Crawford and Semple give useful details of early
bridges and also early attempts at road making. They
also mention the deepening of the Clyde at Dunglass
where there was a ford, and ferries at Cloch Point,
Greenock to Drumfork (just east of Helensburgh), the
West Ferry of Erskine opposite Dumbarton Castle and
the East Ferry of Erskine opposite Old Kilpatrick.
The only mention of prehistory in the Statistical Accounts
is of a subterranean village near Cathcart. Some
thought there was a Roman camp on Camp Hill (in present
day Queen's Park) and two in Kilmacolm parish (as mentioned
by Crawford and Semple), as well as one in Paisley connected
by road to the east.
The Cathcart account details roads at the time of the
battle of Langside (1568); at Barochan there was an
ancient road-side cross; a"Roman bridge" in
Inverkip parish, and one in Lochwinnoch parish mentioned
in Paisley Abbey's Rental Book in 1525. Crawford and
Semple mention a Paisley Abbey charter of 1490 that
refers to a bridge over the Cart and the king's highway
in the town.
The Accounts mention the ferries noted in Crawford
and Semple with additionally the Renfrew ferry that
used to be sited ¼ mile upriver. Those living
by the Clyde found it more convenient to use the steamers
that ran up and down the river than travel by road.
Details are given of the Glasgow to Johnstone canal
which was later replaced by a railway. It afforded comfortable
and rapid transport at the time. Descriptions are given
of the unusual Inchinnan bridge which crosses the White
Cart and the Gryfe at their confluence. The part crossing
the Cart made navigation difficult and so was filled
in and a short canal made to divert the river. This
canal is now crossed by a rolling lift bridge.
There are a couple of references to how bad the early
roads were such as that between Beith and Paisley being
"very hilly and almost impassable for horses and
carriages." Neilston c.1770 had "scarcely
a road in the parish." Goods were generally carried
by pack-horse. There were early turnpikes but these
were not well-made or maintained and could have a bad
line. The Neilston account says that in 1790 these roads
had " hilly and rough courses, were very tedious
and unpleasant, and often unsafe to travel on."
Later turnpike roads were much better and a good transport
system of coaches and carriers developed. The statute
labour roads varied by parish - some were good, others
The usual details of fairs, the availability of coal,
and the postal service are given.
Page 193 Roads: Pollokshields-Langside-Glasgow; Kilmarnock-Glasgow
Page 196 Bridges at Cathcart Castle and in Cathcart
Page 201 Bridge in Langside dating from 1772
Bridge at Drips over the White Cart, 1701.
Brief mention of the Kilmarnock and Ayr road running
through the parish and of a bridge
over the Cart (NMRS record).
Details are given of a subterranean
village (NMRS record) on the farm of Overlee.
Details also of a putative Roman encampment on Camp
In an account of the Battle of Langside (1568), the
writer discusses the roads that existed at that time.
The road from Hamilton either crossed the Clyde at Dalmarnock
or came through Rutherglen entering the parish at Hagginshaw
(Hangingshaw - now Prospecthill Road) and passing along
the ridge of what is now known as Mount Florida where
it coincided with the Glasgow to Ayr road that wound
round the south side of the Clincart Hill. From this
road, 100 yards west of the present Ayr road, it diverged
by the bank of a morass on what is now Bushy-Aik Lane
(now Battlefield Road) to Langside village. The Ayr
road continued to the south, crossing the Cart by the
still remaining bridge near the old castle. The Queen,
watching the battle from near the castle, left the battlefield
by a lane that joins the road to Rutherglen at the Hagginshaw,
which because it was so muddy is still known as Mals
Mire (on alignment of Menock Road as it runs into Carmunnock
Road just east of railway station).
An omnibus leaves Clarkstone toll for Glasgow every
day (page 509).
Page 218 Bridges: Polnoon over White Cart, "built
after the old model with one arch
over White Cart, built 1765 - on East Kilbride road;
bridge over Water of Earn; another bridge at Kirkland
on the Carmunnock road.
There is a turnpike to Glasgow and one is presently
being built from Ayr to Edinburgh by Hamilton. A turnpike
road is proposed from Muirkirk, through here, to Glasgow.
The village is "oppressed with gangs of gypsies,
commonly called tinkers or randy beggars
of village said to have been built by the Earl of
Eglinton to his hunting lodge at Cleughearn
Details of a historic fair. In 1672 it is noted that
the village lay on the Kings Highway.
Smuggling used to be common.
A coach runs to the head of Main Street, Gorbals, twice
a week, and three carriers also run to Glasgow twice
Fuel can be obtained but from some distance away, viz.
