Glasgow Cathcart is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament by the first past the post method of election. However, it is one of nine constituencies in the Glasgow electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to nine constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.
The current Glasgow Cathcart constituency was created at the same time as the Scottish Parliament, in 1999, with the name and boundaries of an existing Westminster constituency. In 2005, however, Scottish Westminster (House of Commons) constituencies were mostly replaced with new constituencies.
Following the First Periodic review into Scottish Parliament boundaries, a newly redrawn Cathcart was in place for the Scottish Parliament election, 2011. The electoral wards used in this creation are: Linn, Newlands/Auldburn and Langside. The population of Cathcart Constituency is 75,000.
A walk through Cathcart Constituency
Local Historian, Paul O'Cuinn, writes about the various communities that make up the constituency of Cathcart. Paul writes about the history, people, and architecture which makes up Glasgow Cathcart.
We start our walk in the conservation village of Carmunnock at the southern-most point of the constituency. The name Carmunnock is reputedly derived from the Gaelic Coire Manaich which means the glen or corrie of a monk and references in church records associate Carmunnock with the early Christian missionary Saint Cadoc who established a Christian settlement here. Records also show a derivation of the name Carmunnock as Cormannoc, Curmanock, Carmmanock and Carmanock.
In the 12th Century the patronage and lands of Carmunnock was in the possession of Henry, son of Anselm, who after taking possession of the lands went by the name Henry of Carmannock. He later gave possession of the church and surrounding lands to the Abbey of Paisley in whose possession it remained until the Reformation. During the Reformation the patronage and lands of Carmunnock was in the possession of Lord James Hamilton and later Lord Claud Hamilton and passed on his death to his grandson James, Earl of Abercorn. In 1653 they passed from the Earl of Abercorn to Sir William Cochran of Cowden and then into the patronage of the Stuarts of Castlemilk. Many of the inhabitants of Carmunnock were involved in agricultural work but weaving also played an important role in the village economy. In the 19th and 20th centuries wash houses began to spring up in the village as washing, drying, ironing and bleaching of laundry for the Glasgow mansion houses, hotels and restaurants added to the village economy.
Carmunnock is the only village within the city boundaries with the oldest part of the village declared a conservation area in 1970. The current church was built in 1767 but sits on the site of the original church which was built about 800 years earlier. The category ‘B’ church has external stone staircases, which leads to three galleries and contains stained glass by Norman M McDougall (1849-1937). The church bell by Warner & Co., was installed in 1893-1894 replacing an earlier one inscribed 1618. In 1948 the 19th century church organ by Wadsworth of Manchester was re-located to the laird’s loft. The enclosed churchyard contains a watch-house and 18th and 19th century table tombs and is the burial place of the above Norman M McDougall and artist John Lawson (1868-1909). Within the structure of the church is the family crypt of the Stuarts of Castlemilk.
Take a gentle stroll around the medieval streets and visit local landmarks such as the much altered ‘B’ listed The Barracks, 8-10 Busby Road, a rubble built cottage with ashlar dressings and forestair from around the 1790’s which got its name from two Crimean War veterans who took up residence there. The ‘B’ listed two storey Begg’s House, No.8 Kirk Road, is a rubble built cottage with ashlar dressings and forestair to the rear and was restored in 1984. The Italianate former Castlemilk Hall was gifted to village by James Graham LL.D., Dean of Faculty, Glasgow, and built on land belonging to William Stirling Stuart of Castlemilk. The hall which contained reading and recreation rooms was opened on 13th October 1893. The Old School House, Manse Road, according to a date stone the old school was erected in 1702 and served the community until 1840 when a new school was erected on Waterside Road. The ‘C’ listed Weaver’s Cottages, 1 and 3 Pathhead Road are mid to late 18th century single storey three bay cottages. The importance of hand-loom weaving to the village economy cannot be underestimated but it eventually gave way to the factory mills of Busby. The impressive ‘B’ listed country house of Carnbooth, was designed by architect Alexander Cullen (1856-1911). Built on the site of an earlier farmhouse the two storey renaissance design with 17th century Scots revival detailing was built in 1900 for Alexander Watt. It later became a residential school for the dual sensory impaired. In 2006 the school was put up for sale and when purchased in 2007 it was restored to its former glory and in 2010 opened to the public as a hotel.
