Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Kelly House

Kelly House, a plain, white mansion, with beautiful pleasure-grounds, in Innerkip parish, W Renfrewshire, within 3 furlongs of the Firth of Clyde and ¾ mile NNE of Wemyss Bay station. The estate was held by the Bannatynes from the latter half of the 15th century till 1792, when it was purchased by John Wallace, Esq., whose son, Robert (1773-1855), represented Greenock from 1833 to 1845, and almost disputes with Rowland Hill the parentage of the penny post. Towards the close of his parliamentary career, he found himself forced to sell Kelly, which in 1867 was purchased by the eminent chemist, Dr James Young, F.R.S. (1811-83), owner in Renfrew and Ayr shires of 740 acres, valued at £993 per annum. (See also Durris.) He added a large picture gallery to the house, which was built by Mr John Wallace in 1793, and much enlarged by his son. One of Livingstone's early friends, Dr Young in 1875 entertained for a fortnight the two African servants of the great explorer; and in the grounds here they reared a facsimile of the hut they had built for their master to die in. Kelly Burn, rising at an altitude of 880 feet above sea-level, hurries 3¾ miles west-south-westward to the Firth, chiefly along the Ayrshire boundary. It flows through a narrow beautifully wooded glen, overhung by hills 700 to 900 feet high; and gives to these hills the name of Kellyburn Braes, sung in a quaint old satirical song, which was altered by Burns.—Ord. Sur., sh. 29, 1873.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a plain, white mansion, with beautiful pleasure-grounds"   (ADL Feature Type: "residential sites")
Administrative units: Inverkip ScoP       Renfrewshire ScoCnty

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