A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer
of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and
Historical, edited by
Francis H. Groome
and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works,
Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.
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illearn, a village and a parish of SW Stirlingshire. The village, standing 270 feet above sea-level, by road is 3 miles SW of Balfron and 16½ NNW of Glasgow, whilst its station on the Blane Valley section of the North British is 7¾ miles SSW of Bucklyvie, 9½ NW of Lennoxtown, and 21 NNW of Glasgow, under which there are post offices of Killearn and Killearn Station. The parish church, erected in 1880-81 at a cost of £6000, from designs by Mr John Bryce of Edinburgh, as a memorial to the daughter of Archibald Orr Ewing, Esq. of Ballikinrain, M.P., is a cruciform Early English edifice, with 600 sittings and a SE spire 100 feet high. The Free church was built soon after the Disruption; and the former parish church of 1826 has been converted into a public-hall, with reading-room and library. The celebrated George Buchanan (1506-82) was born at the farmhouse of Moss, 1¾ mile SSW; and in 1788 a well-proportioned obelisk, 19 feet square at the base and 103 feet high, was erected at the village in his honour. Pop. (1831) 388, (1861) 420, (1871) 337, (1881) 356. The parish is bounded N by Balfron, E by Fintry, S by Strathblane and by New and Old Kilpatrick in Dumbartonshire, SW by Dumbarton, and W and N by Drymen. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 6½ miles; its breadth varies between 22/3 and 71/8 miles; and its area is 15,478 acres, of which 108 are water. Endrick Water meanders 10¼ miles westward and southward along the Balfron and Drymen boundaries, and towards the close of this course forms a picturesque fall at the Pot of Gartness; and the Blane winds 3 miles north-north-westward along the Strathblane border and through the interior, till it falls into the Endrick at a point 1½ mile WSW of Killearn village, a little above its mouth being joined by Dualt and Carnock Burns, the former of which makes one beautiful cascade of 60 feet. For 4 miles the parish is traversed from N to S by the Loch Katrine Aqueduct of the Glasgow Waterworks, which passes 3 furlongs E of the village. Perennial springs are copious and very numerous; at Ballewan is a mineral spring; and a triangular reservoir (6 x 32/3 furl.) lies on the Old Kilpatrick boundary. At the Endrick's and Blane's confluence, in the extreme W, the surface declines to 73 feet above sea-level, thence rising southward to 547 on Quinloch Muir and 1158 at Auchineden Hill, and east-south-eastward to 1781 on Clachertyfarlie Knowes and 1894 on Earl's Seat, the highest of the Lennox Hills, at the meeting-point with Campsie and Strathblane. The general landscape exhibits exquisite blendings of lowland and upland, of park and pasture, of wood and water; and both the valleys in the lowlands, and the glens and ravines in the uplands, disclose some fine close scenery. The rocks of the hills are eruptive, those of the valleys Devonian. Sandstone has been quarried for building in several places; and one spot has yielded millstones of inferior quality. The soil of the arable lands is mainly loamy or argillaceous; and 5370 acres are in tillage, 1140 are under wood, and the rest is either pastoral or waste. A castle and a battlefield are noticed under Balglass and Blairessan. Killearn House, near the Carnock's confluence with the Blane, 1¾ mile WSW of the village, is an elegant edifice of 1816. Purchased by his grandfather in 1814, the estate is the property of John Blackburn, Esq. (b. 1843; suc. 1870), who holds 2739 acres in the shire, valued at £2355 per annum. Other mansions are Ballikinrain Castle, Ballikinrain House, Moss House, Carbeth, and Boquhan; and 2 proprietors hold each an annual value of more than £2000, 2 of more than £800, and 3 of between £200 and £550. Killearn is in the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £232. A public school, with accommodation for 210 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 130, and a grant of £125, 13s. Valuation (1860) £7408, (1883) £16,013, 3s. Pop. (1801) 1039, (1841) 1224, (1861) 1171, (1871) 1111, (1881) 1131.Ord. Sur., shs. 30, 38, 1866-71.
An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is
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the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be
different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original
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