Cumbernauld, one of Scotland's new towns, is the home of the modernist building, which has been described as the UK's first shopping mall. The addition of the Antonine Centre has increased the retail offering. Cumbernauld even has its own airport!
Cumbernauld is interpreted from the Gaelic "The meeting of the waters", a reference to the Luggie Water and the Red Burn which are close to the village. The original settlement is believed to have been started in Roman times under the shelter of the Antonine Wall.
Cumbernauld Village/Cumbernauld Estate has a pre-medieval history of which the Cumbernauld House was the base (prior to this, Cumbernauld Castle). The Estate comprised a large natural forest in which King James IV hunted for deer and the "wild" white cattle, by invitation of its owners the Flemings, later given the hereditary title Earls of Wigtown.
The town had two other distinct phases in its history. In the original 17th-century village the main industry was handloom weaving, but with the onset of the industrial revolution, and due to its proximity to the Forth and Clyde canal, the local economy changed.
By the 17th and 18th centuries, most of the Estate comprised tenanted farm holdings including Upper and Lower Abronhill, Carbrain, Kildrum, Hole, Tannoch, Seafar, Ravenswood, Eastfield, Palacerigg Greenfaulds, Forrest farms, Balloch and several more.
Mining and quarrying sprang up to take advantage of the rich minerals which were to be found in the area, coupled with cheap accessible transportation via the canal.
The origins of Cumbernauld New Town lie in the era of urban reconstruction which followed World War II. The 1946 Clyde Valley Regional Plan established a framework for the dispersal of the population from the more crowded areas of Glasgow to new towns and the comprehensive renewal of inner-urban areas. Cumbernauld's strategic location, and the area's limited amount of agricultural land, led to it being considered an appropriate new town location.
When the mining industry in Scotland declined, Cumbernauld and the surrounding villages were given a boost with the creation of the New Town of Cumbernauld in 1956.