Cleikum Inn

The Cleikum Inn, near Auchentiber, is marked on the 1860 Ordinance Survey map on the right hand side of the road near Bentfauld farm. The 1895 does not name it as an inn, but does mark the inn at the position of the present day Blair Tavern.

The name Cleikum may be related to the ‘Cleikum Inn’ which features in Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘St Ronan’s Well’, in which the ‘Cleikum Club’ met in the ‘Cleikum Inn’, so called from the sign-post showing the Saint catching the Devil. Meg Dods, landlady of the Cleikum Inn, is a formidable hostess, who runs a well organised hostelry with high standards of cleanliness and a distinct partiality regarding the social standing of her guests. This may explain why the name was taken up by many inns throughout the country. The name is derived from a unique ceremony the “Cleikum Celebrations.”

A lay-by now exists at the site of the Cleikum Inn. Disaster befell all occupants of this Inn which is said to have been haunted by William Wallace trying to return to Elderslie. Illnesses, particularly blood disorders, afflicted all who lived in this Inn for any length of time.

A local legend is that in the days of the ‘body snatchers’ or ‘resurrectionists’; before the Anatomy Act of 1832, bodies obtained locally were hidden in the ruins of the nearby Auchenharvie Castle before being taken up to Glasgow at night to sell to the surgeons and medical students at the old university. A story has survived that tramps were lured to their deaths at the inns along the main road by ‘body snatchers’ and as evidence it is recorded that when the Cleikum Inn at Auchentiber was demolished a large collection of walking sticks were found.