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Hurlet, Renfrewshire

Historical Description

HURLET, a village, in the parish of Abbey of the town of Paisley, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 3 miles (S. E.) from Paisley; containing 287 inhabitants. This village and the adjacent hamlets are inhabited chiefly by colliers, and others employed in the extensive mineral works carried on in the district. The immediate neighbourhood abounds with coal, which has been wrought for more than three centuries; and ironstone is found in great abundance, in the procuring of which alone about 100 men are at present constantly engaged. The manufacture of copperas was introduced into Scotland by a company from Liverpool, who established their works at this place; and a similar concern was formed at Nitshill, in the vicinity, in 1807, by a company who subsequently purchased the works at Hurlet, which they converted into a manufactory for alum. Large quantities of muriate of potash and sulphate of ammonia are also produced, and conveyed to Glasgow and Paisley by canal, and by the Hurlet railway. The produce of the mines and mineral works in the district, in a recent year, was, 42,554 tons of coal, 4931 tons of limestone, 5701 tons of aluminous schistus, 1200 tons of alum, and 300 tons of copperas; the number of men employed was 580. To remedy the distress to which the miners and others are subject, from the frequent occurrence of accidents in their dangerous employments, a friendly society has been established; and about 100 children of the workmen attend a school in the neighbourhood, where they are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and on Sunday receive religious instruction. The villages of Corsemill and Dovecothall, in the vicinity, are chiefly inhabited by persons employed in the bleaching and print fields on the banks of the river Levern; and several persons are occupied in the extensive cotton-mills at Barrhead, in the adjoining parish of Neilston. In the year 1848 an act of parliament was passed for the construction of a railway from Paisley to Barrhead, with certain branches; to be called the Paisley, Barrhead, and Hurlet railway.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis