The Renfrewshire communities of Erskine, Inchinnan and Bishopton lie within superb countryside which is especially scenic and steeped in history. Lying so close to the River Clyde, surrounded by low-lying hills and distant mountains, seasonal transformations can often be dramatic, especially after a heavy fall of snow, which admittedly is becoming rarer these days. Locally, there are endless opportunities for a diverse range of outdoor activities. whether your interests lie in exploring the area`s heritage, watching wildlife, photographing planes at Glasgow Airport, or the ships that sail up and down the Clyde. An added advantage is that with the Erskine Bridge within easy reach of all three communities, they also make ideal starting points for exploring the north side of the river, whether on foot or by bike.
The earliest records of a settlement at Inchinnan date from the Iron Age with the location chosen probably largely due to it being ideally situated for trade with several waterways nearby and the area`s rich, fertile soil.
McGill`s, founded in July 2001, is now the largest independent bus operator in the UK and its Inchinnan depot is a well known local landmark. The company currently operate a network of routes covering much of Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, Glasgow City, and North Ayrshire.
In addition to the one at Inchinnan and its Greenock headquarters, McGill`s has depots at Johnstone and Coatbridge.
The above view shows Inchinnan village`s position in relation to the River Clyde with the India Tyres building and Rolls-Royce facility in the foreground.
The fine examples of early Christian gravestones shown below are on display beside the entrance to Inchinnan Parish Church in Old Greenock Road, the main thoroughfare through the village. They are currently housed within an external covered enclosure but were originally located within an ancient church which stood on the banks of the Black Cart Water, just a short distance from its confluence with the White Cart, south of the River Clyde near Renfrew.
St Conval (Conwall) (died c. 630) founded the original church, which was later given to the Knights Templar by King David I (1124-53), in 597AD. This structure was demolished in 1828 and its replacement, built in 1900, was the church subsequently demolished to make way for the airport. The stones were moved to their current location when the old church grounds were swallowed-up during the construction project. A large number of later gravestones and a crypt remain at the original site which is now fenced-off. Two of the early stones now preserved outside Inchinnan Parish Church are recumbent slabs while the other is a shaft and lower section of the head of a monolithic cross. It is thought that they all date from somewhere between the 9th and 11th centuries.
Teucheen Wood occupies a low-lying hill on the east side of the village and, although relatively small in area, is a precious haven for birds and other wildlife. In 1164, a force of 15,000 men under the Norse-Gaelic lord Somerled camped at Inchinnan and a much smaller force belonging to King Malcolm IV, and under the direction of Walter Fitz Alan, the Steward of Scotland, quartered in Renfrew. The ensuing Battle of Renfrew on 20 October saw Somerled’s army attacked and defeated. Records show that the fiercest fighting took place at Teucheen Wood, or the `Bloody Mire` as it is sometimes called, and it`s said that ploughing the adjacent fields in years gone by revealed pieces of bone and fragments of armour. Local legend has it that two mounds within Teucheen Wood are where the bodies of the slain are buried. Other sources place the main clash on the flatter ground to the southwest, in the vicinity of the present day Inchinnan Business Park.
A large dwelling house dating from the mid-to-late 17th century, known as North Barr or House of Hill, stands atop the hill occupied by the wood. It is private property and not open to the public. A new CALA Homes housing development, known as Gilchrist Gardens, is now well underway at the edge of Teucheen Wood, between Inchinnan village and Erskine.
New estates such as this are understandably popular with people wishing to move to sought after areas, but as new houses go up, undeveloped land disappears placing added pressure on wildlife already at risk due to loss of habitat and increased human disturbance.
The following shot of Inchinnan village features Teucheen Wood and was taken before the latest house building project began…
A number of farms can be found close to Inchinnan with crops and cattle being the main produce.
A Cyclist heads towards Inchinnan. The Rolls-Royce complex at the Inchinnan Business Park can be seen in the background.
Following the A8 east towards Renfrew, the road passes the runway lights of Glasgow Airport.
This content has been compiled specifically for the ebi.scot community website by Brian Moyes of www.clydesideimages.co.uk. Please note that all images in this feature belong to the Photographer. They are subject to copyright and must not be reproduced without permission.