Lilybank cottage was built by Alexander Dun, a handloom weaver, in 1781. The Dun family had lived in the area for much of the 18th century. Alexander’s son, James (who started to spell his surname ‘Dunn’) was also a handloom weaver. With the collapse of handloom weaving in the 1840s, future generations of Dunns sought their fortune elsewhere, including in Canada, the USA and Australia. The house remained in the Dunn family until the death of Catherine Dunn Lyon in 1971. At various times the house has served as a shop and, in the 1950s, as the village telephone exchange.
The building has been much altered over time. Evidence of changes to door and window openings can be seen on the front wall. Additions have been made and the property is now divided into two houses (the second house being called Endrick Mews).
A plaque on the building, not visible from the road, was erected by the Scottish American Heritage Trail. It records that the grandson of Alexander Dun, James Dun, was born here in 1816 and died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1899. He is credited as ‘Founder of Nabisco USA’, though independent evidence for this statement is more ambiguous.
In June 2007, a Dunn descendant was married in Lilybank. The full story can be read in a Killearn Courier article (opens pdf, 7MB).