- KILMALCOLM, a parish, in the Lower ward of the county of Renfrew, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Port-Glasgow; containing 1616 inhabitants, of whom 377 are in the village. This parish, which is situated on the Frith of Clyde, is about six miles in length and nearly of equal breadth. It comprises 25,000 acres, of which 8000 are arable land in a state of profitable cultivation, to which might be added 1000 more; about 250 natural wood and plantations; 6000 moorland in undivided common; and 10,000 pasture and waste. The surface is gently undulating, rising from the bank of the Clyde, and in various parts relieved by tracts of ornamental planting, which add much to the beauty and variety of the scenery. The village has an elevation of nearly 400 feet above the level of the sea, and commands an extensive and interesting view of the surrounding country, embracing the Frith, which skirts the parish for nearly four miles. The rivers Gryfe and Duchal, which have their source in the western confines, after intersecting the parish, unite their streams, and flow into the river Cart, which falls into the Clyde at Inchinnan. These streams abound with trout, and, towards the close of the year, with salmon, which come up from the Clyde to spawn. The soil is in general light and unproductive, and consequently a very small proportion is under cultivation: the system of husbandry is, notwithstanding, considerably improved; and with due encouragement, a great part of the waste lands might be reclaimed. The farm-buildings are also improving in their style; and the crops of grain are favourable, and equal in quality those of any other parish. Great numbers of sheep and cattle are fed on Duchal moor, which comprises nearly 6000 acres of undivided common; the cattle are generally of the Ayrshire breed. Some improvement has taken place in draining and inclosing the lands; but the fences are badly made, and indifferently kept. The rocks with which the parish abounds are of granite, and frequently extend to a great depth; but few minerals of any value have been found. The rateable annual value of Kilmalcolm is £9025.The seats are, Duchal, a handsome modern mansion, well situated, and embellished with thriving plantations; Carruth, a substantial and elegant residence, with a tastefully-planted demesne; Finlayston, a modern mansion, commanding an extensive view of the Clyde; and Broadfield. The village is neatly built; there are three mills for grinding oats and barley; and a circulating library has been formed, with every probability of its being well supported. The public roads are convenient, and are kept in good repair. The parish is in the presbytery of Greenock and the synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and patronage of Dr. Anderson; the minister's stipend is £246, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £16 per annum. The church, which is situated in the village, and has been rebuilt within the last few years, is adapted for a congregation of 1000 persons. There are places of worship for Baptists and Reformed Presbyterians. The parochial school, also situated in the village, is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with £10 fees, and a house and garden. John Knox, the celebrated Reformer, dispensed the sacrament at Finlayston House, then occupied by the family of the Earl of Glencairn. On this occasion the wine was put into the hollow of the lower parts of two candlesticks of silver, which, while that family remained at Finlayston, were regularly used in the church; but, upon their removal from the parish, they were exchanged for four cups of gilt copper, by the countess, who took the candlesticks away with her. The lords Lyle, as well as the earls of Glencairn, had property anciently in the parish; and several members of the two families are interred in the cemetery of the church.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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