In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Symington like this:
Symington, a small Clydesdale parish in the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, containing, at its NW border, Symington Junction on the Caledonian railway, 6¾ miles SSE of Carstairs, 19 W by S of Peebles, and 3¼ WSW of Biggar, under which there is a post office. It is bounded NW by Covington, N by Libberton and Biggar, E by Culter, SE by Lamington, and SW by Wiston. Its utmost length, from ENE to WSW, is 43/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 21/8 miles; and its area is 55/8 square miles or 35494/5 acres, of which 46 are water. ...
The Clyde winds 6½ miles north-north-eastward and north-westward along or close to all the Lamington, Culter, Biggar, and Libberton boundary, though the point where it first touches and that where it quits the parish are only 3½ miles distant as the crow flies; and two little affluents of the Clyde, Lanimer and Kirk Burns, trace most of the south-western and north-western boundaries. In the N, beside the Clyde, the surface declines to close on 650 feet above sea-level; and thence it rises to 754 feet near Annieston, 854 at the Castle Hill, 1261 at Wee Hill, 1925 at Scaut Hill, and 2335 at Tinto, which culminates just on the meeting-point of Symington, Wiston, Carmichael, and Covington parishes. The rocks are variously Devonian, Silurian, and eruptive; and the soil ranges from fertile alluvium on the level lands fringing the Clyde to moorish earth on the hills. According to Ordnance Survey, 2274 acres are arable, 193 under wood, 674 moorland, and 249 rough pasture. Fatlips Castle, the chief antiquity, is noticed separately; on the Castle Hill, ½ mile SW of the village, are vestiges of an earthwork rampart; and at Annieston is a ruinous tower, The parish derived its name from Symon Loccard, progenitor of the Lockharts of Lee, who appears to have founded its church between 1153 and 1165; and from early in the 14th, till towards the middle of the 17th, century, the barony was held by Symingtons of that ilk. Now there are 4 proprietors owning each an annual value of more than £500, and 2 of between £100 and £500. Symington is in the presbytery of Biggar and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £194. The parish church, near Symington village, ¾ mile SE of the station, is an old building, repeatedly repaired, and containing 200 sittings. The public school, with accommodation for 72 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 76, and a grant of £71, 8s. Valuation (1860) £4879, (1885) £6558, 9s. Pop. (1801) 308, (1831) 489, (1861) 528, (1871) 442, (1881) 462.Ord. Sur., shs. 23, 24, 1865-64.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Symington has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of South Lanarkshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Symington and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Symington in South Lanarkshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 31st August 2014
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