Bourock Church, Barrhead

Image of Bourock Church, Barrhead

The Bourock site, (in Scots, a bourock means a hillock), was given to Barrhead by the Earl of Glasgow in 1838. It opened in 1843 as a "quoad sacra" church, a kind of daughter house of the much older Neilston Parish Church. Dr. Fleming, minister of Neilston, formally opened the church, which was built to meet the needs of a population explosion fuelled by the expanding textile industry. Within months of opening, during the Disruption, the minister and most of the congregation walked out, leaving the church unused until 1850 as they chose to worship as a Free Church in the open air.

The bell, like the clock, was installed by public subscription in 1853 and was rung on weekdays to mark clocking on and off times in the mills and print fields.

Recent image of Bourock Church, Barrhead

Until 1876 Bourock Parish School met in the lower church premises. The Mechanics Institute, founded 1825, also used the premises and gave a "course of lectures on scientific and literary subjects". John Murray, the Bourock schoolmaster, for a long time ran the Institute's library. By 1865 it consisted of 3,000 volumes, "books exchanged every Saturday from 7 till 9 o'clock".