About Neilston

Pipers on the main streetNeilston is a small town of around 5500 residents, in uplands to the southwest of Glasgow.

 

There is evidence of an established parish in Neilston as far back as 1163 and the poll tax roll for Neilston parish in 1696 provides details of many family and farm names that still exist in the area today.

 

Due to its supply of hydropower from the River Levern, Neilston, like neighbouring Barrhead, developed factories and cotton mills after the arrival of the Industrial Revolution. Neilston fostered a flourishing textile processing industry. At the peak of business, the River Levern was lined with bleachfields, cotton mills and calico printfields. Crofthead Mill was once the biggest producer of spun cotton in Renfrewshire and tax records show that Kirktonfield Finishing Works where cotton cloth was bleached, dyed and printed had the biggest output in Scotland over a period of several years. Thread from Crofthead, and thus Neilston, was traded across the world.

 

However, the prosperity brought by the textile industry was not to last. Crofthead Mill finally closed in 1992 and many people from Neilston had to seek work elsewhere. They were well placed to do so with railways providing routes to a number of key stations across Scotland. Neilston's life as a commuter village began and continues to this day. It is estimated that as much as 70% of Neilston's population leaves the village each day to commute to work.

 

Neilston's thriving community is well served by a considerable number of diverse clubs. Some go back a long time, reflecting local association with Neilston's landscapes, culture and pastimes. Details of some of these clubs and societies can be found on our links page.

 

For further information on Neilston's past, have a look at Neilston, people and place document.

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