If we walk from Carmunnock through the lane leading passed the old Windlaw Farm we come to Castlemilk. The lands of Castlemilk Estate formed part of the Parish of Carmunnock and were the property of the Stuart family from the 13th century onwards. The area was originally called Cassiltoun and according to Andrew Stuart in his Genealogical history of the Stuarts (1798), the first mention of Cassiltoun appears in a charter dated 6th January 1464 and was in the possession of Matthew Stuart. In c1467 he succeeded to the lands of Fynnart in Renfrewshire and Castlemilk in Annandale, Dumfriesshire. In a contract of 1533 the lands were in the possession of Archibald Stuart and after his death the lands were taken up by Archibald Stuart’s grandson David Stuart.
David Stuart died c1556 and was succeeded by his brother Alan Stuart who himself died c1557. Having died without issue the lands of both Castlemilk and Cassiltoun passed to his brother Archibald Stuart. In a charter dated 24th March 1579 Archibald Stuart sold his lands in Castlemilk, Annandale to Lord John Maxwell. To preserve the family’s links to their old estate in Annandale, Archibald Stuart transferred the name of the family’s old estate of Castlemilk to the lands of Cassiltoun as is evidenced in Crown Charters and other deeds from that period onwards. The above Archibald Stuart and his wife Janet Stuart died in 1612 and 1613 respectfully and are buried in the Stuart family vault in Carmunnock Church. The lands of Castlemilk (previously Cassiltoun) then passed to Archibald Stuart’s son, also Archibald. Archibald Stuart died 12th June 1660 proceeded by his wife Anne Semple in December 1631, both are interred in the family vault in Carmunnock Church. From this period onward and up until the present day the old estate of Cassiltoun has been known as Castlemilk in memory of the ancestral home of the Stuarts.
The estate of Castlemilk was farmed by many tenant farmers who provided agricultural work for the inhabitants of Carmunnock. Sitting on the Cathkin Hills with views over Glasgow, the Campsie Hills and Ben Lomond, Castlemilk has been witness to some significant historical and archaeological events. In the early 19th century a dug-out canoe was discovered and the remains of a Roman encampment on Cathkin Braes golf course is a visible remnant of the Roman Empire in Scotland. Queen Mary’s well situated on Cathkin Braes is one of the many sites from were Queen Mary is supposed to have watched the Battle of Langside. Also on the Cathkin Braes is Queen Mary’s seat, a stone upon which the Queen supposedly sat. On 5th April 1820 Cathkin Braes was the site of an encampment for Radicals intent on attacking the city, during the Scottish Insurrection. In the winter of 1936 Cathkin Braes was used as a training camp for Benny Lynch prior to his world title fight with Small Montana of the Philippines at Wembley on 19th January 1937. Cathkin Braes Park was gifted to the city in 1887 by James Dick of R & J Dick, boot and shoe manufacturers, Glasgow.
The whole estate was purchased by Glasgow Corporation in 1938 to alleviate slum conditions and overcrowding in the city but construction of the new housing estate was delayed by the outbreak of World War Two and development didn’t get underway until the 1950’s. Built to accommodate 34,000 people detailed plans of the Castlemilk development were prepared by architect Archibald George Jury (1907-2003) and provided residents with open spaces, indoor toilets and bathrooms in what would become the largest housing scheme of its kind in Europe.
Castlemilk House was a stately mansion built around the 15th century Cassiltoun Tower, which was built on the site of an earlier 13th century castle. Queen Mary is said to have stayed the night prior the Battle of Langside on 13th May 1568. The house was greatly enlarged and extended from the 18th century onwards. Castlemilk House was used to accommodate evacuees from the city throughout the duration of the Second World War and from then on as a children’s home until its eventual closure in 1968/9. The house was demolished by Glasgow Corporation in 1972 leaving only the 18th century stable block which by 1994 was a vacant burned out shell. After a ten year campaign to save the building, it was purchased by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and in 2007 architects Elder and Gannon converted the stable block to offices. The project has been awarded many accolades including the 2007 Georgian Group Architectural Award and the 2008 Scottish Design Award. The Georgian B listed building now houses a children's nursery, Castlemilk Environment Trust, training rooms and leisure space for meetings, clubs and other activities.
