Located in the parish of Old Monkland, Coatbridge was a sleepy collection of villages until the late eighteenth century. Then, with the discovery of ironstone, the building of the Monkland Canal and the increased mining of coal, the sleepy villages grew together into the town of Coatbridge. The sylvan fields of the 1780s had given way by the 1830s to the furnaces and coal mines of the most polluted town in Scotland.
Local landowners made a fortune from the black gold beneath their feet and from the ironworks they built to help fuel the industrial revolution. Names such as Baird of Gartsherrie became known the world over as their products were exported to every corner of the empire. Coatbridge also had smaller foundries making tools, rivets, tin-plate and other products.
The town has seen many changes over the years - the slums that crowded the ironworks have long gone as have the ironworks themselves. Coal is no longer mined in the area and Coatbridge has gone from being a depressed ex-industrial area to a thriving town once more.
Contained within these pages are over 200 illustrations of the town in bygone days. There are views of long gone streets, vanished industries, school groups, businesses and shops which will delight older residents and give younger ones a feel for what made Coatbridge the town it is today.