The launch of the Trail
Board 5

Where is The Place?

An old track went down Crow Hill (now called the ‘Cow Field’). Half-way down was The Place of Killearn. It was built in 1688 and was once the village’s most important house.

photo of countryside overlaid with numbered points naming specific places
An aerial view over Cow Field
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One map, drawn around 1750, shows the house, a formal garden laid out to look like the Union Jack and designed tree plantations. Nothing remains, apart from a few trees. Further glimpses of this lost landscape exist within the Glen woodland (see Board 6). This map formed part of the Military Survey of Scotland, prepared by William Roy, who later became the first Director of the Ordnance Survey. It is shown on the board. We are unable to illustrate the map on the website but it can be viewed at The National Library of Scotland. The garden of The Place is just below ‘Killearn’ on this map.

In 1814, John Blackburn bought the Killearn estate. He built the much larger Killearn House across the valley. The Place was later demolished. Nearby was Killearn Hospital, which opened in 1940 as an emergency hospital and then specialized in neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery, and also the treatment of tuberculosis. It closed in 1972.

In 1867, the railway reached Dumgoyne, at the bottom of the valley. It provided a service to Glasgow via Kirkintilloch. The line was extended northwards in 1882, and an additional station opened at the bottom of Station Road. It enabled Glasgow residents to move out to the area, initially for the summer. The passenger service stopped in 1951. The line closed completely in 1959, and now forms part of the West Highland Way.

Did you know

John Blackburn, who built Killearn House, left Glasgow for Jamaica in the 1770s. He returned 30 years later, the wealthy owner of a number of sugar plantations that depended on slave labour. When slavery was abolished in Jamaica in 1834, he was compensated for the ‘loss’ of 638 enslaved people.

Turn left. Pass in front of Abbeyfield up Beech Drive past the entrance to Killearn Glen to reach stop 6.