Muirkirk became a major industrial centre between the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. A tar works was followed by an ironworks, and to feed these, extensive mining of coal and ironstone took place. When local mineral reserves were finally worked out, the population dropped from its 1901 peak of 5,000 to the present level of about 2,000. This small, isolated town has seen enormous change over the last century, with hundreds of houses demolished and a huge exodus of people forced to seek work elsewhere. David Pettigrew illustrates the Muirkirk story with rare photographs of the pits, rows and shops that once thrived here. Nearby Glenbuck, even more isolated, suffered a similar industrial decline and is now a ghost village. A photograph of the Glenbuck Cherrypickers and the story of the famous Shankly brothers is included.