Croftfoot & King’s Park
As we leave Castlemilk by Castlemilk Drive we come to Croftfoot which appears on Thomas Richardson map of 1789. Croftfoot is named after a small farm steading situated at the eastern end of Croftfoot Road, on the old road leading from Rutherglen to Carmunnock, where today the Castlemilk Burn enters a culvert downstream from the site of Castlemilk House. In the 1856-57 Renfrewshire Ordnance Name Books the occupier of the steading is one James Bowes who farmed the lands of Castlemilk Estate on behalf of its owner Captain Stirling Stuart. The area was built between the wars as a commuter suburb with much of the two storey housing built by MacTaggart and Mickel and rented out by John Auld MacTggart’s Western Heritable Investment Company Ltd. Landmarks in the Croftfoot area include the Byzantine style Croftfoot Parish Church, 318 Croftpark Avenue, built in 1934 by Keppie & Henderson and features a cross finial on top of the bell tower. The church underwent a lottery funded restoration in 2007. Croftfoot United Free Church, Croftfoot Avenue and Carmunnock Road built by Noad & Wallace c.1949.
If we walk downhill and south of Croftfoot we come to the area known as King’s Park. King’s Park was originally part of the lands of Aikenhead which lay within the Parish and Barony of Cathcart. Most of Cathcart was part of Renfrewshire although a small part including the lands of Aikenhead was part of Lanarkshire. According to William Musham Metcalf in his ’A History of the County of Renfrew, from the earliest times’, the lands of Aikenhead was first bestowed by Robert II to Sir John Maxwell and his wife Isabella Lindsay in 1373 (Isabella Lindsay was the King’s granddaughter). James Maxwell of Aikenhead granted a charter of the lands to James Hamilton in 1611. Kings Park was built between the wars as a commuter suburb with much of the two storey housing built by MacTaggart and Mickel. John Auld MacTaggart (1867-1956) was buying up land around Glasgow, this included land at King’s Park, with a view to future housing developments. To achieve this aim he put his own company John Auld MacTaggart & Co., into voluntary liquidation in 1924. Together with his son Jack and his partner Andrew Mickel they formed MacTaggart and Mickel Ltd to concentrate on building houses for owner occupiers. John Auld McTaggart, as the largest shareholder, purchased the Western Heritable Investment Company Ltd in 1925 and applied for permission to build blocks of cottage flats at King’s Park. He encouraged his friend John Wheatley MP (Minister for Health) to include clauses for subsidies for the building of rentable accommodation in the Housing Act (1924) he was pushing through Parliament. The 1924 Housing Act resulted in a substantial increase in affordable housing for the working classes. By 1930 John Auld MacTaggart had built 1356 houses subsidized under the 1924 Housing Act and financed by Glasgow Corporation loans of 75% of the value of the completed houses. In 1931 the same agreement of subsidies and loans was put in place for the construction of a further 1512 houses at King’s Park. In 1930 he presented the house and grounds of Aitkenhead Estate on the fringes of his King's Park development to Glasgow Corporation to be preserved for future generations as a public park.
The A listed Aikenhead House which was built in 1806 by David Hamilton (1768-1843) for the tobacco merchant John Gordon sits in the King’s Park after which the surrounding area is named. The central block was built in 1806 and the wings, also by David Hamilton, were added in 1823. It was built on the site of an earlier 17th century mansion house belonging to former Lord Provost of Glasgow James Hamilton, the first Earl of Abercorn. James Hamilton died in 1633 and in 1710 it was in the possession of his great-grandson James Hamilton, former Rector of Glasgow University who was succeeded by his son James Hamilton. James Hamilton died in February 1765 and in 1766 the estate was sold by public sale and purchased in 1767 by Colin Rae of Little Govan who died 7th August 1790 (Colin Rae married Peggy Stewart, daughter of Sir John Stewart of Castlemilk on 12th February 1767 at Cassiltoun). On Colin Rae’s death the estate was eventually purchased by Robert Scott of the Thistle Bank. Robert Scott died age 64 on 20th September 1805 and the estate and house were sold by his successor to his partner in the Thistle Bank, West Indian merchant John Gordon head of Somervell, Gordon & Co, later Stirling, Gordon & Co. Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823) painted two three quarter length portraits of John Gordon and his wife which hung on the dining room walls.