Glasgow, Wellshot and Hamilton.
Page 184 There are 2 bridges over the Aldhouse burn
- one was built in 1755.
Main street is causewayed for two furlongs - there is
a toll at the western end. The main road from Ayrshire
runs through here.
Page 189 Private bridge at Pollok House built 1757/8.
There is also a wooden bridge under lock and key in
the east of the grounds.
No mention of roads.
The main settlement is Pollockshaws. It has a post office
served from Glasgow - there is no market but provisions
are readily obtained.
Several turnpike roads run through the parish, with
stage coaches but the toll-dues are oppressive - it
costs 1/4d for a single horse-gig to travel three miles.
Bridges and fences in good condition.
Coal used as fuel.
Page 62 Some details of both ferries. At Dunglass attempts
to deepen the Clyde began about 1774 with jetties built
to scour the river and open ended boxes being dragged
back and forth across the river, lifting 1200 tons per
Page 64 The great road between Glasgow and Greenock
passes through. From Renfrew it passes Inchinnan, then
south of Erskine and to the north of Kilmacolm to reach
The East Ferry or Ferry of Erskine is nearly opposite
Old Kilpatrick. It takes horses, carriages and foot
passengers. Fine quays have recently been built. Another
ferry called the West Ferry is opposite Dumnbarton Castle
and is used mostly by foot passengers.
The former turnpike between Glasgow and Port Glasgow
had a poor route and has been replaced by a new road
along the side of the Clyde.
The crossroads are poor and there are difficulties with
the statute labour.
p. 501 There are "two points on the old post-road
between Greenock and Glasgow, from which may be had
most enchanting views of the far-famed lake and mountain
scenery of the west of Scotland." Some forty years
ago there used to be an inn here where the coach which
ran between Greenock and Glasgow would stop - 12 hours
was alloted for the journey of 24 miles. It now takes
one hour by rail.
p. 520 Post office in Bishopton with regular collections
and deliveries. Those near the Clyde get their post
from Old Kilpatrick.
Apart from the (new) public road from Glasgow to Greenock
there are parish roads to Inchinnan, Houston and Kilmacolm
maintained under the statute labour.
The stage coaches that used to run to Greenock and Glasgow
have long been replaced by steamers that call in at
Erskine Ferry every half-hour.
Erskine Ferry allows easy communication with Old Kilpatrick
and the West Ferry with Dumbarton. There is an inn at
Erskine Ferry, well-frequented by dinner parties from
Glasgow and, as it is the lowest ferry for carriages
and horses going to Dunbartonshire and the West Highlands,
is much used for this purpose. Details of the fares
Although the West Ferry (opposite Dumbarton Castle)
is dilapidated and little used there are plans to improve
it and introduce a steam boat service that will run
to Dumbarton and further afield.
Railways are now much used for the carriage of freight
as the rates are so moderate.
Coal and peat are used as fuel.
Page 78 There is a ferry over the Clyde to Drumfork.
Notes desirability of making the high grounds of the
parish more accessible by constructing roads "conducted
in a winding line.." He refers to the practice
of building roads in a straight line whatever the gradient,
and cites the road between Port Glasgow and Crosshill
now being changed.
parish or Town of Greenock
Street lamps being used.
Fifteen years previously there had only been one stage
coach to Glasgow each day, now there four; as well as
one to Irvine and a daily coach in winter to Port Glasgow
and eight post-chaisses.
Many details of the shipping trade and of industries
Greenock is the market town for this parish and for
Inverkip and Kilmacolm.
There is a post office with frequent collections and
There are 8 miles of turnpike road in the parish, mostly
in excellent condition. There are hourly omnibuses to
Port-Glasgow and Gourock. Steam-boats have completely
replaced stage coaches for travel to Largs and to Paisley.
Two fairs each year. Coal easily obtained with some
peat used in the upland areas of the parish.
United Parishes of Houston
Page 102 No mention of roads or bridges.
There was an ancient cross
(NMRS record) by the road side near Barochan that may
have been a "devotional cross for travellers"
Nearest market town is Paisley, seven miles away although
many goods can be bought and sold in Johnstone, three
miles away. Cattle fairs in May. Coal and peat available
Page 39 Considerable details are given of Inchinnan
bridge. It was built in 1759 and has ten arches
Inchinnan Bridge (NMRS
records and photos) has 10 arches crossing the White
Cart and the Gryfe (the confluence of the Gryfe and
Black Cart is just west of Glasgow Airport - beyond
this point it is now known as the Black Cart) as well
as an arch from the centre of the bridge to the Paisley
road. It had been a toll bridge until 1787.
|Views of Inchinnan
Bridge - the White Cart once flowed under the first
bridge but was filled in and diverted by the canal
which is now crossed by the rolling lift bridge
a little to the east - see 6" map, Renfrewshire,
As it was difficult to navigate under Inchinnan Bridge,
a canal was built between the Clyde and Paisley.
