A Gazetteer of Renfrewshire extracted from
by Frances H. Groome

RENFREWSHIRE (anciently Strathgryfe) is a maritime county on the W coast of Scotland. Although only twenty-seventh among the Scottish counties as regards area, by its industrial importance it ranks ninth in the order of valuation and fifth in the order of population, while as to density of population it is slightly in excess of Lanarkshire and second only to Edinburgh, the most densely populated county in Scotland, the figures being for Lanarkshire 1186, Renfrewshire 1187, and Edinburghshire 1199 to the square mile. The city of Glasgow, as defined by the City of Glasgow Act of 1891, was partly in Lanarkshire and partly in Renfrewshire, but the Boundary Commissioners in 1892 placed the whole of the extended city in the county of Lanark. The small police burgh of Kinning Park was at the same time transferred from Renfrewshire to Lanarkshire, while of the parishes of Cathcart and East Kilbride, which were prior to 1891 partly in Renfrewshire and partly in Lanarkshire, Cathcart was placed in that year wholly in the former county, and East Kilbride wholly in the latter. Beith and Dunlop parishes, that were partly in Renfrewshire and partly in Ayrshire, were at the same time placed wholly in the latter county. The county is bounded N by the river Clyde and Dumbartonshire, NE and E by Lanarkshire, SSW by the Cunningham district of Ayrshire, and W by the Firth of Clyde. The shape is an irregular oblong. The greatest length, from Cloch Point on the NW to near Laird's Seat on the SE, is 30 1/2 miles; the greatest breadth near the centre, from the grounds of Erskine House on the Clyde on the N to a point on Dubbs Burn near Beith Station on the SSW, is 13 miles; and the area is about 250 square miles, or 162,400 acres, of which 2021 are foreshore and 3621 water. Of the land area nearly two thirds is cultivated, there being 92,217 acres in 1896 under crop, bare fallow, and grass, while 5961 were under wood, the rest being occupied by buildings and roads, etc., or by rough hill grazings and waste ground.
     Commencing at the NW corner at Kempock Point the boundary line follows the river Clyde for 17 3/4 miles to the mouth of Yoker Burn, up which it passes, following it nearly to its source. Thereafter it strikes across to Yokermains Burn, which it follows up till beyond Scaterig, whence it returns by the E side of Jordanhill and Scotstoun House grounds to the Clyde at the old line of the Marline Ford. Crossing the river it proceeds by an old channel of the Clyde along the western and south-western boundaries of the parish of GOVAN to the line of railway now occupying the old course of the Glasgow and Paisley Canal. Thence it proceeds southwards and eastwards along the Glasgow boundary line to a point half-way between Cathcart Church and Aikenhead Colliery. From this it bends southward and westward to the White Cart, and follows the course of that stream to the junction with Threepland Burn, which it follows for 1/4 mile, and then winds southward and south-westward to a point midway between Quarry Hill and Muir Hill. Here it turns to the WSW in a very winding course, always near but seldom actually on the line of watershed between the streams that flow south-westward to the Garnock, Annick, and Irvine, and so to the Firth of Clyde; and those that flow north-eastward to the Gryfe, Black and White Carts, and so to the river Clyde. The line is therefore mostly artificial, but to the E of Beith station it follows the course of Roebank Burn, and to the W of the station the courses of Dubbs Burn and Maich Water, and passing between Misty Law Moor and Ladyland Moor, reaches the watershed at Misty Law (1663 feet). It follows the watershed by East Girt Hill (1673 feet) and Hill of Stake (1711), to the E shoulder of Burnt Hill (1572), whence it takes the line of Calder Water for 1 1/2 mile, crosses to the upper waters of the North Rotten Burn, follows this down to about 1/2 mile from Loch Thom, and then striking across to Kelly Dam follows Kelly Water down to the pier at Wemyss Bay. From this back northward to Kempock Point, the Firth of Clyde is again the boundary.

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