The Oldest Building?
The building seems to have had many uses in it's time. Listed as 9-11 ½
It was used as the town hall in 1758 and also as a school. In 1772 it was visited by John Wesley the founder of Methodism, he made two visits to the town preaching on both occasions one from the small building on King Street which at this time was referred to in some records as the Town Hall and others as the Mason's Lodge.
The result of these two visits was a small meeting house came into existence which was held on the grounds that would later become Hamilton's Free church the entrance to this being through the "pend" in the old tenement in King Street which became known as the "Methody Entry".
The pen in the middle leads to a back stair off a small enclosed garden.
Today it is used as a social club, King George VI (old peoples welfare council)
It is a category B listed building.
So is it the oldest building left standing in the town? At the moment it wins as the only other contender was 6-8 & 10 Newark Street. (pictured below) These buildings held for some years the Post Office and are out at the Castle end of the town. They date back to 1770 and are also category B listed buildings.
Wesley again preached in the town in 1774 this time in the Town Kirk.
In 1757 the brethren of Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No. 217 put together plans for a purpose built lodge room. On 26th July 1757 they received an estimate for the building from Robert Sellers, Stonemason described as "for Building the Masons Lodge at Port Glasgow the Dimensions being 40 foot by 19 foot within walls 19 foot high above the surface, the work is to be good Cornis QWork with Rustic Corners back filleted ribits 2 doors 5 windows 3 braces properly placed."
The instructions to build were placed and the work finished in 1758 at a cost of £134-1s-4d. The final account was £139-19s-0d, £5 of which was for 'the defuncts own trouble in planning out the building and conducting the work".
The original estimate and invoices for the work are still in possession of the Lodge.
The building is still being used for its original purpose and is the oldest purpose built Masonic Lodge in the World!!
A visitor to the site kindly sent me this information
In "The South Clyde Estuary, An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew" by Dr. F. A. Walker, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Strathclyde University published by the Scottish Academic Press in 1986 it says " ......... but by far the oldest and most interesting buildings in this part of the town are 9 and 11 King Street. Both are two storeys high, rubble-built and slated; 9, built as a Masonic Lodge, has a forestair at the rear; 11' which once served as the Town Hall, is longer and higher with quoined margins and segmentally arched pend leading into a back court".
The Post Office has also moved around the town considerably over the years. Once situated at "Dockhead" the post master being Mr Hunter a watchmaker. It then moved to the building that now holds the Royal Bank of Scotland on Princes Street.
The postmaster at this time was Mr Wood then latterly his sister Mrs Crawford took over. At this time it is noted there was no post office in Kilmacolm but a female employee came to Port Glasgow every morning to collect mail and forward on anything from the village. At some point the post office moved to Princes Street again before moving to it's current location back on Fore Street.
My thanks to Mr Galbraith for helping with information on this page in relation to the oldest building.
This page last modified on Monday, September 13, 2010
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