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Dalsef Village and Churchyard- Lanarkshire


 

The Parish of Dalserf covers an area of approximately 11 square miles, it lies on the West bank of the River Clyde, which forms it's East and North East boundary, to the West and South West the River Avon and Cander Water.

The Parish was also known as Machanshire, coming from one of its patron Saints, St Machan.

The name Dalserf is thought to have come from St Serf its main and primary Saint. Dal coming from the Gaelic Dail, meaning field or meadow and the Saxon word Shire, means division hence. Dalserf Field of Serf.

The old Church at Dalserf, which sits in the Clyde Valley is thought to be the site of St Serf's earliest Chapel. Affectionately known as the Auld Grey Mother Kirk, a name given by the Rev William Peebles Rorison one of the longest serving ministers. The church was one of the first of the reformed faith and was built during the Covenanting Period in 1655, now T shaped, was originally rectangular, Roman workings lie underneath the Old Kirkyard at Dalserf Church.

The Romans

The Parish of Dalserf has a strong link to the Roman occupation of Scotland. They were in Scotland 80 - 100 A.D.

They advanced through Scotland following the Rivers, such as the Clyde. They gave the name Strathclyde to the region and Clydesdale to the immediate area, hence the Clyde Valley.

Britons lived in this part of Scotland and the tribe known as the Dammoni Tribe, relations between them and the Romans was relatively harmonious to the point, at the battle of Valldeum fought in the Germanic area, volunteer Britons from this area fought with the Romans. The Roman exit from Scotland took place during the 6th century.

Christianity

St Serf is the main Saint for the Parish and by how the Parish is supposed to have attained its name St Serf Field of Serf. He is also associated with their parts of Scotland such as Culross in Fife and Stirlingshire, although he spent most of his life in the Clyde Valley. Son of the King of the Picts King Brudei, his father was the King of Canaan. Educated in Alexandria he came to the country of his mother to work in Scotland, giving up the offered exalted post of Pope, to work here. St Serf is thought to have died in Dunning around 543 A.D. he was the teacher and mentor of St Mungo or St Kentigern as he is also known, and Glasgow's motto through St Mungo being the patron saint of Glasgow is "Glasgow shall flourish by the preaching of the word"

Other dedicated men have passed throughout this part of Scotland at different times, leaving their mark and teachings on men such as, St Ninian who went on to Stirling, St Mungo who went on to Glasgow, St Columba, so much associated with the Holy Island of Iona. St Cuthbert, who went on to Edinburgh and St Patrick associated with Ireland and Wales.

The other main Saint for the Dalserf Parish is St Machan, who's main center was Dalserf, his alter stood for many years in Glasgow Cathedral but was destroyed during the reformation.

Discoveries

1947 While excavation work was being done at Patrickholme on the Stonehouse side of the Viaduct, workman's tools unearthed human remains hidden in a concealed, long since sealed chamber. The chamber consisted of decorated urns, which held cremated human remains of human adults and children. Also in the chamber were necklaces and combs. The remains of the Beaker People who are the first known recorded inhabitants of the Dalserf Parish 1300 -1700 B.c middle Bronze Age. Evidence of their habitats had been found and recorded South of the Parish at Cairn Cockle and living on the edge of the Nethan and Cander Water.