Irschin—Yrskin—Hyreskyn—Harskyn. [Regist. Glasg. Regist. de Passelet.]

Erskine is part of the ridge which divides the Gryfe from the Clyde. The lands shelve sharply towards the Clyde, and more gradually towards the water shade of the tributaries of the Gryfe.

The church of Erskine was one of the churches of Strathgryfe granted by Walter Fitz-Alan to Paisley. It was confirmed by name, by Florence bishop elect of Glasgow, between 1202 and 1207. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 113.] In 1227, a composition was made between Paisley and Glasgow concerning the procurations payable to the bishop for the Abbey churches. The arbiters then taxed all the churches of Strathgryfe at only two receptions (hospicia,) and, to make up for some loss sustained, decreed that the church of Hyreskyn, which then pertained to Paisley, should become the property of the bishop. [Regist. Glasg., p. 121.] The parsonage was afterwards erected into a prebend of the cathedral, but at what time is not known. It was taxed among the prebends in 1401. [Regist. Glasg., p. 299.] William, parson of Yrskin, was witness to an agreement between the see of Glasgow and the canons of Gyseburn in 1223. [Regist. Glasg., p. 105.] The cure was served by a vicar after the parish became a prebend of Glasgow. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 285.]

The old church stood in the middle of the present church-yard, at the east end of the parish. The stoup which was attached to its principal entrance still stands there.

The prebendal rectory is taxed in Baiamond at a value of £80; in the taxation of the 16th century at £68. In 1561 it was let for 200 merks. [Rental of Assumptions. Compt. of Col. Gen.] The vicarage is valued in Baiamond at £26, 13s. 4d.; in the taxation of the 16th century at £34. It was stated at £40 in 1561. [Compt. of Coll. Gen. of thirds.] The vicar’s glebe, with the manse, seems in all to have been about 11 acres. [lnquis. Retorn., 116, 117.]

Frieland, 2½ merk land of old extent, was part of the possessions of the Knights Templars, [Wishaw. Inquis. Retorn., 78.] who had a settlement at Inchinnan.

The rest of the parish constituted the ancient manor of Erskine, and must have been granted to the Stewarts among their other Renfrewshire possessions, though it is not named in the charter of Malcolm IV. Like the other manors of their great fief, this soon passed into the hands of a family who took their surname from it. Its possessor in 1225 was Henry de Erskin, who witnessed a confirmation of the church of Roseneath to Paisley by king Alexander II. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 240.] and John Ireskin, knight, witnessed the Earl of Monteith's grant of Saint Colmane] to the same monastery, apud parcum de Irschyn in 1262. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 122.] It continued with that family till after the Reformation. In 1635, the ancient lordship and barony of Erskine was retoured at 100 merks of old extent, and 500 of new. Attached to it were the ferry-boats of the east and west ferries to and from Dunbarton and Kilpatrick. [Inquis. Retorn., 94.]

The possession of Park was held for sometime by a family of the same name, and in the reign of James IV. was left to three daughters, co-heiresses. [Crawfurd, p. 114.] The other principal possessions were Balgarran, Bishoptown, Dargavel, the property of a family of Maxwell, which came off from the Maxwells of Newark in 1515; Rossland and Glenshinnoch.

The old castle of Erskine stood on the bank of the Clyde, near the site of the present house.