in earnest. Unfortunately, the old core village suffered neglect during and after WW2 and was all but derelict by the 1960s. It was purchased and turned into a shopping centre which was later to become 'The Avenue at Mearns' in 1991.

Historical buildings in the area include the 15th century Mearns Castle, Greenbank House owned by the National Trust for Scotland and the 1813 Mearns Kirk.

Transport

Traffic through the town was reduced significantly after the new M77 motorway was opened in the late 1990s. Transport links improved further in May 2006 with the opening of the Glasgow Southern Orbital dual carriageway, and its connection to the M77.

As well as minor and major roads, the town has bus links with the centre of Glasgow, Kilmarnock, and Ayr. The town is served by two local railway stations, Patterton and Whitecraigs which run trains to Glasgow Central station amongst others.

Religion

Newton Mearns has numerous places of worship, notably four Church of Scotland churches, a Baptist church, a Roman Catholic church and two Jewish synagogues.

Leisure

Newton Mearns contains a number of parks, including Broomburn Park, Mearns Park, Crookfur Park & Parklands Country Club and nearby Rouken Glen Park with its boating pond, gardens and leisure facilities. There are numerous golf clubs, a golf academy, a tennis club, bowling club and rugby club. A public swimming pool and leisure centre is located at Eastwood Park in nearby Giffnock, and the swimming pool and sports centre at Eastwood High School is open to the public. Between Mearns and Barrhead lie the former reservoirs and water runs of the Gorbals Water Works, pioneered in the 19th century, before the building of the Loch Katrine Water Works. The reservoirs and surrounding parklands now form the Dams to Darnley Country Park.

The biggest football club near Newton Mearns is the Junior club, Pollok F.C.. The club's home stadium is situated in Shawlands. Newton Mearns also has an amateur football club, Newton Mearns Rovers A.F.C. Established in 1962, the club is managed by Greig Taylor and competes in the Caledonian Amateur Football League. Newton Mearns has a Freemason's lodge, Lodge Newton Mearns No 1706, that meets in the Fairweather Hall, on Barrhead Road.

Literature

Newton Mearns was briefly mentioned in John McGrath's play Little Red Hen (1975, first publ. London: Pluto 1977, p. 34). More recently, the town appeared as the setting for the thriller novel Aztec Love Song (Weathervane Press 2009, ISBN 978-0-9562193-2-9) by Marty Ross, a Scottish author best known for his BBC radio plays, who grew up in the town and studied at Mearns Castle High School.

Gallery

Economy

Ayr Road shops, Newton Mearns - geograph.org.uk - 18303
Ayr Road Shops

Newton Mearns is primarily a residential area, with most of its inhabitants travelling by car or public transport to Glasgow for employment and shopping. However, there are a number of small businesses in the area, as well as an indoor shopping centre.

The Avenue Shopping Centre is the main large retail centre in Newton Mearns. It comprises a total of 44 stores, currently including two supermarkets, three banks, nine clothing stores, food shops, restaurants and a library. The line of the main shopping area in the Avenue runs the course of the old Mearns Main Street. There are also shopping units and restaurants at Broom on the Ayr Road, shopping units and restaurants at Broomburn on the Mearns Road, and shopping units and restaurants at Crookfur on Harvie Avenue. The newly constructed Greenlaw Village close to the M77 at Crookfur Road also has two supermarkets, a hotel, smaller shops and a number of restaurants.

Some significant businesses operating within Newton Mearns are Vets 4 Pets, Claro Print, Specsavers, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Nicol Estate Agents, Pets N Vets.

The 120 homes in the Hugh Fraser Retirement Estate have been fitted with smart technology and sensors, giving residents control of heating, lighting and doorbells using Amazon Alexa, its first use in an assisted living setting for a Scottish retirement community.

Farming continues to be important to the south of Mearns Cross and stretching to Fenwick and Eaglesham Moors. A major Bleach Works and textile finishing centre was constructed at Netherplace. The empty building was demolished in 2016 after it was the source of a major fly infestation across Newton Mearns and Clarkston. The site where the building was is visible from the M77 motorway.

Education

Mearns has nine primary schools and four high schools, including one independent school: The neighbouring town of Giffnock has the local Roman Catholic high school of St Ninians High School.

  • Kirkhill Primary School
  • St. Cadoc's RC Primary School
  • St Clare's Primary School and Calderwood Lodge Primary School (shared campus)
  • Crookfur Primary School
  • Mearns Primary School
  • Maidenhill Primary School
  • Belmont House School (private school)
  • Isobel Mair School for children with special needs
  • Eastwood High School
  • Mearns Castle High School
  • Belmont House School (private school)
  • Isobel Mair School for children with special needs

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