On John Gordon’s death in March 1828 possession passed to his son also John Gordon. In 1865 alterations to the house were carried out by John Honeyman (1831-1914). The estate was put up for sale on the death of John Gordon’s grandson Henry Erskine Gordon. In 1930 the estate was acquired by Glasgow Corporation and was opened to the public as King's Park and in 1986 the house was converted to contain fourteen flats. King’s Park includes a 19th century brick-built walled garden, just outside the garden stands an 1885 two-tier ashlar sundial with an elaborate base and tall obelisk finial. It is one of three 19th century reproductions of the 1635 sundial at Newbattle Abbey, Midlothian. Originally designed for Douglas Castle, Lanarkshire it was moved here in the 1930’s. Near to the walled garden is the stable courtyard with Palladian ashlar facade which fronts onto Croftpark Avenue and the two estate cottages.
Other local landmarks in the King’s Park area include Christ the King R.C. Church, 220 Carmunnock Road, designed by Thomas S Cordiner (1902-1965) between 1957-1960 features a cantilevered canopy sheltering a relief of Christ the King. The organ case was designed in 1960 by Hill, Norman & Baird. The Byzantine style King’s Park Parish Church, 242 Castlemilk Road, designed by Hutton & Taylor between 1931-32 features stained glass installed c1980 by Sadie McLellan and Gordon Webster. Another feature is the commemorative glass windows to Sir John Auld MacTaggert (1956) and his wife Lady Lena MacTaggart (1958). The red brick with Art Deco detailing King’s Park Primary School, Kingbridge Drive, was designed by Ninian McWhannell (1860-1939) c1932 and features ironwork over the central entrance and St Mirin’s Primary School, 260 Carmunnock Road, designed by Thomas S Cordiner in 1954.
Simshill, Linn Park and Cathcart
To the west of Croftfoot Roundabout lies Simshill and according to Thomas Richardson’s map of Glasgow and Environs (1789) the property was known as Simeshill. On John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland (1832) the property is known as Symeshill. In the Renfrewshire O.S. Name Book Vol. 2 1856-1857 the spelling is Symshill and is a farm steading on the Cathcart Estate, the property of the Earl of Cathcart and occupied by Mr George Russell. Simshill Housing Estate which runs alongside Linn Park was built by MacTaggart & Mickel in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. Landmarks in the Simshill area include the former Simshill Secondary School now known as King’s Park Secondary School, Fetlar Drive, designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia between 1956 and 1963.
Linn Park is Glasgow’s second largest public park and was acquired by the city in 1919 and extended in 1928 to include Cathcart Castle and the surrounding area. Formerly part of the lands of Hagtonhill it was purchased in 1820 by Colin Campbell owner of the West India Shipping Line who named the land ‘The Lynn’. He built a mansion house c1828 as a summer residence and created much of the woodland and gardens. John Gordon of Aikenhead purchased ’The Lynn’ estate in 1840 and enlarged the house in 1852 to designs by architect Charles Wilson (1810-1863). The area known as Court Knowe was added to the park in 1933 and features a commemorative monument erected by General Sir George Cathcart (1794-1854) to mark the site where Queen Mary supposedly watched her defeat at the battle of Langside. The original stone was replaced by the present sandstone block towards the end of the 19th century. To the west of Lynn House is the Halfpenny Bridge erected c1835 and is the oldest complete cast iron bridge in the city. It gets its name from the holes in its cast iron spans. Acquired by the city in 1928, Cathcart Castle, a 15th century stronghold built for the Earls of Cathcart. Sir Alan of Cathcart fought alongside Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Loudon Hill in 1307 during the Scottish Wars of Independence. It was abandoned in the mid-16th century and in c1740 it was de-roofed and faced demolition, its stones sold for building materials. By 1866 all but five storeys beside single storey cottages survived. Glasgow lawyer James Hill (1731-1791) purchased portions of Cathcart Estate, including the castle, from various proprietors between 1762 and 1788. He built the former Cartside House (sometimes known as Cathcart House) to the east of the castle which was demolished by Glasgow Corporation in 1927. The castle itself was demolished by Glasgow City Council in 1980.
