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Salsburgh is located in North Lanarkshire
Location within North Lanarkshire
Population1,230 (2001 Census)
OS grid referenceNS825625
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSHOTTS
Postcode districtML7
Dialling code01698 870/1
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°50′29″N 3°52′41″W / 55.84136°N 3.87795°W / 55.84136; -3.87795Coordinates: 55°50′29″N 3°52′41″W / 55.84136°N 3.87795°W / 55.84136; -3.87795

Salsburgh is a semi rural former coal mining village in greenbelt farmland within the district of North Lanarkshire, Scotland. The closest major town to the village is Shotts 3 miles to the south east and Airdrie 6 miles to the north west.

Salsburgh is perhaps best known for the Kirk O' Shott's Church (affectionately known as "The M8 Church") which sits on a hillock and is fairly visible as visitors enter the village from the east on the B7066 Whitburn to Newhouse road.

There has been a community in the area for over 600 years, although the present village dates back to 1729. At that time only a row of four houses existed, named "Muirhall, Girdhimstrait, Merchanthall and Craighead". Craighead was home to a Mr. Young and his wife Sally, and when Young sold some of his land to construct more houses it was decided that it would be named "Sallysburgh". Through time the name was shortened to Salsburgh.

The village is known to have one of the lowest crime rates in North Lanarkshire due to its rural location.[1] Salsburgh has various scenic walks, picturesque views for miles and areas which have remained untampered with by man such as the Riven Loch where much wildlife can be discovered.

As well as having the lowest crime rate, the village is also well known and publicised as being rich in folklore, stories and tales of a giant (see Bertram_de_Shotts, a haunted cemetery Shottskirk and a mysterious grey figure purported to be a lady[2] are well published on the internet and indeed one caller to a local late night call in talk show on the now defunct Scot_FM made a distressed call to the show stating they had just hit a mysterious grey figure, but upon going to make sure they were ok, the individual had just simply vanished into thin air.

Coal mining[edit]


Duntilland Colliery began production in 1896 with a workforce of just under 200. Their main production was specializing in coal types of/in manufacturing, anthracite and steam. It closed in 1951 and was owned and operated by Coltness Iron Co. Ltd.


Fortissat Colliery began production in 1870 with a workforce of just under 300. Their main production was specializing in coal types of/in-house and steam. It closed in 1949 and was owned and operated by Shotts Iron Co. Ltd.


Ardenrigg Colliery began production in 1926 with a workforce of just under 300. Their main production was specializing in coal types of/in anthracite. It closed in 1963 and was owned and operated by Ardenrigg Coal Co. Ltd.


Dewshill Collierie began production in 1896. The population of their workforce is not known. Their main production was specializing in coal types of/in anthracite. It closed in 1943 after being redeveloped in 1923 and was owned and operated by Coltness Iron Co. Ltd. The pumping shaft eventually sunk in 1957.


Hirstrigg Collierie began production sometime around after 1880 with a work force of between 200 and 300. It is not known what coal type they specialized in. It was originally owned and operated by Hirst Coal Co. Ltd (Glasgow) then latterly became under the ownership of Garscube Coal Co. Ltd (Edinburgh). It closed sometime around the 1940s.[3]


Kirk O' Shott's (Shottskirk) Public/Primary School[edit]

Kirk O' Shott's is the name of the local school which opened initially in 1700 in a rented building in the southern edge of the old Shottskirk churchyard; however, it was decided that a new school would be built opposite the church on what is now Newmill Canthill Road. It officially opened in 1799.

Due to an increase in school roll the original school was deemed no longer viabl. A new school was built to the east end of the village and was opened in August 1912 as Shottskirk Public School,[4] which later reverted to its original roots as Kirk O' Shott's in 1958 as a junior / secondary school.

Kirk O' Shott's Public School still thrives today as a busy public primary school serving the local community of Salsburgh and surrounding hamlets and proudly celebrated its centenary on 12 August 2012. Kirk O' Shott's remains a public school open to all denominations.

Kirk O' Shott's (Shottskirk) Parish Church[edit]

Kirk O' Shott's Parish Church is the name of the local church which serves the parish of Salsburgh, Shotts and surrounding area. The church was formerly a Catholic place of worship under the name St. Catherines, taken from Catherine of Sienna. About 550 years ago Bothwell and Shotts formed one parish which stretched from the Clyde to Linlithgowshire, and from the North to the South Calder. In this large area there were four places of worship, one of which was situated in the middle Bothwellmuir at "a desert place called Bertram-Shotts". Bertram was reputed to be a giant who lived in the area and terrorised travellers on the Glasgow/Edinburgh road. A reward was offered for his capture - dead or alive - and was claimed by William Muirhead who lay in wait for Bertram when the latter came to his favourite drinking place, a spring of water on the hillside above Shottsburn. He hamstrung him and, as the giant lay laughing up at him, he cut off his head with the words, "Will ye laugh-up yet?"

It was on Bertram's plot of land that St. Catherine's Chapel was built in 1450. It was dedicated to "the blessed Virgin and Catherine of Sienna".

