Religion was at the centre of life in Greater
Easterhouse in the past.
Legend has it that a pilgrim, doing penance for
a sin, was made to carry a huge stone Eastwards
from Glasgow. When he couldn’t carry it
any more, he was to sit it down and build a church
on that very spot. This became the site of the
old Monkland church.
In the 12th Century, King Malcolm IV gave the
land to the monks of Newbattle Abbey in Lothian
– hence the name Monklands.
This area was chosen as the country seat of the
Bishops of Glasgow. A palace was built for them
on the shores of Bishop’s Loch in the 14th
Century. An old charter mentions Manerium De Lacu
Juxta Glasgu – the Manor of the Loch near
Glasgow. Bishop Turnbull, the founder of the University
of Glasgow may have lived there.
The Bishop’s Palace disappeared during
the Reformation. It was seized by the Duke of
Chateherault, and in 1573 it was handed over to
Boyd of Badenheath, who had it destroyed.
In later years, most people from Easterhouse
village worshipped at Bargeddie Parish Church,
known as Barton’s Hill Kirk, probably called
after a local pit. The first Catholic families
didn’t arrive in the area until the mid-nineteenth
century. As they had no church, they had to walk
to worship on a Sunday into Glasgow and later,
to a church in Coatbridge.
Today there are places of worship throughout
Greater Easterhouse, many with lively clubs and
associations for local people.
Christmas Eve of 1446, Bishop John
Cameron was sleeping in his palace
on the shores of the loch. He was
well known for his violence and his
cruel and greedy treatment of the
tenants on his estate.
woke to hear a voice calling him to
appear ‘before the tribunal
of Christ and give an account of his
he called his servants to sit with
him. The next time the voice spoke,
they heard it too. It called to Cameron
loudly a third time, and, ‘after
a heavy groan, he was found dead in
his bed, his tongue hanging out of
Communion Tokens shown here are almost 300