For earlier photographs by other contributors, see NS4673 : Old Kilpatrick church
, NS4673 : Old Kilpatrick Kirk and graveyard
, and NS4673 : Old Kilpatrick Church
. As it turned out, the present photograph was taken on the day of the NS4673 : Old Kilpatrick Summer Fete
(The church is now known as Old Kilpatrick Bowling Parish Church, but I am primarily interested in its past, and so will generally use its historic name.)
The church shown here was built in 1812 after the minister, Mr McCartney (NS4673 : Memorial to William McCartney
), decided that the previous building (of pre-Reformation date) was no longer fit for use. While the congregation were waiting for the completion of the new building, which was built in more or less the same place as its predecessor, they met under a large plane tree near the manse.
In the present photograph, the area that is fenced off with metal railings, and which is located in front of the left-hand side of the church, is NS4673 : The Auchentoshan Enclosure
. The present photograph was taken from near the south-eastern corner of the kirkyard; in that corner is the NS4673 : Burial place of Stirling of Law
. The kirkyard also contains a number of other ancient and interesting memorials (click on the end-note title for these). There is also a carved effigy of a knight on the far side of the church: NS4673 : Old Kilpatrick Parish Church: effigy of a knight
The kirkyard (NS4673 : Kirkyard of Old Kilpatrick Parish Church
) was originally smaller, and rectangular in form; however, when the need for more space arose, additional land was acquired from Lord Blantyre, allowing for the north-western part of the kirkyard to be extended (this took place in 1878): NS4673 : Entrance to Old Kilpatrick Cemetery
The New Statistical Account (1845) says of the present building that "the church was built in 1812, and is in good repair. According to the plan, it was to contain 790, but, in fact, there is not seat-room for more than 750 or 760, at eighteen inches a sitter. All the sittings are allocated to the heritors. The manse was built nearly forty years ago, and repaired in 1829. The glebe contains about 8 Scotch acres, besides the garden ..." ["Glebe" – the portion of land assigned to a parish minister in addition to his stipend. "Heritors" – generally, landed proprietors, but, more specifically, those with the responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the parish church; see the online Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL)].
It is not certain just when the pre-Reformation church was built, but the Old Statistical Account (1793) described it as "a very ancient building". It had a rather plain appearance; after it had been demolished, a certain Mr Cumming of Dalmuir made a sketch of it based on the memories of those who could remember it. However, Miss Hamilton of Cochno had made a sketch of the building while it was yet standing; although that original sketch disappeared, a copy of it, made by Miss Cross Buchanan of Helensburgh, was preserved.
There was a church in what is now Old Kilpatrick from a very early date; the present church is thought to be "at least the third to occupy the site" (see the leaflet "The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Clydebank District" by June Craigie, issued by Clydebank District Libraries on behalf of the Clydebank Local History Society). In the early thirteenth century, a charter by Maldowen, Earl of Lennox, conveys the church and lands of Kilpatrick to Paisley Abbey [the Latin text of the charter is given in "Registrum Monasterii de Passelet", pages 160-161].
● John Bruce, "History of the Parish of West or Old Kilpatrick" (1893), pages 100-107 in particular, but there are relevant remarks throughout.
● "Monumental Inscriptions (Pre-1855) in Dumbartonshire", John Fowler Mitchell and Sheila Mitchell.
● Donald MacLeod, "The Clyde District of Dumbartonshire" (1886), mainly pages 83-86.
[In the "Introductory Note" of his work (cited above), Bruce says that "in a concluding chapter", he would give acknowledgements and a list of sources and authorities; in fact, he does not. It is possible that this was an oversight, but, whether this is the case or not, due credit was not given. Amongst other things, Bruce draws on MacLeod's book (cited above) in many places; several passages are used almost word for word, but MacLeod is nowhere credited. I have attempted to redress this (in a very small way) by mentioning it here.]