Calton, known by many locals as ‘the Calton’, is an historical community in the inner-east of Glasgow.
[The following is taken from Glasgow City Council’s Bridgeton Heritage Trail resource.]
Calton is from a Gaelic word, coillduin, meaning wood on the hill. It had been known for some time as Blackfauld (supposedly because of the slag and debris created by surface mining) and formed part of the Barrowfield estate. It was ultimately raised into a Burgh of Barony, and annexed to the city in 1846.
Most of Bridgeton and Calton stand on land that was once the property of the Barrowfield Estate.
The first record of the estate appears in 1513, and its mansion house stood in Bridgeton, near the top of what later became Hozier Street. The derelict mansion was used as a stone quarry in 1844. John Walkinshaw, a city merchant, bought Barrowfield Estate around 1670 and it was held by his family until his grandson was obliged to sell it to the magistrates of Glasgow in 1723, following his involvement in the Jacobite uprising of 1715.
From 1730 to 1788 it was the property of John Orr, and, in 1795, it belonged to a merchant Hozier, both of whom are remembered in Bridgeton street Names. Calton stands on the site of the Gallowmuir, once an area of common land used, as its name suggests, for executions. It was sold by the city to John Walkinshaw in the early eighteen century and united with Barrowfield holdings. The development of a village at Calton began in 1705, and by 1722 both weaving and pottery making had been introduced.
In the villages of Calton and Bridgeton the weaving of linen on handlooms was a cottage industry, and in 1819 accounted for 40% of the workforce of both places. Most ground floor property in Bridgeton was occupied by handlooms, and bleaching fields surrounded the village including those on Glasgow Green. The handloom weavers were originally independent artisans, but by the late eighteenth century most were employed by large manufacturers who paid them set rates. It was effectively piece-work, with the weavers still working from their own homes.