The village of Brigend was named after the bridge which Bishop William Rae had built in 1345 over the River Clyde; it lasted until the 19th century.
Lady Marjorie Stewart of Lochow was said to have had a hospital built for lepers and dedicated to St Ninian in 1350, although this year is contested by current historians' estimates dating her life and activities. Much of the area has been redeveloped, and it now has a modern library and learning centre.
Gort a' bhaile (garden of the town) conforms with certain suggestions made by A. Callant in 1888, but other interpretations are also popular.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the area was home to large numbers of migrants from the Scottish Highlands, and immigrants from Italy and Ireland, attracted by the industrial jobs.
Not a lot of people can claim wins in Indy Car, NASCAR, IMSA, the Baja 1000 and Paris-Dakar, but Robby Gordon can.