On the left bank of the River Cart are the remains of Millholm Paper Mill built by James Hamilton of Aikenhead. Papermaking was first introduced to Glasgow in the 17th century by Hugenots fleeing religious persecution in Europe. According to the Rev James Smith in the New Statistical Account of Scotland (1834-1835) it was one of these refugees, Frenchman Nicholas de Shan (Deschamps) who introduced papermaking to the area c1690 at Millbrae. In 1729 he moved further up river to the larger premises of Millholm. His daughter married local farmer James Hall who continued the business. It passed to his son who continued production until his death in 1800. Papermaking gave way to snuff making during the Glasgow Tobacco trade period. At some point in the early 19th century the tenants of Millholm were brother’s Duncan and Archibald Campbell as an entry in the Edinburgh Gazette of 17th July 1822, reports that Duncan and Archibald Campbell, papermakers at Millholm were declared bankrupt. In 1841 the tenants were brothers Robert and James Couper who eventually purchased the mill in 1853. They enlarged the mill and introduced machinery to produce high quality paper for banks and legal firms. When James Couper died on 4th July 1877 his brother Robert continued the business until his own death on 13th June 1883. When advertised for sale in July 1883 there were 200 employees who were capable of producing between 18 and 20 tons of paper per week. In 1906 the mill was taken over by papermaking giants Wiggins Teape. Wiggins Teape continued papermaking until the mill closed its doors in 1921 bringing over 200 years of papermaking to an end.
The name Cathcart comes from the Scots Kithcart or Kathkert and from the Celtic Caer Cart which means castle of the Cart. The lands of Cathcart were bestowed by King David I upon Walter Fitz Alan (c1114-c1177) who divided his lands among his loyal supporters and bestowed the lands of Cathcart upon Renaldus who later adopted the name Cathcart as his surname. Walter Fitz Alan was appointed Hereditary High Steward of Scotland by King David I in c1150 and it is from this Walter Fitz Alan that the Royal House of Stewart is descended. One of his direct descendants would become the first Stewart monarch, King Robert II of Scotland (1316-1390). Eventually the Stewart Royal dynasty would become monarchs of all Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. The Cathcart family retained ownership of Cathcart until 1543 when Alan Lord Cathcart sold the major part of the estate to Gabriel Semple of Ladymuir. It later passed to John Maxwell of Williamwood and later to his cousin John Maxwell of Blewarthill who would later on become the proprietor of Nether Pollok. The 10th Lord Cathcart purchased his ancestral lands from James Hill’s representatives in 1802 for the sum of £7000.
