Kilsyth Text





RMS I (108) 1362

RMS II (606) 1458, (3399, 3404) 1509-10

RMS III (2095) 1539-40

RMS IV (851) 1553

RMS VIII (82) 1620


CDS II (1457) 1303-4


Stirling Retours (103) 1620, (124) 1627, (128) 1628, (132) 1629, (147) 1634, (187) 1647, (198) 1652, (201) 1653, (237) 1665


GD1/88/2 1217

GD1/185/3 1683

GD86/2 1251

GD220/1/A/4/1/3 1574, GD220/1/A/4/5/1 1525, GD220/1/A/4/5/5 1548

GD220/1/K/8/2/2 1735

GD220/1/L/3/1/3&4 1642, GD220/1/L/3/1/5 1643, GD220/1/L/3/1/8 1710, GD220/1/L/3/1/10 1722, GD220/1/L/3/2/1&2 1657, GD220/1/L/3/2/3 1658,

GD220/1/L/3/3/2 1657

GD220/1/L/3/5/10 1759, GD220/1/L/3/5/11&12 1760, GD220/1/L/3/7/1&2 1667, GD220/1/L/3/7/3 1658

GD220/6/126 No 1 1237


RHP 1557 1805 Plan of estate of Tomrawer

RHP 6351 Plan of part of the estate of Kilsyth, 1834

RHP 24844 Plan of farms of Cross-my-loof, Bentend and Slafarquhar 1814


OSA Vol 18 No XI pp 214-316, 1796 Rev Robert Rennie


Drummond, P.J., An analysis of toponyms and toponymic patterns in eight parishes of the upper Kelvin basin, PhD thesis, Glasgow University, 2014




My table only shows about 30m but plainly Kilsyth was worth a lot more than that. Wester Kilsyth may have been between £16 (24m) and £24 (36m) old extent. Easter Kilsyth appears to have been £10 old extent. In the northern section of the parish were another 9 or 12 merklands of the Barony of Dundaffmuir.


OPS I p 45 states that in 1649 that part of Campsie which lay between Inchwood Burn and Garrel Glen on the east was annexed to Kilsyth (30 ploughgates of land). This assertion may have been based on the report on Campsie for the Old Statistical Account which was written in 1793 by Rev. James Lapslie who was a native of the parish. As discussed under Campsie parish, I don’t think a seventeenth-century ploughgate was the same as a thirteenth-century carucate. It is more likely to have been equivalent to a bovate. If there were 12 bovates to a carucate then the addition to Kilyth would have been equal to 2½ carucates. However 2½ carucates might have been worth 75m which is a lot more than I have found evidence for. Plainly these sums do not add up.



However there is another way of approaching this. Fraser, Lennox, II, No 202, p 401, gives a charter by Maldoune, Earl of Lennox to Malcolm, the son of Duncan, and Eva the Earl’s sister, dated 1217, which included a:

carucatam et dimidiam de Kelnasydhe

carucate (ploughland) and a half of Kelnasydhe.


Kelnasydhe is not used as a parish name here. The old parish name for the lands in the east barony of Kilsyth was Moniabrocd. Lands in the west barony lay in the parish of Campsie. Instead, Kilsyth must have been an ancient territorial designation and part of it may have been included in the huge new parish of Campsie when that was mapped out c. 1200. Indeed this is implied in the Register of Glasgow document which first defines the parish of Campsie (q.v.). The relevant pasage runs:


and thus following the Kelvyn water and its ancient course until ascending eastward you reach the rivulet which runs along (next to) the land of Kelvesyth [Kilsyth], and divides the parish of Monyabroc [later Kilsyth parish] from the parish of Campsy; and thus ascending by that rivulet, viz., the Garcalt [Garrell Burn]


In other words Kilsyth (the territory) lay beside the Garrell Burn. (Drummond, p 272, corrects Kelvesyth to Kelnasyth after studying the original manuscript).


CDS II (1457) 1303-4 refers to the land of Kelynsithe as worth £60 yearly in time of peace. Now the use of the term ‘yearly’ presents problems when talking of extent, (which was an absolute value), but this may mean that Kilsyth was worth £60 old extent. In Lennox terms this might be three carucates. So perhaps we should think of Kilsyth as a territorial designation which covered three carucates of land. It may be that this lay evenly on either side of the Garrel Burn but I do not have hard evidence for this. Perhaps 1½ carucates of Kilsyth lay in the new Campsie parish. (Further work on the history of the Livingstone estate may help to pin this down). Perhaps the other 1½ carucates lay in Moniabrocd. (RMS II (3399) 1509-10 refers to Cragstoun – in the east barony – as in the ‘territory’ of Kilsyth). In later times they rejoined to form a parish that became known as Kilsyth, based round a settlement that became the town of Kilsyth.



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