Inchinnan Bridge crosses over both the Gryfe and the
White Cart at their confluence.
Grain is disposed of in Glasgow and Paisley; dairy produce
The Glasgow to Greenock road passes through and there
are two good roads to Paisley. Inchinnan and Barnsford
(over Black Cart on A726 just west of airport) bridges
"supersede the fords or ferries of former times."
Manure is carried by water from the towns.
There used to be a mail-coach and several stage-coaches
on the Greenock road each day but the railway has replaced
There is a postal service. Coaches run from Renfrew
to Glasgow and Paisley.
Since the last account, the roads are greatly improved.
Page 89 Road from Greenock. Another road is being made
from Gourock to join this road at Ellie-Mill and Fancy-farm.
Page 100 There is a public ferry at Cloch-point.
Two bridges over the Kipp
and Daff - both high and narrow.
The road to Irvine and Ayr is good. A John Stewart altered
five miles of the road towards Greenock.
There are no tolls.
A ferry runs to Dunoon.
|The "Roman Bridge"
- thought to be mediaeval
There is a very old bridge on the Dunrod Burn - Dunrod
is close to the Kipp Burn.
Page 113 Mention of road to Lochwinnoch.
Page 114 Streets are causewayed.
Page 120 Mention of bridges - Aliestoun Bridge; a bridge
built in 1754 at Pennal over Gryfe on the road to Kilmacolm;
a bridge at Kaimhill on the road between Bridge of Johnston
and Bridge of Weir (the latter was rebuilt in 1770);
and one at Craigends.
Page 128 Gives a description of a road from Bridge of
Johnston, passing over Kaimhill Bridge then along the
top of the Long-Hill and by Bridge of Weir to Kilmacolm.
Another road leads to Houston.
In 1767-68, a Mr Milliken "carried the old road
from its ancient course" and made a new one via
Branscroft and Whitelands into Kilbarchan. He had also
funded most of the cost of two roads from Bridge of
Johnston to Kilbarchan. He also had a stone bridge over
the Black Cart built in 1761 and made a large contribution
to the rebuilding of the Bridge of Johnston
Page 134 Stone bridge over the Lochar, 1762
Page 135 Wooden bridge at Craigends
Page 137 Private bridge under lock and key near to Blackston
House. Bridge built at Linwood over Black Cart circa
Bridges in good condition; the roads could be improved
but are still better than those of neighbouring parishes.
The roads are built at the expense of private gentlemen
with assistance from the statute labour funds. They
are repaired from the statute labour which is paid in
kind - only the village has had this commuted.
A toll road is being built from Paisley to Newport,
Glasgow (i.e. Port Glasgow) by the Bridge of Johnston
and Kilmacolm. Another is proposed from Paisley by Linwood
to join the new Glasgow to Greenock road. These roads
will be a great benefit.
Mention of West Ferry on the Clyde, opposite to Dunbarton
The nearest market town is Paisley but most goods can
be obtained here or in Johnston. There is a post office
in Johnston. Roads are good.
Although there are no coaches, it is possible to travel
from Johnston to Paisley and Glasgow by passage-boat
on the canal, at a rate of 8 mph.
Coaches to and from Lochwinnoch, Beith, Ardrossan, and
Glasgow, pass about a mile south of this village.
Page 72 Details of bridges - at Duchal House 1775; at
Old Duchal; at the "step-ends - all on Duchal Water.
There are bridges at Milton and Littlemill over the
Gryfe, both built since 1710.
There may be a Roman camp at Gibblestoun and one at
Deriestoun in the Finlayston area
(Note: there is a Gibbleston
near Carruth House, 2 miles west of Bridge of Weir and
a Dennistoun just south of Kilmacolm though nowhere
near Finlaystone - see 6" map Renfrewshire, sheet
VII - both locations have mottes marked nearby - see
NMRS record for Gibbleston
Poor roads. Thirteen bridges, built and maintained mainly
by the family of Porterfield are in good condition.
There are three larger bridges on the main Glasgow to
Port Glasgow road. Two miles of the Greenock road runs
through the parish.
