|Bridge of Weir|
Part of Bridge of Weir's Main Street
|Population||4,920 (mid-2020 est.)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||BRIDGE OF WEIR|
Bridge of Weir is a village within the Renfrewshire council area and wider historic county of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland.
Lying within the Gryffe Valley, Bridge of Weir owes its name to the historic crossing point that it provided over the River Gryffe. The village was initially formed around industries such as cotton and leather, reliant on the power of the river. These industries brought about its expansion in the 18th century in land attached to the 15th century Ranfurly Castle situated between the two established parishes of Kilbarchan and Houston and Killellan. A rail connection, as part of the Glasgow and South Western Railway, in the 1860s, significantly supported the village's development.
Today Bridge of Weir serves largely as a dormitory settlement for nearby Glasgow and Paisley, maintaining a commercial centre of its own and some light industry and agriculture. It remains well known for its leather production, which has continued since the first industry emerged.
The name of Bridge of Weir (Scots : Brig o Weir) is first recorded in the early 18th century before a significant settlement was constructed in the area. The 'weir' is a reference to a salmon weir which used to be located on the Gryffe. An older name provided for the village is "Port o'Weir", implying a river crossing; this name remained in some use even after the current name had been adopted.
Bridge of Weir was historically a rural area divided between the parishes of neighbouring Houston and Killellan and Kilbarchan on either side of the River Gryffe.Growing out of the lands of the 15th century Ranfurly Castle, the village emerged later than its neighbours among a number of small farms that occupied the area.
The earliest economy of the village was centred on the Renfrewshire cotton industry. From the late 18th century, the River Gryffe was exploited to power cotton mills. The bridge at Bridge of Weir was constructed at Burngill around 1770 and was considerably upgraded and widened in 1892 to allow for two-way traffic. It was finally demolished in 1964, with a more modern structure created. The bridge owes its construction to being on the route between the significant towns of Greenock and Paisley, with a Great Road constructed between the two in 1794.
Leather also emerged as a local product, with the village supporting three tanneries. The leather industry survives to this day, now on a single site, in the form of a highly successful, modern facility with five Queen's Awards for International Business.
The Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone Canal provided an initial link for Renfrewshire industry to its wider urban centres. The former canal provided a route for the later expansion of the railway to nearby settlements. From 1864, the Bridge of Weir Railway provided a rail link to Johnstone through the Bridge of Weir railway station in the village. From 1869, the line was incorporated into the wider Greenock and Ayrshire Railway, extending to Kilmacolm and beyond to Greenock. This railway substantially altered the character of the village and contributed to its forthcoming affluence. The railway closed on 10 January 1983 and now forms part of the Clyde to Forth cycle route (National Cycle Route 75).
Bridge of Weir is surrounded by agricultural lands, with traditional industries being cotton milling and leather tanning. The earliest cotton mills were built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries on the banks on the River Gryffe. Today, the town's golf courses and fishing attract visitors and there the village has a commercial centre with retail stores, restaurants and public houses.
From the 18th century, the waulking mill was used in the production of leather with the Burngill Mill having been recorded in 1770. It was purchased by Andrew Muirhead in 1870 whose family had been in the leather industry in Glasgow for several generations. In 1905, Arthur Muirhead set up a further leather mill at the Laigh Mill (renamed the Clydesdale Works) and founded the Bridge of Weir Leather Company. Despite having several premises in the past, since the beginning of the 21st century, the company's business has been consolidated at the Lochar and Baltic Works.
The leather works continue to serve as a large employer in the area and trade their goods across the world. Some notable customers include:
Bridge of Weir is part of the council area of Renfrewshire, as well the historic county of Renfrewshire which has wider boundaries and retains some official functions, for example as a registration county and lieutenancy area.
For elections to Renfrewshire Council, Bridge of Weir is part of ward 10, named 'Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank', which elects three of Renfrewshire's forty councillors.The ward results in the most recent election are:
|Conservative||James MacLaren (incumbent)||45.47||2,552|
|Liberal Democrats||Elliot Harrison||3.78||212||537.68||578.49||733.70|
|Electorate: TBC Valid: 5,613 Spoilt: 44 Quota: 1,404 Turnout: 5,657 (55.1%)|
Bridge of Weir also has one of Renfrewshire's twenty-seven community councils representing the village.
Bisected by the River Gryffe, angling is available within the village. The river hosts brown trout, grayling and occasionally Atlantic salmon. Numerous outdoor pursuits are available at the nearby Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. National Cycle Route 75 runs through the village.
The village is also known for its golf history. At one point there were five golf courses in the vicinity; today there are two remaining: the Old Course Ranfurly and the Ranfurly Castle golf clubs. There was a thriving ice hockey team from around 1895 and in 1935 were Scottish National League Champions.
