Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Kilpatrick, Old or West

Kilpatrick, Old or West, a village and a parish of SE Dumbartonshire. The village, near the N bank of the Clyde and of the Forth and Clyde Canal, has a station on the North British railway, 11¼ miles WNW of Glasgow and 4¾ ESE of Dumbarton. Tradition identifies it with Bonavem Taberniæ, at which was born the great Apostle of Ireland, St Patrick (387-458), but of which we only know for certain that it was situated in a part of the Roman province in Britain that was exposed to incursions of the Scots. In 1679 it was made a burgh of barony; but, having allowed its privileges to fall into abeyance, it now is a neat, tranquil, pleasant place, with a prosperous appearance, but little stir of manufacture; and has a post office under Glasgow, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments. The parish church, at its W end, is a neat edifice of 1812, with a square tower, and 760 sittings. The Free church, at the E end, was built soon after the Disruption; and the U.P. church is a plain building, belonging formerly to the Relief, and contains 587 sittings. Pop. (1861) 877, (1871) 903, (1881) 911.

The parish contains also the villages of Bowling, Clydebank, Dalmuir, Duntocher, Faifley, and Milton, with the greater part of Yoker, all of which are noticed separately. It is bounded NE by Killearn in Stirlingshire, E by New Kilpatrick and Renfrew, SW by the river Clyde, which divides it from Renfrewshire, and W and NW by Dumbarton. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 6¾ miles; its utmost breadth, from N to S, is 5½ miles; and its area is 13, 3641/3 acres, of which 310 are foreshore and 500¾ water. The Clyde, curving 7½ miles west-north-westward along all the south-western border, here widens from 110 yards to 7¾ furlongs, and here is crossed by Erskine and West Ferries; whilst on the Kilpatrick bank are no fewer than five calling-places for the Glasgow and Greenock steamers. A reservoir (6 x 32/3 furl.) lies on the boundary with Killearn, and sends off a stream to Allander Water; in the interior are Loch Humphrey (6 x 3 furl.), Cockno Loch (4 x 1¾ furl.), and three smaller sheets of water; and the drainage is carried to the Clyde by Dalmuir and other burns. From the belt of low fat ground along the Clyde the surface rises northward to 185 feet at Failey, 446 near Edinbarnet, 207 at Carleith, 1199 at the Slacks, 500 at Hill of Dun, 547 at Dumbuck, 1140 at Cockno Hill, and 1313 at Fynloch and Duncomb Hills, the two highest summits of the Kilpatrick Hills, which, occupying fully one-half of the entire parish, are that part of the Lennox range which extends from the Vale of Leven to Strathblane, and which, though it takes its name from West Kilpatrick parish, is prolonged into the parishes of Dumbarton, Killearn, and New Kilpatrick. Throughout all their southern frontage, but specially for the 3 miles between Kilpatrick village and Dumbuck, the Kilpatrick Hills present picturesque features of wooded acclivity and escarpment; above Bowling they embosom the ravine of Glenarbuck; they project, from the foot of the western flank of that ravine, the small rocky promontory of Dunglass; and they command, from multitudes of vantage-grounds on their summits, shoulders, and skirts, extensive, diversified, and very brilliant views. The strip between the hills and the Clyde, which narrows westward from 2¼ miles to less than 3 furlongs, may be roughly described as first a series of slopes, and next a belt of low flat, but is so broken with hollows and hillocks as to contain within itself some fine close scenes, and to include many vantage-grounds, particularly Dalnotter and Chapel Hills to the E and W of Kilpatrick village; which equal or excel those of the higher hills for command of magnificent views. The greater part of the entire parish, as seen from the deck of a steamer sailing down the Clyde, presents a continuous series of richly picturesque landscape. Eruptive rocks predominate in the hills, and carboniferous in the lower tracts; trap for road metal, and excellent sandstone for building, have been quarried in several places; and limestone, ironstone, and coal are worked in the neighbourhood of Duntocher. The soil is very various, ranging from fertile alluvium to barren moor. A little more than one-half of the entire area is in tillage; one-twentieth is under wood; and the rest is pastoral or waste. The chief antiquities are noticed under Antoninus' Wall, Chapel Hill, Dunglass, and Duntocher. Mansions are Auchentorlie, Auchentoshan, Barnhill, Cockno, Dalmuir, Dalnotter, Dumbuck, Edinbarnet, Glenarbuck, and Mountblow; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 12 of between £100 and £500, 14 of from £50 to £100, and 42 of from £20 to £50. In the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, this parish since 1875-82 has been ecclesiastically divided into Old Kilpatrick proper and Clydebank and Duntocher q. s. parishes, the first worth £386. Six places of worship, other than those at the village, are noticed under Clydebank and Duntocher. The six public schools of Bowling, Clydebank, Dalmuir, Duntocher, Milton, and Old Kilpatrick, and Duntocher Roman Catholic school, with total accommodation for 1535 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 831, and grants amounting to £760, 14s. 10d. Valuation (1860) £23, 429, (1883) £49,881, 7s. 1d. Pop. (1801) 2844, (1831) 5879, (1841) 7020, (1861) 5577, (1871) 5346, (1881) 8862, of whom 2752 are in Clydebank, 2300 in Duntocher, and 3810 in Old Kilpatrick proper.—Ord. Sur., sh. 30, 1866.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village and a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Dunbartonshire ScoCnty
Place: Old Kilpatrick

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.