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Houston and Killellan Kirk; the modern, unified parish church.
Houston and Killellan is a civil parish in Renfrewshire, Scotlandmarker containing the villages of Houstonmarker and Crossleemarker with a number of smaller settlements in its rural hinterland. Located in the Gryffe Valley, 5 miles (9 km) north of Paisleymarker, it borders the parishes of Kilmacolmmarker, Erskinemarker and Kilbarchanmarker.

Houston and Killellan no longer has a formal role in civic governance, but forms the community council area of Houston Community Council and is used as an ecclesiastical parish in the Church of Scotlandmarker. The parish covers an area of 11.9 sq. miles (30.9 sq. km).

Killellan or Killallan is subject to a number of different spellings.

Origins

The ecclesiastical parish of Houston formed a union with the nearby rural parish and hamlet of Killellan in 1771, creating an effectively united parish centred upon one church in Houston. The civil parish was given existence following the Poor Law (Scotland) Act 1845, which led to the creation of parochial boards with the responsibility for administering the poor law.

Settlements

Houston and Killellan consists of a number of previously separate settlements and villages.

Houston

North Street, at the centre of Houston's conservation vilalge


Houstonmarker is the main settlement of the parish and a substantial village. It also contains the residential settlement of Craigendsmarker, divided from the rest of the village by the River Gryffemarker to the north

Killellan

Ruins of Killellan Kirk
The ruins of the former Killellan church dedicated to St Fillan (Faelan of CluainMoescna), a scheduled ancient monument, lie around four miles from the centre of Houston on the High Road to Kilmacolmmarker. Previously within the holdings of Elderslie Estates, in 2005 the building was gifted to the Kilallan Kirk Trust, a registered charity.

The former Kilellan parish did not have a village, but instead covered many small farms with a few other enterprises such a a mill and smithy

Killellan or Killallan is spelled somewhat differently with usage remaining inconsistent. As can be seen from references, 'Killellan' is used by both the modern Gazetteer for Scotland, the Church of Scotlandmarker and the Community Council, whilst 'Killallen' is favoured in the 18th and 19th century Statistical Accounts, 'Kilallan' in the name of the 2005-created Kilallan Kirk Trust and 'Kilellan' by Renfrewshire Council.

Crosslee

Crosslee is a smaller village to the south-east of Houston.

Barochan

Barochan is a hamlet and rural area to the north-east of Houston. The surrounding country contains Barochan House, a former tower house dating back to the 16th century, and Barochan Hill which was the site of a Roman fort and use for light anti-aircraft defences during the Second World War.

The hamlet surrounds the former Mill of Barochan on the Barochan Burn. Close-by was the original site of the Barochan Cross, a Celtic Christian cross possibly carved in the 8th century. It was moved a short distance in the late 19th century before being taken to Paisley Abbeymarker for preservation.

Government and politics

Houston and its parish form part of the Renfrewshire council area. For the 2007 local authority elections in Scotland, Houston was entered into a new four-councillor ward, Ward 9, alongside Crosslee and the town of Linwood ( Ward 9).

With the decline of the importance of civil parishes for local government in Scotland, Houston and Killellan has found itself replaced for this purpose by the Houston Community Council area.

Notes

  1. http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/parishes/parfirst769.html
  2. Houston and Killellan Kirk
  3. http://www.elderslie.org/kilallankirk.php
  4. http://www.houstoncommunitycouncil.co.uk/



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