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Kilmacolm and Port-Glasgow I

Kilmacolme—Kylmalcolm. [Regist. de Passelet. Regist.Glasg.]

The ancient parish of Kilmacolm comprehended the upper basin or strath of the Gryfe and its tributaries, with a large margin of moorland on the south-west, and a stripe of steep wood-lands along the sea.

In the year 1694, the burgh of barony of Port-Glasgow, and the bay of Newark, were separated from the parish of Kilmacolm, and erected into a distinct parish. [Crawford.]

Kilmacolm, amongst the churches of Strathgryfe, was granted by Walter the Steward to the monks of Paisley, and was confirmed to them by name, by Florence, bishop elect, 1202-7. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 113.] In 1227, the cure was served by a vicar pensioner, who had 100s. yearly from the altarage. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 318.] Hugh de Parcliner, perpetual vicar of Kilmacolm, is witness to a charter granted by Donald Makgilcriste lord of Tarbard, granting to the monks of Paisley, the right of cutting wood within all his territory, for the building and use of their monastery, after the middle of the 13th century; and on Monday next after the feast of the Purification in 1303, Sir Hugh de Sprakelyn, vicar of Kilmacolm, lent his seal to authenticate a deed granted at Paisley by Roger son of Laurence, clerk of Stewardton, whose seal was not sufficiently known.

The ancient church was situated in the village of Kilmacolm, on the banks of a small stream. It is said to have been dedicated to King Malcolm III., but without any authority. There can be little doubt that it was one of the numerous churches dedicated to Saint Columba.

At a place near Westside, and not distant from the old castle of Duchall, there was a chapel on the green water, which appears to have been endowed by the family of Lyle, the lords of the mayor. Master David Stonyer, hermit of the chapel of Syde, is a witness to a deed in 1555. [Crawfurd, p. 21.] In 1635, the lands of Auchinquhoill, Easter and Wester Sydes, with the chapel and chapel lands of the same, were the property of the Earl of Glencairn. [Retour.]

In the barony of Finlastoun-Maxwell or Newark, there was a chapel and endowed chaplainry, afterwards included in the parish of Port-Glasgow; and the names of other places in that barony, as Priestsyd, Kylbryde, and the 20s. land of Ladymuir, [Retour.] perhaps mark endowments belonging to that chapel, or to altars in the parish church. In the Libellus Tax. Reg. Scot. the rectory of Kilmacolm is valued at £40. It was let for 200 merks at the time of the Reformation. [Rental book of Assumptions.] The vicarage is taxed in Baiamund according to a value of £53, 6s. 8d. It was let at the time of the Reformation for 50 merks. Its glebe was of two acres. [Retours.]

This wide parish, among the heights that separate Renfrew from Ayrshire, which the monks of Paisley used to call ‘the moor’, and one of their earliest benefactors styled ‘the moors’, in reference to Innerkyp, which lay beyond it, [Regist. de Passelet, pp. 112-5, &c.] seems at first to have consisted of two great manors or baronies—Duchal, to the south and inland; and the other called Danielstoun, between the Gryfe and the sea. The family of Lyle possessed the former at an early period of record. Ralph de Iusula, along with many of the favourite adherents of the first high steward, about 1170, witnesses the gift by Baldwin de Bigre, of the church of Innerkyp to the monks of Paisley. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 112.] and a grant of Walter Fitz-Alan himself, made for the soul of Sir Robert de Brus. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 87.] Alan de Insula was one of the knights of the high steward in 1246, [Regist. de Passelet.] and Ralph de Insula, lord of Duchyl, witnesses a sale of Ald Ingliston to Paisley about 1260. [Regist. de Passelet, p. 58.] Duchall remained in the family of Lyle till the middle of the 16th century, when it passed into that of Porter of Porterfield. [Crawfurd.] The remains of the castle were described in 1792, as ‘very romantique in situation and strong in construction’.