Houston location map

Houston is located approximately five miles west of Paisley.

Houston 1904


Houston village

Houston was once called Kilpeter, meaning "the chapel of Peter". The Kilpeter lands were granted to Hugo (or Hugh) de Padvinan in the 12th century, and the village which grew up around his castle were called "Hugh's toun", which became "Houston". In the 18th century a new owner demolished part of the castle and used the stones to build a new village further away. The Houston Inn is one of the few buildings still in existence from this time.

Weaving was the main industry of Houston from the late 17th century into the 19th century. In 1793 the Crosslee cotton mill opened on the River Gryffe, and in the 19th century Houston became well-known for the production of high quality embroidery.

Today Houston is a conservation area and a popular commuter village.

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The Barochan and Mercat Crosses

The 8th century Celtic Barochan Cross once stood at a crossroads south of Barochan mill, not far from Houston. It is now housed inside Paisley Abbey for safekeeping and to prevent further damage to its detailed carvings.

The Mercat Cross still stands in South Street, Houston and is a well-known landmark. Its base may date from as early as the 14th century

Barochan Cross            Mercat Cross

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Houses of Houston

Of these three magnificent houses, sadly only Houston House remains. Craigends House was situated to the east of the village of Crosslee, near Houston. It was
a spectacular Baronial mansion, built in 1857 and owned by the Cunninghame family. The house lay empty from the
1960s and became increasingly derelict.
It was demolished in stages, with the last remains being removed in 1980.

Craigends House

Barochan House, pictured below, was built in the late 16th century to replace an earlier house which had been destroyed by fire. It was home to the Fleming family for approximately 600 years. Most of this house was demolished in 1947.

Barochan House

Houston House

Houston House, which belonged to the Houston family, was built around 1872 on the site of Hugo de Padvinan's castle, after it had been demolished. A small part of the castle was incorporated into the house. Today the house is divided into flats.

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Kilellan was a parish with its own church until united with Houston in 1760. Kilellan had no village, but covered many small farms and a mill and a smithy. The name Kilellan means the chapel of Fillan. St Fillan was an Irish monk who was in this area around the year 740.

The remains of Kilellan Church

Only the remains of Kilellan church can still be seen. Kilellan manse is still lived in and is thought to be the oldest inhabited house in Renfrewshire.

Contact us

  • email: heritage@renfrewshire.gov.uk
  • phone: 0300 300 1188
  • fax: 0141 618 5351
  • write to: Paisley Central Library, Heritage and Information, 68 High Street, Paisley, PA1 2BB

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Sunday, November 30, 2014