The launch of the Trail

Station Road was so named because it leads down to Killearn Station at the bottom of the hill. The station opened in 1882; it was more convenient for getting to the village than the first Killearn station that had opened at Dumgoyne in 1867 before the line was extended northwards. The train connection to Glasgow saw more wealthy people from Glasgow settle in Killearn. Initially they stayed just in the summer but later lived here permanently.

The road existed long before it was so named, but it took a different route down the hill. The top part of the road to Spittal Farm, is basically unchanged from that shown on the earliest maps. The alignment of Spittal Farm indicates the route of the earlier road to Croy and Barnford. A later alignment was on the line of the present road to just short of Napier Road. It then cut across the field to join the earlier route. The line of this section is still visible as a line of trees and elevated ground crossing the field. The current route of Station Road dates from when the toll road was built in the early 19th century.

There are a number of interesting buildings along the road.

Dunkyan was built in 1878, one of a number of large Victorian houses in the village. It was built by the widow of James Buchanan after the Carbeth estate was sold in 1872 on his death. Mrs Buchanan died in 1880. Her daughter, Ann Jane, continued to live there until her death in 1928, the last Buchanan of Carbeth (in 1894 she married Archibald Bell). In the 1970s, a modern house, Stockinghill, was built within Dunkyan’s walled garden. Designed by Ian Bridges, it is one of a number of distinctive modern houses in the village. It featured in architectural magazines when it was built.

Blairessan was built in 1899 by David Wilson (later Sir David), then the owner of Carbeth, for his mother after his father’s death in 1898. It remained in the Wilson family until 1965. It was named after the Blairessan spouthead (within the grounds of Carbeth). Local tradition, recorded in 1795, asserted that a battle took place there between the Caledonians and the Romans. Some standing stones marked the spot, though they have long since vanished. It is not completely fanciful, as, for a short period at the end of the first century AD, there was a Roman fort at Drumquhassle, near to the road between Gartness and Drymen.

Black and white photo of joiners posing with tools
Simpson’s joiners working at Blairessan in Killearn in 1899. Standing at the back are Bob and Archie Simpson and an employee. Sitting at the front right is Robert Simpson.

In 2019, part of Blairessan’s land was developed as the Buchanan Views estate. It was the first major housing development in the village in this century. The street names (Aitken, Barclay, and Wilson) commemorate three of the Killearn soldiers honoured on the village War Memorial. Walter Aitken, a Private in the Scottish Rifles and David Wilson, a Lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, died in the First World War. Frederick Barclay, a Sergeant in Reconnaissance Corps (RECCE Corps), died in the Second World War.

Spittal Cottage, on the corner of Gartness Road, was thought to have been the shepherd’s cottage for Spittal Farm, whose buildings stand at the junction of Station Road and Drumore Road. In Drumore Road is another interesting modern house, Ythan Lodge. It was designed in a striking modernist style in the 1960s and recently renovated and enlarged.

Most of the houses that line Station Road were built from the inter-war period onwards. To the left of the road, a number of new housing developments were built from the 1960s to the 1980s (Allan Road, New Endrick Road, Napier Road and Lampson Road).

Black and white photo of young people helping an elderly man and his horse to harvest hay
Harvesting hay in a field that now forms Allan Road. The bungalows on Station Road can be seen in the background.

Allan Road is named after the Allan family of Drumore farm on Gartness Road. They owned the land on which Allan Road was built.

Napier Road is named after the Napier family who once owned land at Gartness and Ballikinrain. John Napier of Merchiston (1550–1617) was the mathematician who invented logarithms. He spent time at the Napier’s castle at Gartness. He is reputed to have complained of the noise of the mill disturbing his studying.

Lampson Road is named after the Lampson family, who inherited the Killearn estate through the marriage of Norman Lampson to Helen Blackburn in 1874. The most distinguished member of the family was Miles Lampson (1880–1964), who was High Commissioner and then Ambassador to Egypt and Sudan (1934–46). In 1943 he was made a hereditary peer, taking the title Lord Killearn, after his place of birth. The family sold the Killearn estate in 1939 and now have no connection with the village.