Neilston
Renfrewshire, Scotland

Crofthead Mill from Lochlibo Road

Crofthead Mill was the largest in the area. Even though it is below in the valley of the River Levern it dominates the edge of the village. We do not know if James worked as a Block Cutter in this mill or one of the others in the area, but this is not the Crofthead Mill that was there in James' time anyway. The current mill was built in the 1880s following a disastrous fire which burned down the original mill erected by Stewart, Orr & Company in 1792. Parts of the 1880 mill were demolished in 1968 and despite the building being listed it is semi-derelict. Part of it remains in use by a plant-hire and waste disposal contractor. There is little evidence now of the sort of mill cottages you would expect to find to house the workers.

The textile industry in this part of Scotland had a close association with the similar industry in the north of Ireland, with workers migrating between the two. So with James working in the industry, this strengthens the possibility that he may have instead been born in Ireland.

Crofthead Mill from Holehouse Brae
Neilston Municipal Graveyard
The Municipal Cemetery is along the Neilston Road towards Barrhead. It hails from the late nineteenth century but on the basis that there may still have been Duffs in the area we did spend half an hour looking around. This cemetery is a veritable directory of Scottish surnames but we did not find a single Duff. Though note that compared to the previous warm day of blue skies, the weather during our second visit was more what you expect from Scotland, which did impede our observations!

 

Neilston Wikipedia Page (caveat applies)
Neilston Parish Church website
Neilston Webcam (claims to be the most boring webcam on the Net!)

 

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This page was last updated on 16th June 2011.