Clarkston, East Renfrewshire

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Busby Road, Clarkston. - - 429685.jpg
Busby Road, Clarkston's main shopping street
Clarkston is located in East Renfrewshire
Clarkston is located in Glasgow council area
Location within Scotland
Clarkston is located in Scotland
Clarkston (Scotland)
Population19,940 [1]
OS grid referenceNS565565
• Edinburgh50 mi (80 km) ENE
• London343 mi (552 km) SSE
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGLASGOW
Postcode districtG76
Dialling code0141
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°47′24″N 4°16′39″W / 55.789938°N 4.277376°W / 55.789938; -4.277376Coordinates: 55°47′24″N 4°16′39″W / 55.789938°N 4.277376°W / 55.789938; -4.277376

Clarkston (Scots: Clairkstoun, Scottish Gaelic: Baile Chlarc) is a suburban town in East Renfrewshire, 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. A small dormitory town with a population of 14,944, Clarkston is on the southern fringe of the Greater Glasgow conurbation and directly adjoins the neighbouring suburbs of Busby, Giffnock and Netherlee.

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.

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 and Ayr.[2] A man named John Clark built a house at the toll, and the name 'Clarkston' came to be used for the locality.[2][3][4] The Maxwell family (owners of the Williamwood Estate, on which Clarkston was situated)[2][5][6] 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.[3][4]

The area began to expand more rapidly, initially in the Sheddens area,[2] following the opening of Clarkston railway station by Busby Railways in the village in 1866 which caused the destruction of the older Clarkston village buildings,[7] and later the expansion of the Glasgow tram network to Clarkston in 1921.[8] The 1920s also saw the final breaking up of the Williamwood Estate,[5] encouraging further house building.[3] Clarkston expanded rapidly in the 20th century as new suburban housing developments sprang up; the first area was Overlee, followed by Stamperland then Carolside and Williamwood going towards the 1960s.[2]

During the 21st century there have been far fewer developments, including Aidan's Brae off Mearns Road and Seres Drive on the old site of Williamwood High School.[9][10] The replacement school is situated on the southern edge of the town towards Waterfoot, some distance from the Williamwood residential area, as is the most recent version of Williamwood House (built 1930, now a care home)[5][11] on the northern side of the Williamwood Golf Course. Along with the school and Williamwood railway station, the club (founded in 1906)[12] maintains the historic name and gives it a greater prominence outwith the town than would otherwise be expected of what is nowadays merely a small sector of Clarkston[13] between Mearns Road, two railway lines and another golf club (Cathcart Castle).[14]


Clarkston is in East Renfrewshire, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland for local government purposes. East Renfrewshire Council, the unitary local council, is based in neighbouring Giffnock and is the body responsible for local governance. For local electoral purposes, Clarkston was formerly a ward electing a single councillor to East Renfrewshire Council, but is now grouped with Busby and Eaglesham as a larger multi-member ward electing three councillors.[15] Clarkston is one of East Renfrewshire's designated community council areas, but following the dissolution of the previous community council in 2015 there were insufficient nominations for it to be re-established at that time.[16]

The Scottish Parliament is responsible for devolved matters such as education, health and justice,[17] 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. Kirsten Oswald of the SNP was elected as MP for East Renfrewshire in the 2015 General Election. Before the constituency's creation in 2005, Clarkston lay in the Eastwood Constituency. For the purposes of the Scottish Parliament, Clarkston forms part of the Eastwood constituency, which is represented by Jackson Carlaw MSP, of the Conservative party.


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.[18]

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


Clarkston compared according to UK Census 2001[1][19]
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][20]

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.[21]

Points of Interest[edit]

Greenbank Garden is a National Trust for Scotland property situated on Flenders Road, consisting of the 18th-century Greenbank House and its walled gardens. The house is a Category A listed building.

Overlee Playing Fields (locally known as Overlee Park) is a park situated on Moray Drive in the Stamperland area of Clarkston. The area is home to four separate sports pitches, a playground and a pavilion. The pavilion has been abandoned for around five years after large amounts of bats made their home there. A replacement building which will also include a small nursery will soon be built on an adjacent site, however.


The area has a number of high-volume road links to neighbouring Glasgow. The A77 main Glasgow to Kilmarnock road passes through Eastwood Toll in Giffnock nearby and is connected to the A727 from Darnley to East Kilbride, which passes through the centre of Clarkston, at the Clarkston Toll. This road used to be known as the A726, but was changed to its modern number in the 2000s after a new road was built south of neighbouring Waterfoot and Newton Mearns. This road was built because the A726 was notoriously narrow and busy in this area. The nearest motorway is the M77, of which Junction 3 at Darnley and Junction 4 at Newton Mearns, which are the main junctions 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 Abellio ScotRail:[22][23]

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

Clarkston is serviced by a number of bus routes by various operators. The main bus links are the number 4, linking nearby Eaglesham or Newton Mearns with the city centre and Knightswood, and the number 6, which connects East Kilbride with Clydebank. Both services are operated by First Glasgow.

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,[26] and Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian, who also grew up in the area.[27]

Novelist Alistair MacLean lived in the area before moving to Switzerland as a tax exile.[28]

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.[29] The NHS board is NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service and has a fire station based in Clarkston.[30]

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.[31] Transport Scotland manages the local rail network.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Comparative Population Profile: Clarkston Locality, Scotland". 2001. Archived from the original on 5 April 2003. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Clarkston, Stamperland & Netherlee, Portal to the Past (East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure)
  3. ^ a b c Nisbet 2007, p. 4.
  4. ^ a b Nisbet 2007, p. 34.
  5. ^ a b c Mansions in Clarkston and Netherlee, Portal to the Past (East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure)
  6. ^ Netherlee, Williamwood House, Canmore
  7. ^ Nisbet 2007, p. 38.
  8. ^ Nisbet 2007, p. 24.
  9. ^ Nisbet 2007, pp. 26-27.
  10. ^ Glasgow, Clarkston, Williamwood, General (1991), Canmore
  11. ^ Williamwood House, CrossReach
  12. ^ History, Williamwood Golf Club
  13. ^ General oblique aerial view centred on the housing estate, taken from the WNW (2009), Canmore
  14. ^ History of the club, Cathcart Castle Golf Club
  15. ^ "Councillors and democracy". East Renfrewshire Council. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  16. ^ Loney, Gillian (15 September 2015). "East Ren community councils feud continues". Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Reserved and devolved matters". Scotland Office. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Paisley 1981–2010 averages". 1981–2010 averages. Met Office. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  19. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: East Renfrewshire Council Area, Scotland". 2001. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Comparative Household Profile: Clarkston Locality, Scotland". 2001. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  21. ^ "Comparative Employment Profile: Clarkston Locality, Scotland". 2001. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  22. ^ National Rail (23 January 2007). "Station Facilities: Clarkston (CKS)". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  23. ^ National Rail (23 January 2007). "Station Facilities: Williamwood (WLM)". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  24. ^ Butt (1995), page 62
  25. ^ Butt (1995), page 251
  26. ^ "Eastwood High School Achievers". Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  27. ^ "Enjoying a Belle epoch". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 22 February 2002. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  28. ^ Overview of Alistair MacLean.Gazetteer of Scotland. Accessed 2008-11-12.
  29. ^ "Electricity Distribution Network Operators". 2007. Archived from the original on 14 January 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  30. ^ "Fire Station Search". Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  31. ^ a b Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (5 September 2007). "Who we are". Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008.


  • 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 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.