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Board 2

The two kirks

Why does the village have two kirks so close to each other? One was built in 1826 and the other in 1880–82.

Crowd of people including soldiers in uniform, standing beside Killearn's war memorial, with the church in the background
The dedication of the village’s War Memorial on 6 April 1924, with the Kirk in the background. The back of the memorial carries a verse specially written by the then minister, Dr Gordon Mitchell. (From the All Killearn Archive collection.)
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The first kirk (the white building next to the road junction) was built when the Old Kirk (see Board 4) was replaced. For about 60 years it was Killearn’s kirk, after which it became the Parish Hall, and, from the 1930s, the Village Hall. Its site was bought from John Blackburn of Killearn House (see Board 5). There is a display of village history inside.

In the 1870s, the kirk’s minister thought the village needed an even bigger building. He asked Archibald Orr Ewing, who lived at Ballikinrain Castle (on the road to Fintry), to pay for it.

Orr Ewing said that if he had no fires for three years in his textile factories in the Vale of Leven, he would build a new kirk. However, Ella, one of his daughters, died aged 16 in 1878. The Kirk (the stone building with a spire) that he then gave was built in a grander style as a memorial to her. It was finished in 1882.

The field beyond the two buildings is called the Glebe (land owned by the kirk to help provide an income for the minister). The Killearn Trust acquired the Glebe in 1946 to ensure it remained an open space and to protect the view.

Did you know

In 1944, Sir William Burrell gave his art collection to the City of Glasgow. He said that it should be housed within four miles of Killearn. A number of local sites were considered but then rejected. A gallery in Pollock Park, on the south side of Glasgow, finally opened in 1984.

Continue in front of the Kirk to the Buchanan Monument to reach stop 3