Digital Village Tour

Until the coming of the railway in the late 1860s, Kilmacolm was little more than a quiet rural hamlet, a cluster of rubble-built cottages gathered around a church. But, as in many communities, the railway changed everything. With a rail link established to Greenock, Paisley and especially Glasgow, it became possible, for those who could afford it, to live in the Renfrewshire countryside in Kilmacolm and commute to work in town or city. Professional men, merchants and industrialists began to build. Their houses, though not on the scale of country mansions, were architect-designed, of substantial size and quality, and built to accommodate both family and, frequently, servants. It is these houses, constructed in the period up the First World War, which individually and in layout continue to contribute to the beauty of Kilmacolm village today. 

This residential development required a supportive infrastructure. Domestic servants were employed, shops appeared, tradesmen found local work. At the centre of the village three-storey tenements provided the flatted accommodation needed to house a growing population. Such an increase in scale around the Village Cross where several local routes met created a strong sense of spatial containment at the heart of the community. This too contributes to Kilmacolm’s attraction.

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