Weir, Bridge Of

   WEIR, BRIDGE OF, a village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, partly in the parish of Houston and Killallan, and partly in the parish of Kilbarchan, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew; containing 1571 inhabitants, of whom 1432 are in the village, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Paisley. This thriving village stands on the river Gryfe, by which it is divided into two nearly equal parts; and is indebted for its prosperity to the cotton manufacture extensively carried on in the parishes of which it forms a portion. It is neatly built, and pleasantly situated within a mile of Houston, and about two miles to the north-west of Kilbarchan. The manufacture was established here about the year 1790, since which time it has been gradually increasing in extent and importance, there being now five large cottonmills, in which about 500 of the population are constantly employed, mostly for the houses of Paisley and Glasgow. The articles manufactured are chiefly of the finer sort; and the mills, which are driven by the river Gryfe, are fitted up with machinery on the best principles. A tannery occupies a considerable number of persons; the several handicraft trades requisite for the various works, and for the supply of the neighbourhood, are carried on; and there are shops in the village for the sale of groceries and other goods. The nearest markettown is Paisley; but Johnstone, within four miles, is a large and thriving town. The village contains a branch post-office which has a regular delivery; and facility of communication is afforded by good turnpikeroads which pass through the parish, by the Glasgow and Ayr railway, and by boats daily from Johnstone to Paisley and Glasgow. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Paisley and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The minister is appointed by the congregation, and now derives his stipend from the general Sustentation fund of the Free Church; the church, erected in 1826, is a plain structure, and till 1839 was a place of worship for some members of the United Secession, who at that time were received into connexion with the Established Church. In 1843 the building passed into the possession of the Free Church body. A day and evening school in the village, which affords instruction to about 200 pupils, is supported partly by endowment, and partly by the fees.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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