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Kilbarchan in general

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      16.06.2001 19:08
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      Just to let you know of my home village Kilbarchan, a little village in Renfrewshire off the M8 from Glasgow. BRIEF HISTORY. Kilbarchan is an ancient village. Founded upon the Chapel of St Katrine round about 1483, it also has close connections with St.Barchan dating from 550A.D. It was not until the beginning of the 18th century that it started to expand and develop into a prosperous weaving community. Linen weaving was begun in the year 1739 by JohnBarbour of Forehouse and others, among whom the names of Speirs,Howe and Houston are associated in these early ventures.Weavers cottage is still standing today and is open to the public and is one of the last working looms in Scotland. In the '45 the village sent 50 able bodied Militia to assist in the opposition to the 1745 rising, and by the year 1774 Kilbarchan contained 142 houses (122 thatched and 20 slated ) in which 304 families, totalling 1184 persons lived. There were 180 weavers looms working. In the year 1755 Kilbarchan steeple and part of the present buildings were erected by James Milliken of Milliken esquire, and further addition was made by him in the year 1782. These buildings exist in their original external form to this day. The Steeple had a bell from it's earliest days. This bell was rung at six o' clock in the morning, six o' clock in the evening and again at 10 o' clock at night, and ever since the village has resounded to this bells notes as the ringer " tolls the knell of the parting day". A clock having but one dial face was added at this time installed on the North side facing the cross, but three more faces were added in 1782. On the North face of the Steeple is a niche containing a statue in bronze of Habbie Simpson, piper of Kilbarchan, who lived from 1550 to 1620. During this period he kept the streets alive with his piping. And every year he is brought back to life so to speak at the village pageant Lilias Day. A
      ballastrade was also placed above the clocks having five balusters in each square, for the safetey of people wishing to walk round the belfry and enjoy the view of the village and its ordered existence. So next time you are on the M8 heading for Ayrshire why not pop in and visit the village ,have a mea and a pint in the Trust Inn or the Glenleven.

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