Contact

Killallan

Kelenan—Kilhelan—Kylhelan—Kyllinan. [Regist. de Passelet.]

The ancient parish of Killallan, forming the north and north-east district of the now united parishes of Houston and Killallan, lay in some places much intermixed with the other. The parishes were united by a decree of the Court of Teinds in 1760.

Killallan was among the churches of Strathgryfe given by the Steward to the monastery of Paisley in 1165. It was confirmed by name to the monks, by Florence bishop elect, before 1207, and by the Pope in 1253. [Regist. de Passelet.] In 1227, the vicar serving the cure was appointed to have all the altar dues and offerings, and one chalder of meal. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 318.]

The old church of Killallan stands in ruins, with its high and low Kirktowns about a mile west of the old house of Barrochan; it was dedicated to Saint Fillan. [Inscription upon the church bell.] At a little distance from the church is a large stone, with a hollow in the middle, called Saint Fillan’s chair, and under a rock a little beyond, shaded with overhanging bushes, rises Saint Fillan’s well, to which the country people even lately used to bring their sickly children. There is a fair held here in January called Saint Fillan’s day. This Saint was celebrated by the church upon the 9th day of January.

The Knights Templars had a half mark land in the lordship of Barrochan within the parish; [Inquis. Retorn.] and a place still known by the name of Chapeltown, on the west side of the Barrochan burn, may perhaps mark the site of their establishment.

The rectory is valued at £13, 6s. 8d. in the Libellus Tax. Reg. Scot., and in the rental of Paisley 1561, it is given up as set for 1 chalder of meal, 8 bolls of bear, and £19, 6s. 4d. in money. [Rental of Assumptions.] The vicarage is valued in the taxation of the 16th century at £34; it was given up at £40 at the Reformation, for the assumption of thirds of benefices.

The parish seems to have consisted mainly of the lordship of Barrochan, a £20 land of old extent. The barony was the property of a family of Fleming, in the reign of Alexander III. Willelmus Flandrensis de Barruchane miles, witnesses the grant of Malcolm Earl of Lennox, of the land of Dalchorne. [Chart. de Levenax, p. 41.] In 1488, William Flemyng of Barrochan was one of the arbiters in the dispute between Paisley and Renfrew regarding their customs. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 406.] He fell at Flodden. [Crawford.]

Before 1225, there was a dispute between the monks of Paisley and Sir Hugh Fitz-Reginald Lord of Houston, regarding the land of Auchinhoss, which, though in his fief, the monks claimed to belong to their church of Kilhelan. The dispute was terminated by the knight agreeing to hold his land of the abbey, and to pay half a merk annually towards the lights of the church of Paisley. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 372.]

A few score yards south of the mill of Barrochan, and close to the public road, formerly stood an ancient cross, about 11 or 12 feet high, 20 inches broad, and 9 in thickness. It has much wreathed carving on all sides, and two rows of small figures on each front, but no letters apparent; it is a good deal weather-worn. In the upper compartment of the east face are four men bearing spears or battle-axes in their hands. In the upper compartment of the west face is a combat between a horseman and a person on foot, and below it are three figures, the centre one of diminutive stature, and the figure on the right hand interposing a shield to save him from the uplifted weapon of the other. The costume of the groups seems of two different kinds. In its old situation this monument was set in a pedestal of undressed stones; it has now been removed to the site of the old castle of Barrochan. [Wishaw, Appendix Old Statist.]