The statute labour is not commuted and is performed
There is a toll-bar on the road between Port Glasgow
and Kilbarchan. A turnpike making for easier communication
between Ayr and Port Glasgow and Greenock is being considered.
|Road from Kilmacolm
looking towards Bridge of Weir - the old road is
on the left
Port Glasgow is the nearest market and post town. There
are about six miles of public roads, with two toll bars.
Roads and bridges in good condition.
There used to be a fair here. Coal and peat available
although coal is expensive due to its distance.
Page 142 Mention of Roman road leading from Erickstone
Page 143 On the north side of the parish there is a
road from Ayrshire and the west that heads eastwards
to Paisley, Glasgow etc, and northwards to Port Glasgow
and Greenock. Another road goes north towards Dunbarton,
Port Glasgow etc by Alieston Bridge, Kilbarchan etc.
On the south side of the parish a road leads from Ayrshire
to Paisley and Glasgow.
Bridges: Over Moorburn; at Maich -1765; Kerse Bridge
over the Dubbs Brook, rebuilt 1765; Loch Bridge at west
end of Loch Winnoch, 1768 - there used to be a wooden
bridge here; Calderhaugh, half a mile west of Lochwinnoch,
over Calder Water 1769.
Page 160 Elieston Bridge was rebuilt in 1762.
There is a main road between Kilbarchan and Kilmarnock
with a branch near Elistoun to Quarrelton and Paisley.
A new road is being made between Paisley and Beith -
formerly the road was very hilly and "almost impassable
for horses and carriages".
Page 165 Kerse Bridge was built in 1782.
Page 168 Clarksbridge rebuilt about 1715.
Roads greatly improved from not so long ago when they
were hilly, narrow and near impassable in wet weather.
Two new lines of turnpike to Kilbirnie and to Port Glasgow
have been proposed. The parish roads cost £100
p.a. from the statute labour commutation money.
Twelve miles of roads and walks in the policy of Castle
bridge (see also NMRS
record) over the Calder, north of the village, is
very old being mentioned in a charter of 1650 and the
rental of Paisley Abbey in 1525. As it was so narrow
it was widened in 1814.
The nearest market town is Beith, but everything can
be obtained here in Lochwinnoch.
There is a post office here and regular carriers to
Glasgow, Paisley, Greenock and Port Glasgow etc. There
are excellent turnpike roads and bridges, and good private
A stagecoach from Saltcoats and Beith passes near the
village on its way to Glasgow and returns later in the
day, taking four hours for the complete journey and
two hours to Lochwinnoch.
Interesting details of fairs are given.
Coal is easily obtained in the parish.
Page 206 Kilmarnock road built about 1777.
Page 211 Wooden bridge at Capelrig.
The road are good and road-making materials close at
hand. Roads passing through are the Glasgow to Kilmarnock
and the Glasgow to Stewarton road. There is also a road
to (East) Kilbride and Hamilton.
Parish roads were made and repaired by statute labour
but this has now been commuted to a monetary payment.
Right to hold a weekly market and two annual fairs.
The village (Newtown) is formed of two rows of houses
on the Glasgow to Ayr road. Before 1792, there were
hardly any roads, and these bad. Everything was carried
on horse back.
Coal is available at reasonable prices.
Page 171 At Wester Arthurly, a "Danish stone",
seven feet long is used to cross a small stream.
Page 172 There is a bridge over the Levern near Dovecoat
Page 174 Roads from Stewarton and Beith meet in Neilston.
They continue as one road to Arthurly where they branch
to Paisley, and to Glasgow by Eastwood and Pollokshaws.
No particular mention of roads. Coal has been found
at the east end of the parish but there are no roads
available to exploit it.
Although the nearest market town is Paisley, most goods
can be obtained here. Post offices in Neilston and Barrhead.
Means of Communication
Two new turnpikes run through the parish and there are
three coaches every day. One turnpike runs to Irvine
from Glasgow going by the Hurlet, Barrhead, north of
Neilston and Uplawmoor, and the other from Paisley to
Neilston, Stewarton, Kilmaurs, Kilmarnock and Ayr replacing
the "old mountainous one" south of Neilston
- the new road runs past Loch Libo. There are 22 bridges
on the turnpike roads.
Around 1770 there was "scarcely a road in the parish."
Goods had to be carried on horseback and people living
in the moorland districts were frequently cut off. Even
the early turnpikes - there were three in the county
by 1790 - had "hilly and rough courses, were very
tedious and unpleasant, and often unsafe to travel on."
All this has now changed.
Several fairs are held. Coal used as fuel.
