Quarrier's Village

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Quarrier's Village
Quarriers Mount Zion Church.jpg
Mount Zion Church
Grid reference: NS362866
Location: 55°52’6"N, 4°36’60"W
Population: 0  (2001)
Post town: Kilmacolm
Postcode: PA13
Dialling code: 01505
Local Government
Council: Inverclyde

Quarrier's Village is a small village in the civil parish of Kilmacolm in Renfrewshire. It lies within the Gryffe Valley between the villages of Kilmacolm and Bridge of Weir.

Now a residential commuter village, Quarrier's was constructed as the Orphans Homes of Scotland in the late 19th century by philanthropist William Quarrier. In modern times, these orphans' homes and associated buildings have been converted into private housing and some expansion has taken place with new residential development. A charity under the name of Quarriers continues the work of the former homes and is based within the village.

The village now attracts tourists to admire its beautiful setting, and offers small coffee shops and a craft centre to cater to them.


The Old Schoolhouse

The village was founded as the Orphan Homes of Scotland in 1876 by Glasgow shoe-maker and philanthropist William Quarrier on the site of the former Nittingshill Farm. Quarrier had a vision of a community allowing the young people in his care to thrive, set in a countryside environment and housed in a number of grand residences under a house-mother and father. This vision was realised by a number of donations from Quarrier and his friends.

As a devout Christian, Quarrier also wished to pass on these values to the children in his charge. As such, he commissioned the building of the grand Mount Zion Church - known informally as the Children's Cathedral; his values are also reflected in the naming of streets in the village, such as Faith Avenue, Hope Avenue, Love Avenue, Praise Avenue and Peace Avenue.

The Sabbath School Home was built in 1894 from funds donated by Sunday School children across Scotland, later servingas a home for adults with epilepsy and it is one of the few examples of Scottish Baronial architecture in the village; a village with a wide, eclectic range of architecture.

To the great pity of local residents, the Church of Scotland has made clear that it can no longer afford to upkeep Mount Zion. Since 2006, services are no longer given in the church, but rather in one of the nearby homes. Despite widespread local opposition to private development, Mount Zion is currently, as of January 2010 under conversion to private luxury dwellings.

Until 1999, the village was also the site of the Bridge of Weir Hospital, opened as a tuberculosis sanatorium. The main section of the hospital has now been converted into residential flats. Hunter House, also commissioned by Quarrier and completed three years after his death, remains Scotland's only residential epilepsy assessment centre.

Quarriers is a registered charity and still functions to help disadvantaged young people, carers and adults with disabilities in the United Kingdom and beyond. However, due to the changing nature of childcare, the number of children being cared for in the village fell dramatically in the 1970s and 80s, and most of the homes were sold off privately. Since 1993 in particular, there are barely any children actually housed by Quarriers charity in the village, and an expanding development of private housing.

Greenock Morton Football Club train here at their training park.

The lie of the land

Quarrier's Village lies within the moorland of the Gryffe Valley immediately south of the River Gryffe. The settlement is bisected by the Gotter Water, a tributary of the Gryffe, with the majority of the village standing on its north bank. A number of both vehicle and footbridges cross the Gotter Water within the village whilst the Gryffe is crossed by a road bridge, Craigends Bridge, at the edge of the settlement, and a two pedestrian bridges. One of these footbridges over the Gryffe links the community with the Forth to Clyde cycle route (National Cycle Route 75), which was formerly the line of the Greenock and Ayrshire Railway.


Sabbath School Home (1894)

Each of the residential houses built in Quarrier's Village were to an individual design, with donors having a large influence in the style in which their cottages were cast, and also the buildings' names. As such, the village is an unusual mix of Gothic, French, Old English, baronial and Italian. The overall plan of the village is of a more English style than is typical in the area, with a parkland and village green-type layout.[1] Only three houses in the village can be directly traced to traditional Scottish architecture.

Despite this mix of styles, one architect is responsible for virtually the entire village: Robert Bryden of the Clarke and Bell firm in Glasgow. Bryden worked free of charge on Quarrier's projects over a course of some twenty-eight years.

Outside links


  1. Love Avenue and Its Fascinating Architecture, Quarriers informational board number 7

Outside references