Cathcart is one of three ancient parishes to the south of Glasgow. Like many of the surrounding parishes the possession of the parish church was given to Paisley Abbey in c1179 and only disjoined with the Reformation in 1596. The village of Cathcart grew up on the right bank of the River Cart around the 15th century Cathcart Castle which was built to protect a strategic crossing point across the river, although a fortified site has been present in the area since before the Scottish Wars of Independence. The single arched Old Bridge on Snuffmill Road was erected in the 17th century and reconstructed in the 18th century with the 1624 datestone integrated into the reconstruction. From the 17th century onward Cathcart developed in association with the manufacture of cardboard, snuff and textiles. The Snuff Mill and Mill House was constructed as a meal mill in the 18th century and converted by Solomon Lindsay to a cardboard mill in 1812. The milling of snuff was added in 1814 on a small scale but gave the mill its name. Solomon’s son David Lindsay (1817-1902) continued the business and built Lindsay House designed by John Baird II (1816-1893) and constructed 1863-64 to house David Lindsay and his workers. Although he took up residence in the Mill House David Lindsay’s monogram can be seen above the doorway. Some other attractions in Old Cathcart are the Old Cathcart Parish Church built in 1831 by James Dempster, all that remains is the clock tower surrounded by the parish churchyard. Within the churchyard is the 19th century Watch House which was erected to deter the theft of recently interred bodies by body snatchers. Mourners took it in turn to guard the recently interred for three nights after which the body was deemed useless for surgery. The rich history of the area can be seen on the names of the headstones which include Thomas Brown of Langside; John Gordon of Aikenhead, James Stewart of Williamwood whose grandson James Stewart became the Hollywood star Stewart Granger; Neale Thomson of Camphill; John McIntyre whose headstone was designed by Alexander Thomson from a promise made to McIntyre, his master builder, on the death of his son Donald; James Couper of Holmwood and the Millholm Paper Mill; David Thomson, architect and family, John Hall of Millholm Paper Mill and the Polmadie Martyrs. Across Carmunnock Road is the Cathcart Established Church now called Cathcart Old Parish Church designed in 1914 by Henry Edward Clifford (1852-1932). The outbreak of war disrupted construction and it wasn’t restarted until 1923 with architects Watson, Salmond and Gray completing construction to Clifford’s design. The church was officially opened in June 1928.
A new bridge across the Cart was constructed in 1800 and the development of New Cathcart on the old Ayr Road (now Clarkston Road) virtually bypassed the old village. New Cathcart prospered as a residential area with the arrival of the Cathcart District Railway in 1884 which brought the area within easy commuting distance of Glasgow. Two years later (1886) marine engineers G & J Weir established Holm Foundry on Newlands Road. The Art Deco office and amenity block erected in 1937 is the work of Wylie, Shanks and Wylie. Founded in Liverpool in 1871 the brothers moved to Glasgow in 1873 running their business from home and having their machine parts and pumps made by local engineering firms. They established their reputation at a time when shipbuilders were changing from sail to steam and manufactured many ground breaking inventions in pumping equipment for the Clyde shipyards. Sites of interest in the area include the Scots Renaissance Couper Institute, 84-86 Clarkston Road, designed by James Sellers (1843-1888) was erected in 1887 to provide a public hall, library and reading room for Cathcart and financed from a bequest from Robert Couper of the Millholm Paper Mill who died on 12th June 1883. When Cathcart was annexed to Glasgow in 1912 the hall became the property and responsibility of Glasgow Corporation. An additional hall was added to the institute in 1923 with the library and reading room moved there. The interior of the hall was modernised in 1971-1973. The decorated gothic Cathcart South Church, 90-92 Clarkston Road, designed by W G Rowan (1846-1924) and erected in 1893. Has Art Nouveau stained glass above central door. Rock faced ashlar New Cathcart Church, 210-218 Newlands Road, designed by J B Wilson (1848-1923) and erected in 1907. The church hall to designs by John Hamilton (1851-1935) in 1899, Hamilton lost the competition for the main church to J B Wilson. The Edwardian Baroque Holmlea Primary School, 353-362 Holmlea Road, designed by Andrew Balfour (1863-1948) and erected in 1908. Formally opened on 4th September 1908 by Dr William Watson, chairman of the Cathcart Parish School Board. The site also includes a two storey Janitor’s lodge and playground enclosed by Glasgow Style railings. The now much altered Scottish Power building, 43 Spean Street, was erected on the banks of the River Cart between 1913 and 1916 to plans furnished by J J Burnet & Son and Norman Aitken Dick. A design inspired by the American garden factory it was a monumental U-plan design. The steel access bridge across the River Cart was erected by engineers Kyle, Dennison & Laing (1913). An example of the Modern Movement the Institute itself was officially opened in May 1914 and was extended in 1919 to 1922 to included formal gardens and recreational facilities for its employees such as tennis courts, bowling green and sports ground. Built by Robert Wallace Forsyth (1843-1937), chairman of RW Forsyth department stores, it ushered in a new era in the provision of workers welfare and was managed by Wallace, Scott & Co whose managing director was RW Forsyth’s son William Wallace Forsyth. The building was acquired by the South of Scotland Electricity Board in 1957 and converted to its headquarters. Holmwood House, 61-63 Netherlee Road is one of the most elaborate and finest residential villa’s by Alexander Thomson (1857-1858) for James Couper of the Millholm Paper Mill. Contains richly ornamented rooms in wood, plaster and marble. The dining room includes a frieze of 21 painted panels depicting Homer’s Iliad. Continuing conservation work has led to much of Thomson’s interior design, based on themes from the Classical world, being uncovered and which visitors are welcome to observe. Occupied as a convent from 1958 till 1994 it became the property of the National Trust for Scotland in March 1994. In November 1994 the Trust commissioned architects Page and Park to undertake an architectural survey which resulted in the reconstruction of Holmwood from 1997-1998. Holmwood sits on the hill above the River Cart and offers delightful countryside walks through Linn Park.