After the Reformation of 1560, Kirk o’Shotts, otherwise known as Shottskirk or the affectionately titled "M8 Church", became a Protestant place of worship. The old church of St Catherine’s must have suffered many changes and required frequent changes since its foundation, but of these there is no account before 1640. In that year the Presbytery met at Shotts and ordered that the church be repaired and partly rebuilt, but it was more than eight years before the work was completed. The site of the old church is marked by the headstone erected to Samuel Meuros, who was session clerk and school master from 1794 to 1837. He was also Precentor, and it was his wish to be buried where his old desk had stood; thus he lies still at his post. On the back of the stone is the following inscription:

"Here stood the Precentor’s desk in the Kirk of Bertram Shotts which was rebuilt and extended in 1642".

This stone and the burial ground of the Inglises of Murdoston, which was inside the old church, give a clear idea of the site.

Shottskirk Cemetery is reported to be haunted by a mysterious grey figure who vanished to and from the mist when a driver reported having hit a grey figure on the B7066 road which runs adjacent to the Church and graveyard.

St. Catherine's Well / "Kate's Well"[edit]

St. Catherine's Well or "Kate's Well" is a natural holy spring well on holy ground at the foot of Kirk O'Shott's Parish Church, otherwise known as Shottskirk, in the village of Salsburgh, North Lanarkshire. The well dates back to the 14th century and derives from the church's former past when it was a Catholic place of worship as St. Catherines Chapel which has origins from Catherine of Sienna.

Kate's Well was also the scene of the local legendary giant Bertram de Shotts' demise where his head was decapitated as he drank from the well.

The Transmitters[edit]

Salsburgh is the locale of the twin BlackHill Transmitters due to its high position towering above the M8 motorway opposite the church. They can be seen as far as Bathgate, West Lothian to the east and Glasgow to the west. The transmitters are quite a prominent feature after dark for miles around, due to the coloured red lights which prevent aircraft from striking the towers.

The Kirk o'Shotts transmitting station is also nearby, which formerly carried a TV service and today carries DAB radio.

Pre-fabricated buildings[edit]

Not many know that Salsburgh was one of the first places in Scotland to have a "pre-fab", a pre-fabricated building with corrugated steel walls built. The first ever pre-fab was built in the village in 1945.[citation needed]

Schools and nurseries[edit]

  • Kirk O' Shott's Primary School (public, non-denominational)
  • Rowantree Nursery / Kirk O' Shott's Nursery

Places of worship[edit]

  • Kirk O' Shott's Parish Church (Protestant)
  • Sacred Heart R.C Chapel (Catholic)
  • Salsburgh Gospel Hall (Christian)



Throughout the years there have been a variety of mixed styles of properties in the village, beginning with prefabs (prefabricated structures with tin roofs) which were then replaced with more substantial council authority brick-built homes.

The village today consists of detached, semi-detached, terraced, bungalows, cottages, miners' row cottages (most of which are council authority and/or privately owned former local authority properties) and also fully renovated former derelict properties and new builds such as Salsburgh Meadows and the new builds situated in sections of Main Street.

The mix of old (miners' rows) and new (Salsburgh Meadows) makes the village quaint and gives it a certain charm retaining the old buildings from years gone by.

Salsburgh is one of the only places in North Lanarkshire that doesn't have a gas main, as it wasn't cost effective when the pipes were being laid. Services are provided independently by oil/LPG and, surprisingly, coal suppliers.

Most if not all street names within the village have some significance to the village's history and/or former residents.


Other landmarks include the footbridge which crosses the B7066 main road, which was struck by a careless crane driver in 2009.[5] It was rebuilt and reopened in 2014.


The 2001 census recorded a population of 1,230.[citation needed] It is now[when?] estimated that the village currently is populated by 2,500 residents.

Nearby towns and villages[edit]

Government and local groups[edit]

Local Fortissat ward councillors:

  • Cllr. Jim Robertson
  • Cllr. Charlie Kefferty
  • Cllr. Thomas Cochrane

Local provost:

  • Cllr. Jim Robertson


  • Neil Grey (SNP)


  • Alex Neill (SNP)

Local groups[edit]

There are several local groups in the village which have been set up to provide a service to the community.

Community Council provide information pertaining to planning, local interest surrounding the village and further awareness of events in the village.

Notable natives[edit]

  • Bertram de Shotts is known locally as a legendary giant who roamed the village of Shotts,[6] and outlying village of Salsburgh Scotland in the 15th century. Shotts was a dreary moorland place on the Great Road of the Shire, which was an important route for tradesman carrying their wares around Scotland. Bertram de Shotts habitually savaged packmen and peddlers for treasure carried along the Great Road, and King James IV of Scotland ordered his death. De Shotts was probably in fact seven or eight feet high, yet his presence merited giant status.[citation needed]
  • Jamie Dolan (22 February 1969 in Salsburgh – 31 August 2008) was a Scottish professional footballer who played for Motherwell, Dundee United, Dunfermline Athletic, Livingston, Forfar Athletic and Partick Thistle
  • Nat Muir (born 12 March 1958) is a Scottish retired long-distance runner. He competed at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on ten occasions in the 1970s and 80s.
  • Derek Whiteford (born 13 May 1947 in Salsburgh) was a Scottish football player and manager.


STV_(TV_channel) have reported several times from the village, most notably in relation to extreme weather conditions such as snow, this is due to the villages elevated position and tends to get very bad weather. The Village Is Also Known for being the Main shooting Location for indie horror film 'The Rain man'[7] which was Directed and written by a village native, Liam Downie. A full feature sequel is said to be in the works and An official book of the same name is set for release in 2019.


External links[edit]