The Beginnings of Barrhead

Barrhead first emerges in the records of the ancient parish of Neilston, which in those days extended from Uplawmoor to Bowerwalls. Local historian and schoolmaster Charles Taylor writing Levern Delineated in 1831 describes the  background.
 
“Barrhead is one of those villiages that have hastily sprung up under the auspices of manufacturers, as previous to the erection of the first cotton mill, there appears not to have been a single house in what is now termed Barrhead and there are individuals living who can relate practically every incident relative to the commencement of the villiage. The time of erecting the first house in Barrhead, appears to have been around 1750, when Arthurlie ground on which it was built was in possession of one James Airston, by whom it is reported to have been erected, and which was inhabited by one Stewart Wilson. Soon after it was finished, it became the property of several individuals, one of these was David Maxwell of Dubs, who was brother in law to the forenamed Stewart Wilson. At first it was proposed by some that it should be called Arthurlie, but Wilson sensibly remarked that this house of which he now became a tenant, was built upon two or three well ploughed rigs of land, called lang bars, and that it was situated at the head of these bar rigs, hence bar-head – or, as it is now sanctioned by custom, BARRHEAD – became the designation of the house and consequently of the village.”
In 1695, the population of this district was not greater than 500 people. By 1800 it had risen to over 2000. By 1850, it had touched about 6000. At the formation of the Burgh of Barrhead in 1894, the census figures showed a population of almost 10,000.

Barrhead first emerges in the records of the ancient parish of Neilston, which in those days extended from Uplawmoor to Bowerwalls. Local historian and schoolmaster Charles Taylor writing Levern Delineated in 1831 describes the  background.

“Barrhead is one of those villiages that have hastily sprung up under the auspices of manufacturers, as previous to the erection of the first cotton mill, there appears not to have been a single house in what is now termed Barrhead and there are individuals living who can relate practically every incident relative to the commencement of the villiage. The time of erecting the first house in Barrhead, appears to have been around 1750, when Arthurlie ground on which it was built was in possession of one James Airston, by whom it is reported to have been erected, and which was inhabited by one Stewart Wilson. Soon after it was finished, it became the property of several individuals, one of these was David Maxwell of Dubs, who was brother in law to the forenamed Stewart Wilson. At first it was proposed by some that it should be called Arthurlie, but Wilson sensibly remarked that this house of which he now became a tenant, was built upon two or three well ploughed rigs of land, called lang bars, and that it was situated at the head of these bar rigs, hence bar-head – or, as it is now sanctioned by custom, BARRHEAD – became the designation of the house and consequently of the village.”

In 1695, the population of this district was not greater than 500 people. By 1800 it had risen to over 2000. By 1850, it had touched about 6000. At the formation of the Burgh of Barrhead in 1894, the census figures showed a population of almost 10,000.