The name Howwood probably comes from Hollow in the Wood. It was once known as Hollowood which later became Howwood.
Renfrewshire has a strong historical association with cloth, and Howwood is no different. The main industry was bleaching & cotton cloth finishing. Agriculture and farming were important industries, and there was also a history of coalmining.
There were Bleach fields at Midtownfield (Midton Road) and Bowfield Works (Country Club).
The Midtownfield Bleachfield used “Beetling” Machinery. “Beetling” was a finishing process for cloth (usually linen) which involved pounding the cloth with heavy weights.
It is probably not surprising given the nearby village of Elderslie is the birthplace of William Wallace that there are some local references to him. This is true in that Elliston Castle is reputed to be the site of one of Wallace’s clashes.
Another landmark on the outskirts of the village is the Temple on Kenmure Hill. It was built around 1760 and is best described as a circular folly. The use or purpose is unknown, but local tales are that it was a house for an ill child, a covenanters’ watch tower or a vantage point for the ladies to watch the hunt.
There was a convenanting battle at Muirdykes, and it took place on 18 June 1685: it was covenanters lead by the Cochranes from Johnstone Castle and another local family from Caldwell tower Uplawmoor, in a skirmish against government forces.
Set high above the village is Castle Walls. There is history here which dates back to The Iron Age
A BRIEF HISTORY
- C.1500 – Semple Family move from Elliston Castle to the Castle Semple Estate
- 1865 – Covenanters and Royalists clash at Elliston Castle
- 1760 – Temple on Kenmure Hill built
- 1767 – Garthland Bridge built
- 1770 – The Howwood Inn is built
- 1830 – Toll House built
- 1835 – Midtownfield Bleachfield founded
- 1840 – Temporary Station opens
- 1685, 18 June – Convenanting battle at Muirdykes
- 1876 – Permanent Station opens
- 1882 – Howwood Population is 333
- 1905 – Mains water comes to Village
- 1909 – Mains Gas comes to village
- 1913 – Kilknowe Cottages built
- 1924 – Midton Cottages built
- 1928 – Church of Christ the King built
- 1935 – Electricity comes to the Village
- 1955 – Railway Station closes
- 1960 – Bowfield Bleachworks close
- 1991 – Howwood Population is 1035
- 1993 – Johnstone – Howwood Bypass opened
- 2001 – Howwood Railway Station re-opened
OLD NAMES AROUND HOWWOOD
- Aitkins Quarry
- Castle Walls
- Deer Park
- High Howwood
- Low Howwood
- Meikle Howwood
- Midton Bleachworks
- Saracen Head Inn
- The Six Lums
- Thirdpart Hall
- Toll House