The launch of the Trail
Board 4

The oldest kirk in the village

There has been a church in Killearn since the mid-13th century, and the ruined building in the graveyard is not the first on this site.

View of Killearn old kirk through the cemetary, with
The south side of the Old Kirk in the early 20th-century. Note how the ivy has been cut around the strange faces carved above the two central windows. (From the All Killearn Archive collection.)
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The Old Kirk was built in 1734, in a surprisingly fashionable style for a small village. Its roof was removed when the new Kirk (see Board 2) was built in 1826. Stones in the graveyard date back over 300 years. The oldest legible stone is inside the ruined church.

In the graveyard you can find a stone, dated 1776, decorated with symbols of death (a skull, crossed bones and an hour-glass), an unusual cast-iron column, dated 1832, and a miniature Buchanan Monument, dated 1896.

The houses facing the Old Kirk (The Square) are some of the oldest in the village. After the Killearn Trust was established in 1932 to preserve the character of the village, one of its first acts was to buy and restore these buildings.

In the direction of the Buchanan Monument was the Black Bull hotel, which traded for around 200 years until 2016. In the early 20th century it was owned by the Public House Trust of Glasgow, which used some of the profit from it to buy the land that is now the village football pitch and playpark.

Did you know

In 1935, when a visiting circus came to the village, its elephant was washed near here using water from the public standpipe.

Pass to the left of the Old Kirk, down Crosshead Road, in front of the School and through the alleyway to reach stop 5.