Over 200 Years of Bishopton

Before reading this let me try and sort out the confusion about Erskine and Bishopton. In the past, Bishopton was situated in the "Parish of Erskine". Since the creation of Erskine new town we have been slowly been changing the names that contain Erskine to Bishopton, i.e. Erskine Parish School became Bishopton Primary and at the turn of 1999 Erskine Parish Church became Bishopton Parish Church. The world famous, Erskine Golf Club is unlikely to change it's name due to international recognition, but it's in Bishopton.


The earliest signs of a community in the Bishopton area dates back to 3,300BC. However, it wasn't until 1840 that "Bishopton" was born. There were instead two villages, one called Blackstown and the other Easter Rossland. When these villages combined we got the village we now know as Bishopton.

So how did Bishopton get its name? Well, it seems that the when the Brisbane family lived here (famous family of years ago), their house was called "Bishopton House", there house became a convent at the Greenock entrance to the village and is now the Cora Foundation.

When the two villages were merged they used the name of the house to name the village and as a result we now have Bishopton. Incidentally, the Brisbane family went to Australia, at some point, and founded a town with their name, has anyone been to Brisbane in Australia? (Thanks to this snippet go to a local historian)

On the map

We did have a post office taking in three deliveries before Bishopton formed and in 1841 we got a railway station.

The railway station had a big impact on the community.

In 1916 local farming land was bought by compulsory order and a munitions factory was built, The Georgetown Filling Factory (now the ROF), employing some 3,300 people. It grew and one year later it had 10,220. In the 1930's it was renamed to the Royal Ordnance Factory. We lost a lot of farms and excellent farming ground as well as some families that were part of Bishopton for decades as a result.

Farming to Commuter

We were once, but are no longer, a farming community, though we are surrounded by farms. Today's Bishopton is mainly made up of people who work in the Glasgow and Paisley area making us more of a commuting village, which in some ways, is a shame. This area had an excellent international track record for breeding both horses and cattle. The Erskine Agricultural Society was the oldest society of its kind in the West of Scotland with cattle shows held here up until 1938.

Now we have a major worldwide manufacturers expanding like Hewlett Packard (was Compaq Computers ) and those on the Inchinnan estate situated just outside the village.

The ROF is now closed after being taken over by BAe, personally I would prefer to have it open and here, the devil you know turned out to be truthful here, still, time will tell what damage has been wrought by the BAe asset stripping of the RoF and Ministry of Defence blundering.

I've learned that if there is one constant in life it's that things will always change, whether it is for the better is down to us.

Stuart Duffy

© History from www.inbishopton.org.uk: Bishopton's Community Web Site