NS4760 : Craigielinn House: remains of southwestern building

taken 1 year ago, near to Glenburn, Renfrewshire, Great Britain

Craigielinn House: remains of southwestern building
Craigielinn House: remains of southwestern building
This section of wall is the most noticeable remnant of a building that was associated with Craigielinn House, and which stood 40 metres to the SSW of the house; for further information, see the end-note and the maps that are linked from there.

This view is from what would have been the interior of the building, and the wall would have been part of its western side. There are two short sections of metal pipe projecting from this side of it, both at the same height, about halfway up the wall. For a view from the other side (outside the building), see NS4760 : Craigielinn House: remains of southwestern building.

For reasons explained in the end-note, my examination of this ruined building led me to believe that it was a watermill, and that this tall section of wall may have been part of the housing of the waterwheel.
The former site of Craigielinn House

The house is now long gone, but the OS Name Books of c.1856 describe it as "a superior dwelling house with garden and ornamental grounds attached, the property of Rev P Brewster and occupied by him". Patrick Brewster was for forty years one of the ministers of the Abbey Church, Paisley; see NS4763 : Memorial to Patrick Brewster for further biographical details. The house was named after a nearby waterfall: NS4760 : Craigie Linn (waterfall).

Craigielinn House:

The first-edition map LinkExternal link (surveyed in 1858) shows Craigielinn House some distance to the WSW of what was then called "Glen Burn Reservoir", but which later came to be known as the NS4760 : Upper Glen Dam (presumably to avoid confusion with NS4760 : Glenburn Reservoir, an entirely different body of water located to the south of the house; it first appeared on the 1895 map, and it is still in existence). Of Craigielinn House itself, there is now little to see: much of the building's former site is simply a level area among the trees, with only a few visible edges as an indication that there was once a structure here. The most noticeable part of the remains is a low and roughly rectangular mound of bricks.


As mentioned at LinkExternal link (Mansion Houses of Paisley), several nearby place-names were devised by Brewster's own family, and would appear on OS maps at their urging: see the comments at LinkExternal link on the names "Witches Corner" and the "Fairy Fall". Presumably this is also true of other nearby names such as "Mount of Hearts"; see also the comments at LinkExternal link (OS Name Books) on the names "Butter Well" and "Tea Well".

The southwestern building:

The 1858 map LinkExternal link shows a small structure just to the southwest of Craigielinn House (note also a track that approaches both buildings from the south). On the 1895 map revision LinkExternal link that southwestern structure has developed into a larger building. It is this building, about 40 metres to the SSW of the house, whose remains are currently far more prominent than those of the house itself, in that (as of 2019) a conspicuous tall section of wall stands there, just within the edge of the woods, beside a gate. The southwestern building's remains lie partly within and partly outside the woods. The tall section of wall appears to be part of the building's western side. It may have been part of the housing of a waterwheel; see below.

The 1912 map revision LinkExternal link show a long straight channel leading down a slope, directing water northwards, over open ground, towards this building. This water channel, its line roughly corresponding to that of the earlier track, was still visible in 2019. At its lower end, just before the channel reaches the southwestern building, is a section of low, straight wall, which stands outside the woods, but which runs parallel to the woodland edge. This feature, which is depicted on the 1912 map LinkExternal link seems not to have been a part of the building itself, but may have been the retaining wall of a millpond fed by the channel. Evidence for this is that the water flowing from here appears to have been directed through the southwestern building, suggesting that a watermill was located there. If so, the small projecting western part of the southwestern building, as depicted on the map, may have housed the waterwheel, and the surviving tall upright section of wall visible there, within the treeline, may be a part of the housing for that waterwheel.

This interpretation is based mainly on the visible remains; maps by themselves shed little light on the use of the southwestern building.

The 1940 map revision LinkExternal link shows neither Craigielinn House nor the southwestern building, both of which must have been largely cleared away. Their legacy survives in place-names nearby that were assigned by the Brewster family.

Craigielinn Boys' Farm:

In the 1920s, Craigielinn House became Craigielinn Boys' Farm, the site of a scheme "for the training of city-bred boys in farm work, with a view to their taking up farm work in the Dominions". In this role, the farm was formally opened by Sir Hugh Shaw Stewart, Bart., and Dr George C Cossar was the driving force behind the initiative. See LinkExternal link for a summary of the scheme's aims, and its results, and see LinkExternal link (at Mansion Houses of Paisley) for further information on this topic.

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Grid Square
NS4760, 84 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 4 May, 2019   (more nearby)
Monday, 10 June, 2019
Geographical Context
Derelict, Disused 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4733 6044 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:48.7811N 4:26.2750W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4733 6044
View Direction
Southwest (about 225 degrees)
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Image Type (about): close look 
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