Clarkston, East Renfrewshire

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Scottish Gaelic: Baile Chlarc
Scots: Clairkstoun
Clarkston is located in East Renfrewshire
 Clarkston shown within East Renfrewshire
Population 14,944 [1]
OS grid reference NS565565
   – Edinburgh  50 mi (80 km) ENE 
   – London  343 mi (552 km) SSE 
Council area East Renfrewshire
Lieutenancy area Renfrewshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GLASGOW
Postcode district G76
Dialling code 0141
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament East Renfrewshire
Scottish Parliament Eastwood
List of places

Coordinates: 55°46′52″N 4°17′15″W / 55.780974°N 4.287589°W / 55.780974; -4.287589

Clarkston (Scots: Clairkstoun, Scottish Gaelic: Baile Chlarc) is an affluent[citation needed] suburban town in East Renfrewshire set in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies 4.7 miles (7.6 km) east of Barrhead, 7.2 miles (11.6 km) east-southeast of Paisley and 3.9 miles (6.3 km) northwest of East Kilbride, at the southwest of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. It is a small, affluent[citation needed] dormitory town with a population of 14,944[citation needed]. The locality borders the other Eastwood suburbs of Giffnock, Busby and Netherlee, and is served by Clarkston railway station on the Glasgow South Western Line branch to East Kilbride.

On 21 October 1971, the shopping centre was the scene of the Clarkston explosion, which killed 22 people and injured around 100. A plaque on the site commemorates the event. In 2006, plans were, despite numerous objections,[citation needed] approved to build a public house by Clarkston toll, putting an end to the "dry area" which has made Clarkston unique.

Greenbank Garden, a National Trust for Scotland property, is located on the outskirts of Clarkston.


When a new road from Paisley to East Kilbride was built through the area in the 1790s, a toll point was set up where it crossed what was then the main route from Glasgow to Kilmarnock. A man named John Clark built a house at the toll, and the name 'Clarkston' came to be used for the locality.[2][3] The Maxwell family (owners of the Williamwood Estate, on which Clarkston was situated) advertised the creation of a new village there in 1801, but initially it grew slowly. Clarkston at this time had no industry of its own, and villagers were mainly employed in the mills at nearby Netherlee.[2][3]

Busby Road, Clarkston's main shopping street.

The area began to expand more rapidly following the opening of Clarkston railway station by Busby Railways in the village in 1866,[4] and later the expansion of the Glasgow tram network to Clarkston in 1921.[5] The 1920s also saw the final breaking up of the Williamwood Estate, encouraging further house building.[2] Clarkston expanded rapidly as new suburban housing developments sprang up such as Williamwood, Carolside and Overlee.[6]


Clarkston is represented by several tiers of elected government. Clarkston Community Council forms the lowest tier of governance whose statutory role is to communicate local opinion to local and central government.[7] It is one of ten community councils of the East Renfrewshire council area.[7] East Renfrewshire Council, the unitary local council, is based in nearby Giffnock and is the Executive, deliberative and legislative body responsible for local governance. The Scottish Parliament is responsible for devolved matters such as education, health and justice,[8] while reserved matters are dealt with by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Clarkston forms part of the county constituency of East Renfrewshire, electing one member of parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Jim Murphy of the Scottish Labour Party is the MP for East Renfrewshire.[9] Before the constituency's creation in 2005, Clarkston lay in the Eastwood, also represented by Jim Murphy.[10] For the purposes of the Scottish Parliament, Clarkston forms part of the Eastwood constituency, which is represented by Kenneth Macintosh MSP, also of the Labour party.[11]


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Met Office

At 55°47′9″N 4°16′32″W / 55.78583°N 4.27556°W / 55.78583; -4.27556 (55.785°, −4.276°) Clarkston is situated in Scotland's Central Lowlands. The community lies 4.7 miles (7.6 km) east of Barrhead, 3.9 miles (6.3 km) northwest of East Kilbride and 5.57 miles (9.0 km) south of Glasgow. The territory of Clarkston is contiguous with Glasgow and forms part of Greater Glasgow, the United Kingdom's fifth largest conurbation.

Clarkston experiences a temperate maritime climate, like much of the British Isles, with relatively cool summers and mild winters. Regular but generally light precipitation occurs throughout the year.[12]

Clarkston is a postal district within the post town of Glasgow in the G postcode area. Clarkston consists of postcode district G76, which also extends beyond the town boundary to include neighbouring settlements Busby, Carmunnock, Eaglesham and Waterfoot.