Mount Florida and Battlefield
The name Mount Florida derives from Mount Floridon which first appears on John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland published in 1832. An advertisement for the sale of the Lands of Mount Floridon appeared in the 5th September 1814 issue of the Glasgow Herald. It described in detail the Lands of Mount Floridon as ‘…consisting upwards of 15 acres, with TWO LODGINGS from £50 to £90 annual rent. In each of these Lodgings there is a Kitchen, Laundry, Dining Room, Drawing Room, and several Bed Rooms, Closets, &c. There is a set of Offices attached to each, and the two Gardens are well stocked with fruit trees. The Policy is surrounded with belts of thriving trees, and the prospect is delightful. Apply to David Kay, Accountant, Post-Office Court…’. The aforementioned David Kay of Duntiglenan, merchant and agent lived at 41 Brunswick Place, Glasgow and married Miss Jane Reid at Mount Floridon in 1812. The house of Mount Floridon now corrupted to Mount Florida was advertised for Let in the 11th March 1844 edition of the Glasgow Herald described as ‘A DESIRABLE COUNTRY RESIDENCE’ and consisted of ‘THE HOUSE, OFFICES, and WALLED GARDEN at MOUNT FLORIDA, at present possessed by Mrs Bell, consisting of Six Rooms, Kitchen, Laundry, and Attics. The House is beautifully situated about 2½ miles from Town, on the Cathcart Road, and commands a delightful view of the surrounding country. The Offices consist of Stable, Cow House, &c.’. By the time of the Ordnance Survey of Mount Florida in 1858 the house was said to be a ruin with only the two storey gable walls remaining. An inspection of the ruin by Inland Revenue and Excise officials discovered an illicit distillery run by grocer and spirit merchant Duncan Brown of Thistle Street, Hutchesontown. Also discovered by officials was a piggery which was described as ‘so revolting that they turned away in disgust’. In what became known as the Mount Florida Case, Duncan Brown pleaded guilty and was fined £1570.
The Mount Florida we know today is built to the south of Mount Floridon house, which
was situated on the brow of Prospecthill, on the Lands of Clincart. Clincart first appears
on William Roy’s Military Survey of Scotland 1747-1755 and on John Ainslie’s Map of the
County of Renfrew, 1796. On John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland, 1822, Clincart is
corrupted to Clinkert. The lands of Clincart were put up for sale on 28th June 1836 and
consisted of ‘…95 Imperial Acres with rich soil, in a state of high cultivation and well
enclosed and subdivided with hedges’. The land was advertised as ‘…presenting many
fine situations for villas.’. This is the first indication of residential development in the area.
