East Renfrewshire’s Built Heritage
Take a stroll around any town or village in East Renfrewshire and you are bound to spot several buildings which are of historical significance, and which give us an insight into our local heritage.
Mearns Castle, built in 1449, is probably the earliest piece of built heritage that remains locally, but from the second half of the 18th century, when the towns and villages in East Renfrewshire began to grow due to the Industrial Revolution, building expanded rapidly.
Enterprising industrialists began to construct mills and factories all over East Renfrewshire, and although not many of these buildings still stand, there is much evidence of their existence still to be seen on the ground. Crofthead Mill in Neilston is the only cotton mill which survives, but there were many large mills and printworks constructed on our rivers.
The wealthy businessmen drawn to this area began to build grand houses and mansions and a surprising number of these still stand. The corresponding growth of our towns and centres was accompanied by the building of beautiful churches, grand civic buildings and well-built schools to accommodate the developing social needs of the expanding population.
Sadly, some important buildings no longer stand, but photographs and information on these can be found in the Heritage Collection.