The launch of the Trail

The Free Church was built in 1847, a few years after the Church of Scotland split in 1843 in the ‘Disruption’, a dispute primarily about whether is was acceptable to continue with the practice of the local laird or patron appointing a minister or whether the congregation should have that right. Those supporting the latter position walked away from the Church of Scotland to form their own Free Church. The Free Church in Killearn was built on land provided by the Buchanan family, at that time owners of the Carbeth estate. The first minister of the Free Church was the Revd Patrick Lumsdaine.

Inside the Free Church in Killearn

The Church of Scotland and the Free Church agreed to reunite in 1929. The two churches in Killearn formally joined together in 1931. In the 1940s, the Free Church building was converted into a Church Hall, and it was extended in 1971. In the late 1990s, structural problems in the roof were discovered, and after much debate, the Kirk decided to build a new Church Hall onto the Kirk building and to sell the former Free Church building. It has since been converted into the village pharmacy, therapy rooms and a number of flats. It is now named the Lumsdaine Halls, after its first minister.

A manse was built next to the church, an attractive red sandstone building. It is a listed building. After the Church of Scotland and the Free Church reunited in 1931, this building became the manse for the combined church. It remained the manse until 1993, when the Kirk sold it and purchased a new house in Oak Place to serve as the manse. The former manse was then renamed Seton, after the first known minister of Killearn, Sir Richard Seton, reputed to have been appointed around 1294.