The writer gives more details of the past state of the
roads. In 1790 there were no stage coaches running through
the parish but by 1834 the Levern Trader, the Perseverance,
the Sons of Commerce, and the Union stage-coach from
Irvine to Glasgow by Loch-Libo were running. The tolls
were very high.
Page 221 Listing of roads
Page 248/250 Mentions of Rosss map, c. 1750 and
Pennants Tour through Scotland
Page 257 The road from bridge of Johnston to Dicks-bridge
is called the High Street and is 776 yards long
Page 260 Bridge at Elderslee
Page 261 As part of improvements to the Paisley Kilbarchan
road in 1782, a gentler gradient was created near Elderslee
Page 266 Bridge over the Espedair near Barrelholm close
to the Neilston road
Page 270 Linwood Bridge 1765 - two roads from here to
Page 271 Marksworth bridge near Easter Walkinshaw
Page 276 In a charter of Paisley Abbey dated 1490 there
is mention of the bridge over the Cart and the kings
highway leading westwards to the vennel opposite the
Page 277 Mention of Causeyside
Town of Paisley: There are well-paved streets and 3
of the Abbey of Paisley: A good turnpike road
runs east-west through the parish. The statute labour
roads are very poor. This situation is expected to improve
with a new act for building certain turnpikes and commuting
the statute labour work into money.
Up until 1770, goods were generally carried on horse
back for lack of roads and carriages.
Considerable details given of a putative Roman
camp in Paisley and a road that ran to it from the
main western Roman road via Mauls Mire.
Bridge at Johnston.
Large post office in Paisley and one in Johnston.
Weekly market and several fairs.
Hourly coach to Glasgow and regular services on the
canal. Coaches also run to and from Beith and Saltcoats
and Renfrew and Neilston.
About three years ago a steam-coach ran to Glasgow but
when the boiler burst with loss of life the service
Roads and Bridges
The turnpikes and other roads are in excellent condition.
The main road is the Glasgow road which crosses the
Cart by a very old bridge. There are several other bridges.
Hourly boats run to Glasgow and Johnston. In the year
ending 30th September 1836, 423,186 passengers used
Increase of travelling: Whereas there was only one weekly
coach to Glasgow in 1814, some 200 passengers were carried
each day in 1834. Moreover, in that year, 307,275 passengers
travelled by canal and a further 46,080 by the Cart
coastways. These numbers are bound to increase with
the building of railways.
Page 75 Development started after 1668 when Glasgow
built the port to receive goods for Glasgow.
In the early 1750s a good public road was made
down Clune Brae on the road from Glasgow. There is a
About 1768 a good road was made to Greenock. There is
a fine gravel walk on its north side for pedestrians
only. It runs to Crawfurds Dyke.
New Port Glasgow - no mention of roads.
No particular mention of roads but considerable details
are given of the port and extensive transport to Paisley
and Glasgow can be assumed.
The Glasgow to Greenock highway passes through the
used to be between King's Inch and Blawarthill but is
now quarter of a mile downriver. There are ferry houses
on both sides of the river and a ferry-boat which is
operated by rope and can take carriages.
The streets are very narrow and carriages find it difficult
to pass through.
about half a mile in length was made past Inchinnan
Bridge as it was so difficult to navigate past the bridge.
There is a timber drawbridge on this cut.
|Renfrew town centre
Main market towns are Paisley and Glasgow. There are
three cattle fairs in Renfrew itself but no regular
Very good communications - there are frequent steamers
on the river and daily coaches to Glasgow and Paisley
as well as carriers to Glasgow and two foot-runners
to Paisley. Those living on the north side of the river
are not so well served but still adequate.
Post comes from Paisley and, on the north side, from
There are good roads. Two run parallel on either side
of the Clyde - the old Glasgow and Greenock road and
the Glasgow to Dumbarton road. A road runs north from
Paisley to the ferry and on the north side there is
a road to the north-west of the parish. A road also
runs into Paisley from Inchinnan Bridge, and one in
the south-west of the parish. A railway is planned between
the ferry and Paisley.
There are two main bridges, Barnsford Bridge and Inchinnan
Bridge as well as a timber drawbridge on a canal that
runs alongside the White Cart.
In 1792 there were Acts for Parliament for converting
the statute labour and for building new roads. By 1812,
some £100,000 had been spent on the roads.
There was a turnpike act in 1753 to give easier communication
with Glasgow. Inchinnan bridge was built and roads made
to Kilmarnock and Greenock; these were poorly maintained
however until the 1792 act. £12,000 was spent
on the shore road between Greenock and Kelly Bridge
on the boundary with Ayrshire.