Mount Zion Church
Quarrier's Village shown within Inverclyde
|Population||> 1,000. (village)|
|OS grid reference|
|– Edinburgh||55 mi (89 km)|
|– London||354 mi (570 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Scottish Parliament||Renfrewshire North and West|
Quarrier's Village is a small settlement in the civil parish of Kilmacolm in Inverclyde council area and the historic county of Renfrewshire in the west Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies within the Gryffe Valley between the villages of Kilmacolm and Bridge of Weir, falling on the boundary between the modern Inverclyde and Renfrewshire council areas.
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 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. 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. Whilst the local authority rejected the planning application for the works on account of this opposition, the developer appealed to the Scottish Executive and won the planning permission.
Until 1999, it 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. The village now attracts tourists to admire its beautiful setting, and offers small coffee shops and a craft centre to cater to them.
Greenock Morton Football Club train here at their training park.
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.
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, Scottish 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. 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.
Quarrier's Village is part of the civil parish of Kilmacolm and continues to be associated with it for the purposes of local government. The Kilmacolm Community Council represents its interests to the local authority, Inverclyde Council. For local government electoral purposes, Kilmacolm and Quarrier's Village both form part of the Inverclyde East electoral ward.
- 2001 Census, Kilmacolm parish population minus Kilmacolm settlement population.
- Ordnance Survey mapping
- Love Avenue and Its Fascinating Architecture, Quarriers informational board number 7
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