Clarkston compared according to UK Census 2001[1][13]
Clarkston East Renfrewshire Scotland
Total population 14,944 89,311 5,062,011
Foreign born 2.9% 3.8% 3.8%
Over 75 years old 7.12% 6.9% 7.1%
Unemployed 1.9% 2.5% 3.9%

According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, the census locality (town and sub-area) of Clarkston had a total resident population of 19,944, or 21% of the total of East Renfrewshire.[1] The median age of males and females living in Clarkston was 38 and 41 respectively, compared to 37 and 39 years for those in the whole of Scotland.[1] Fifty nine percent were married, 3.7% were cohabiting couples, 7.0% were lone parent families and 23.2% of households were made up of individuals.[1][14]

The place of birth of the towns residents was 97.1% United Kingdom (including 91.8% from Scotland), 0.5% Republic of Ireland, 0.5% from other European Union countries and 1.9% from elsewhere in the world.[1] Compared with the average demography of Scotland, Clarkston has higher proportions of people born in Scotland and young children (0–15 years old).[1]

Of residents 16–74, 44.0% were in full-time employment, 13.1% in part-time employment, 7.2% self-employed and 1.9% unemployed compared with Scotland as a whole which has 40.3%, 11.1%, 6.6% and 4% respectively. Additionally, in Clarkston 4.5% students have jobs while 4.2% do not, 15.4% are retired, 4.8% look after their home or family, 3.0% are permanently sick or disabled, and 1.9% are economically inactive for other reasons.[15]


The area has a number of high-volume road links to neighbouring Glasgow. The A77 main Glasgow to Kilmarnock road passes through the Giffnock nearby and is connected to the A727 from Paisley to East Kilbride, which passes through the centre of Clarkston, at the Eastwood Toll. The nearest motorway is the M77, of which Junction 4 at Darnley is the interchange for Clarkston.

Clarkston lies within the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport Passenger transport executive and is served by two railway stations, both of which are managed by First ScotRail:[16][17]

The closest airport is Glasgow International, 8.1 miles (13.0 km) northwest of Clarkston.

Clarkston is serviced by a number of bus routes by various operators. The main bus link to the city is the number 4 line operated by FirstGroup, which runs at least every 10 minutes throughout the day.[20]

Notable people[edit]

  • Pop musicians associated with Clarkston include former Thin Lizzy and Motörhead guitarist Brian "Robbo" Robertson who was born and grew up locally.[21] Stuart Murdoch and David Wilde, of Glaswegian bands Belle and Sebastian and Altered Images respectively, grew up in the area. Opera director David McVicar also comes from Clarkston.
  • Novelist Alistair MacLean lived in the area before moving to Switzerland as a tax exile.[22]
  • Co-founder of Interflora Joe Dobson lived in Eaglesham Road, Clarkston from 1927-1942 in a house called "Kings Down".
  • Famous for Sport - Former WPBSA Snooker professional Gary Thomson, the 2001 Scottish Snooker Champion was born in Clarkston and grew up in the area. East Renfrewshires first ever professional snooker player, he played between 1995-2005. He attended Carolside Primary and then went on to Williamwood High School before his snooker career.
  • Former welter weight boxing champion Gary Jacobs

Public services[edit]

Clarkston forms part of the Western water and sewerage regions of Scotland. Waste management is provided by the East Renfrewshire local council. Water supplies are provided by Scottish Water, a government-owned corporation of the Scottish Government. Clarkston's Distribution Network Operator for electricity is Scottish Power.[23] The NHS board is NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Strathclyde Fire and Rescue is the statutory fire and rescue service and has a fire station based in Clarkston.[24]

Policing in Clarkston is provided by Police Scotland. The Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, a public body in Scotland, has direct operational responsibilities, such as supporting (and in some cases running) local bus services and managing integrated ticketing in Clarkston and other areas from the former Strathclyde region.[25] Transport Scotland manages the local rail network.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Comparative Population Profile: Clarkston Locality, Scotland". 2001. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  2. ^ a b c Nisbet 2007, p. 4.
  3. ^ a b Nisbet 2007, p. 34.
  4. ^ Nisbet 2007, p. 38.
  5. ^ Nisbet 2007, p. 24.
  6. ^ Nisbet 2007, pp. 26-27.
  7. ^ a b East Renfrewshire Council. "Community Councils". Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Reserved and devolved matters". Scotland Office. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  9. ^ "Jim Murphy; Labour MP for East Renfrewshire". Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  10. ^ Murphy, Jim. "Jim Murphy – About". Jim Murphy. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ken Macintosh MSP". Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  12. ^ "Paisley 1981–2010 averages". 1981–2010 averages. Met Office. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: East Renfrewshire Council Area, Scotland". 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  14. ^ "Comparative Household Profile: Clarkston Locality, Scotland". 2001. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  15. ^ "Comparative Employment Profile: Clarkston Locality, Scotland". 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  16. ^ National Rail (23 January 2007). "Station Facilities: Clarkston (CKS)". Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  17. ^ National Rail (23 January 2007). "Station Facilities: Williamwood (WLM)". Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  18. ^ Butt (1995), page 62
  19. ^ Butt (1995), page 251
  20. ^ "Timetables for Service Number: 44". FirstGroup timetables. Firstgroup. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Eastwood High School Achievers
  22. ^ Overview of Alistair MacLean.Gazeteer of Scotland.Accessed on 12 November 2008
  23. ^ "Electricity Distribution Network Operators". 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  24. ^ "East Ayrshire and East Renfrewshire". Strathclyde Fire & Rescue. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (5 September 2007). "Who we are". Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 


  • Nisbet, Douglas (2007). Old Clarkston and Netherlee. Catrine: Stenlake. 
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 

External links[edit]