Renfrewshire is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland.
Lochwinnoch is a village in the council area and historic county of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. Lying on the banks of Castle Semple Loch and the River Calder, Lochwinnoch is chiefly a residential dormitory village serving nearby urban centres such as Glasgow and Paisley. Its population in 2001 was 2628.
Johnstone is a town in the administrative area of Renfrewshire and larger historic county of the same name, in the west central Lowlands of Scotland.
Brookfield is a small dormitory village in west central Renfrewshire, Scotland. It lies on the north of the A761 road, which runs through a number of towns and villages to join Port Glasgow and the city of Glasgow, via Paisley, and is roughly equidistant to the nearby settlements of Houston, Bridge of Weir, Kilbarchan, Johnstone and Linwood.
Houston, is a village in the council area of Renfrewshire and the larger historic county of the same name in the west central Lowlands of Scotland.
Crosslee is a small village lying on the bank of the River Gryffe in the civil parish of Houston and Killellan, Renfrewshire, in Scotland. It lies around half a mile south of the old village centre of Houston and immediately west of Craigends, although residential development has removed any significant open space between the three.
Ranfurly is a small settlement on the southern edge of the village of Bridge of Weir, which lies within the Gryffe Valley in the council area and historic county of Renfrewshire in the West-Central Lowlands of Scotland.
The River Cart is a tributary of the River Clyde, Scotland, which it joins from the west roughly midway between the towns of Erskine and Renfrew and opposite the town of Clydebank.
The River Gryfe is a river and tributary of the Black Cart Water, running through the County of Renfrew in the west of Scotland. It gives its name to the surrounding Gryffe Valley, also known as Strathgryfe.
Kilmacolm is a village and civil parish in the Inverclyde council area, and the historic county of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies on the northern slope of the Gryffe Valley, 7+1⁄2 miles southeast of Greenock and around 15 miles (24 km) west of the city of Glasgow. The village has a population of around 4,000 and is part of a wider civil parish which covers a large rural hinterland of 15,000 hectares containing within it the smaller settlement of Quarrier's Village, originally established as a 19th-century residential orphans' home.
Neilston is a village and parish in East Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It is in the Levern Valley, two miles southwest of Barrhead, 3+3⁄4 miles south of Paisley, and 5+3⁄4 miles south-southwest of Renfrew, at the southwestern fringe of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Neilston is a dormitory village with a resident population of just over 5,000 people.
Renfrewshire or the County of Renfrew is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It contains the local government council areas of Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, as well as parts of Glasgow and is occasionally named Greater Renfrewshire to distinguish the county from the modern council area.
Busby is a village in East Renfrewshire, Scotland. Busby is in the same urban area as Glasgow, although it is administratively separate. It lies on the White Cart Water six miles south of Glasgow City Centre and 3⁄4 mile northwest of the outskirts of East Kilbride. It directly adjoins the town of Clarkston, with which the village is closely associated.
Dart Buses was an independent bus operator in the Paisley and Renfrewshire area in the 1990s. The company is attributed with starting a bus war with the main operator of the area, Clydeside Scottish. Bus wars were common following bus deregulation, and the Paisley area was no stranger to fierce competition; however Dart Buses predominantly operated along routes of large operators and were more successful and subsequently grew much larger than other independents. The company collapsed in 2001.
The Dalry and North Johnstone Line was a branch of the Glasgow and South Western Railway (G&SWR) in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, Scotland, connecting the stations in Elderslie and Dalry via a route running parallel to the existing line built by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway. This provided additional line capacity for Ayrshire Coast and Kilmarnock services. The loop line was used for passenger services until the mid-1960s, when it was closed by the Beeching Axe. The majority of the line's trackbed has since been absorbed into the Sustrans National Cycle Network.
Strathgryffe or Gryffe Valley is a strath centred on the River Gryffe in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. The River Gryffe passes through the council areas of Inverclyde and Renfrewshire, rising in Kilmacolm and joining the Black Cart Water between Houston and Inchinnan.
Quarrier's Village is a small settlement in the civil parish of Kilmacolm in Inverclyde council area and the historic county of Renfrewshire in the west Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies within the Gryffe Valley between the villages of Kilmacolm and Bridge of Weir, falling on the boundary between the modern Inverclyde and Renfrewshire council areas.
Houston and Killellan is a civil parish in the county and council area of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It contains the villages of Houston and Crosslee, as well as a number of smaller settlements including Barochan and Killellan in its rural hinterland.
Renfrew is a town 6 miles (10 km) west of Glasgow in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It is the historic county town of Renfrewshire. Called the "Cradle of the Royal Stewarts" for its early link with Scotland's former royal house, Renfrew gained royal burgh status in 1397.
Gryffe Castle was a castle existing in 1474, probably about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) north of Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
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