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The Myth of the Bell

Recently, on  March 2nd 2006. a villager stated that the bell at Milton-of-Campsie Parish Church rightfully belonged to St. Machans' Church, and when it rang, it pealed, "stolen bell, stolen bell." An interesting story, but an untrue story.

When the new Campsie Parish Church (High Church) was built in 1829, it was complete with bell, so the redundant bell from the Clachan Parish Church was offered to the Oswald school, which was without a bell. 

St. Pauls, which later became St. Machan's was yet to be built. It did not exist at the time the bell was given over to the Oswald School.

 St. Machans was built in 1846, and was presented with a bell by Mr. James McWade of Haughhead.  This bell was consecrated by Dr. Strain on September 4th 1870

The Oswald School continued to use the old Clachan bell until it closed in the late 1870s. (Closed as a school, but was in constant use as a hall until the 1950's). Since all the other churches in the parish had bells, the Clachan/Oswald School bell was presented to Milton-of-Campsie Parish Church. The bell was not stolen - it was gifted, no doubt after serious consideration.

The church at the Clachan was the church for the entire parish, so no church in the parish could/should have had prior claim to the bell.

Baptismal Font

The baptismal font, which was taken from the old church in the Clachan, to the High Church, was placed, for preservation, in the porch in 1876. It is an octagonal block of freestone with a slight indentation on one side, perhaps to allow it to be fitted around a pillar, and a wide lip splayed out from the lower portion. It measure 2 feet 2 inches in diameter, and 1 foot 4 inches in height, while the bowl, which is unusually deep for the width, measures 1 foot 2 inches both in diameter and depth, to the top of the drainage opening. The upper surface and lip appear to have been smoothed, but the lower parts are roughly dressed.

The font was presented to St. Machan's Church after the High Church was destroyed by fire in 1984.

Baptismal Font.jpg (31920 bytes)

Baptismal font from Parish Church in the Clachan of Campsie. Now in the safekeeping of St. Machan's Church.


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