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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Houston Parish Church And Churchyard

Church (Period Unassigned), Churchyard (Period Unassigned), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Houston Parish Church And Churchyard

Classification Church (Period Unassigned), Churchyard (Period Unassigned), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Houston And Killellan Parish Church; War Memorial Rolls Of Honour

Canmore ID 43103

Site Number NS46NW 14

NGR NS 41002 67077

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Renfrewshire
  • Parish Houston
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Renfrew
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS46NW 14.00 41002 67077

NS46NW 14.01 NS 4100 6706 Tomb

(NS 4100 6706) Church (NAT)

OS 6" map (1970)

Church (NAT) Part of St Peter's (NR)

OS 6" map (1857)

Houston parish church, which was dedicated to St Peter, was originally built before 1220-32, when it was confirmed to the monks of Paisley. "The present building, a Memorial Church to Captain Speirs of Elderslie, MP, was built in 1875 on the site of one built in 1775" (W W Lyle 1975). Part of the east wing of the latter church, used as the Session House, was made from the remains of an earlier church, in Gothic style, with walls over 4.0ft thick. The floor of this part was raised 6ft to 8ft above the floor level of the church; the remains of many of the Houston family were buried under it.

Name Book 1856; Orig Paroch Scot 1851

The church is still in use. There are no signs of earlier work.

Visited by OS (EGC) 7 July 1964

Though the church itself is listed Category 'C' the two medieval recumbent effigies within it, of a knight and lady, which dates to about 1456 (described by MacGibbon and Ross) are listed 'A' Category.

HBD Nos 7, 8; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1897

Architecture Notes


Scottish Record Office

2 Architectural Plans of Houston Church.

In a bundle marked Johnston Church.

1874-5 David Thomson GD 148/403


Archaeological Evaluation (25 May 2012 - 1 July 2014)

NS 41028 67074 A programme of evaluations and watching briefs was undertaken, 25 May – 1 July 2014, during the construction of a new hall to the rear of the kirk. As the site is occupied by a medieval and later graveyard the foundations of the new hall were designed, as a system of mini-piles and sleeper-beams, to avoid causing damage to the known gravestones and burials. To enable the construction to take place a total of 18 gravestones were lowered, 12 were left in situ beneath the new building and 6 were relocated outside the development area.

The excavation of trenches required for a new septic tank, drains and a manhole was also monitored. Five poorly preserved articulated burials were uncovered in a test pit in the SE corner of the graveyard, in an area where there were no marked graves. These burials ranged from adult to neonate and were accompanied by shroud pins and coffin nails. The burials were left in situ and the septic tank was moved outside the graveyard. A small number of skulls, revealed during the digging of the drains, were left in situ.

An infilled mill pond and a revetment wall were recorded in a drainage trench to the S of the graveyard. Both features are depicted on a mid-19th-century 1st Edition OS map of the area. The mill pond, which had become infilled by the end of the 19th century, an open mill lade and a stream were associated with the nearby Butts Mill.

There were very few finds and all were 19th/20th-century in date, apart from two residual sherds of late medieval pottery.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Houston and Killellan Kirk

Heather F James – Northlight Heritage

(Source: DES)

OASIS ID - northlig1-309684

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.


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