The Weavers Trail
Start location: Montgomery Square, Eaglesham (NS 573 519)
End location: unclassified road end, Low Overmuir (NS 565 374)
Geographical area: Strathclyde and Lanarkshire
Path Type: Trade Route
Path distance: 16.3km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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From Eaglesham, the most straightforward way is take the road southeast towards Ardoch Burn, but turn southwest to go by Over Enoch towards Carrot. At NS576482, before reaching Carrot, a track goes southwest and into the forest. At Myres Hill, follow the diversion and head generally south through the windfarm. Passing over Crook Hill (339m), descend to High Overmuir and down south by the east edge of the forest to join the minor road at Longgreen, 4km from Darvel.
The Heritage Paths project has received reports that the section of the route between Myres Hill and High Overmuir is unclear, in part because of the windfarm infrastructure en route. We are in touch with the Councils' access teams and it is our understanding that it is intended that the route be improved and sign-posted. However, landowner negotiations and forestry operations can be a time-consuming process. In the meantime, we would be very grateful for a survey from anyone who walks the route - East Renfrewshire Council's route card may be helpful for route planning, as is Kenneth Mallard's 2009 Geograph article.
OS Landranger 64 (Glasgow) & 71 (Lanark & Upper Nithsdale)
The Irvine Valley towns of Darvel and Newmilns were world famous in the manufacture of lace products. Darvel's last lace factory closed as recently as 2008, while there are still two factories operating in Newmilns. Before the factory system was introduced with the advent of the power loom in 1872, lace was produced on handlooms in hundreds of cottages in the Valley. The handloom weavers in the days of this domestic system of manufacture walked over the moor with their rolls of cloth to sell them in the markets of Paisley and Glasgow - hence the name The Weavers Trail.
Eaglesham too was known for weaving. The New Statistical Account (1834-1845) reported that the 63 silk-looms of 1790 had been entirely replaced by the weaving of cotton.
John Ainslie's Map of the County of Renfrew (1800) shows this route from Eaglesham to the county boundary southeast of Myres. A route across the moors is shown on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6" maps. This line alters relatively little in subsequent editions, until the advent of forestry over the southern half of the route. The original line of the right of way appears to have been overplanted and so this section has migrated to the east.
Eaglesham Moor was the subject of BBC Radio 4's Open Country in December 2016. The programme opens with Whitelee Ranger, Rennie Mason, talking about the Weavers Trail - he has some great stories and they're not even all about weaving! It's well worth a listen.