Kilmalcolm, a village and a parish in the Lower Ward of Renfrewshire. The village stands, 350 feet above sea-level, near the E border of the parish; and has a station on the Greenock and Ayrshire branch of the Glasgow and South-Western railway, 4 miles SE of Port Glasgow, 7½ ESE of Greenock, and 15 WNW of Glasgow. It took its name from the dedication of its ancient church to St Columba; and till lately it mainly consisted of old thatched houses, presenting a singularly antique and sequestered aspect. Its sheltered situation and the salubrity of its climate have led to a great extension during the last decade; and now it has a post office under Paisley, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, a branch of the Royal Bank, 5 insurance agencies, a good hotel, a large hydropathic establishment (1880), gasworks, and water-works, formed in 1878 at a cost of nearly £5000, with a reservoir holding 1, 500,000 gallons, and fed from Blacketty Burn. The parish church is a handsome edifice of 1833, with a tower and 700 sittings; it adjoins the aisle of a previous church, containing the tomb of the Earls of Glencairn. A Free church was opened in 1881, and a U.P. church in 1861. Pop. (1871) 395, (1881) 1170.
The parish is bounded N by Port Glasgow and the Firth of Clyde, E by Erskine and Houston, SE by Kilbarchan, S by Lochwinnoch, S W by Largs in Ayrshire, and W by Innerkip and Greenock. Its utmost length, from NE to SW, is 6½ miles; its breadth, from E to W, varies between 2 and 7¾ miles; and its area is 20, 405¾ acres, of which 263½ are foreshore and 477¼ water. The coast-line, 2½ miles in extent, is fringed by the low platform of the Firth's ancient sea-margin, and backed by pleasant braes 300 to 648 feet high. Gryfe Water, issuing from Gryfe Reservoir on the Greenock border, flows south-eastward right across the parish; and by it, Green Water, and its other affluents, the interior has been so channelled as to offer a charming variety of gentle hill and vale, with loftier moss and moorland to the W and S. Sinking along the Gryfe in the extreme E to 180 feet above sea-level, the surface thence rises to 570 feet at Craiglunscheoch, 853 at Hardridge Hill, and 1446 at Creuch Hill. The predominant rocks are eruptive; and the soil on the low grounds is mostly light and gravelly, on the higher is moorish or mossy. Nearly four-ninths of the entire area are in tillage; plantations cover some 125 acres; and the rest of the land is either pastoral or waste. Mansions, noticed separately, are Duchall, Finlaystone, Carrnuth, and Broadfield; and 10 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 34 of between £100 and £500, 65 of from £50 to £100, and 40 of from £20 to £50. Kilmalcolm is in the presbytery of Greenock and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £465. Kilmalcolm public and West Syde public schools, with respective accommodation for 350 and 80 children, had (1882) an average attendance of 202 and 33, and grants of £173 and £35, 7s. Valuation )1860) £11, 331, (1883) £35, 246. Pop. (1801) 1100, (1831) 1613, (1861) 1455, (1871) 1716, (1881) 2708.Ord. Sur., sh. 30, 1866.
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