Sustained development began in the 1870’s and the appearance of an advertisement in
the Glasgow Herald of 1st September 1871 confirmed that the Lands of Clincart had
been laid out for feuing by John Gordon of Aitkenhead with a view to building first-class
tenements, self-contained lodgings and villas. The erection of mainly terraced houses
constructed throughout the 1870’s came to a standstill with the collapse of the City of
Glasgow Bank in 1878. Building re-convened in the 1880’s with the arrival of horse-drawn
trams and the building of tenements attracting blue collar workers wishing to escape the
city. The arrival of the Cathcart Circle Railway in 1886 running 89 trains a day quickened
development of Mount Florida as a suburb of Glasgow. Architectural attractions in the
Mount Florida area include the B listed red ashlar Edwardian Baroque Cathcart Parish
Council Chambers, 183 Prospecthill Road, constructed in 1907 to plans by Crawford &
Veitch, and built by Renfrewshire County Council to deal with Poor Law Relief and other
administrative functions of the local Parochial Board. Now the Mount Florida Medical
Centre; the B listed Gothic style Mount Florida Parish Church, 1123 Cathcart Road,
which replaced a temporary wooden church, was opened on 29th April 1888. Building
took place from 1884-1888 to the designs of architect John Hamilton (1851-1935), the
interior of the church includes a large stained glass window by McCulloch & Gow and a
pulpit and baptismal font by John Craig. Adjoining the church is the War Memorial Hall
designed by George Arthur Boswell (1879-1952) in 1924. The church now houses the congregation of the Church of the Pentecost Scotland. The home of Scottish Football, Hampden Park, is also situated in Mount Florida and is ironically named after Englishman John Hampden who fought for the Roundheads during the English Civil War. It was the third of three stadiums named Hampden Park and was first opened on its present site on 31st October 1903. The south stand was designed by James Miller (1860-1947) with advice on the layout of the entire stadium from football ground designer Archibald Leitch (1865-1939). A fire in 1905 destroyed the central section which was rebuilt in 1914 by civil engineers Babtie, Shaw and Morton. Hampden Park was once the largest football stadium in the world with a capacity of over 100,000 and still holds the European attendance record of 149,415 for the Scotland versus England match in 1937 which incidentally Scotland won 3-1. The stadium is home to owners Queen’s Park FC and the Scottish Football Association and also the Scottish Football Museum. The redevelopment of Hampden Park by Thomson and McCrae was completed in 1999 which reduced the capacity to 52,025 but it is still the venue for major cup finals and music concerts. The stadium is currently being redeveloped for use as the main athletics venue for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Battlefield takes its name from the Battle of Langside which was fought between Queen Mary and the armies of James VI. On the 13th May 1568, Queen Mary’s forces were on the march from Hamilton to Dumbarton Castle and found their path blocked by the forces of Regent Moray. Mary’s army numbered some 6,000 while the forces of Moray numbered 4,550 although the opposition’s commanders had much more military experience. Mary’s route passed through a cluster of small houses but her forces made a fatal mistake of not securing the area in advance. The opposition seized on this mistake and sent 200 troops across the river where they concealed themselves to the west of the village and as Mary’s forces stormed the east side of the village they were met by resistance from Moray’s troops. The following engagement resulted in stalemate and as Mary’s ranks of soldiers became unstable the opposition seized their chance and charged them breaking up their ranks and they fled the field. After the battle Mary presumably fled to Sanquhar and Terregles before spending her last night in Scotland at Dundrennan Abbey (Dundrennan Road in Battlefield commemorates this event) in Kirkcudbright before fleeing to England to eventual imprisonment and execution. To celebrate the 320th anniversary of the battle a highly decorative ornamental column designed by Alexander Skirving (c1849-1919) made from Binny stone and erected by Morrison and Mason with the decorative carving by architectural sculpture James Young was unveiled on the 13th May 1888.
The suburb of Battlefield was developed on the lands of the Langside Estate which was originally part of the Barony of Cathcart. The lands were in the possession of the Maxwell’s of Nether Pollok until the early 17th century when part of the lands passed into the possession of James Hamilton of Aitkenhead. The Hamilton family retained possession until the middle of the 18th century when they were purchased by Robert Crawford of Possil. In 1775 Robert Crawford (d.1804) sold part of his possession to Dr Thomas Brown (c1730-1782) who proceeded to build Langside House (1776-1780) to a design by Robert Adam (1728-1792). Dr Thomas Brown is buried in Cathcart Old Parish Churchyard, the family vault designed by Robert Adam. Thomas Brown’s third son Thomas sold the lands in 1852 to Neale Thomson (1807-1857) of Camphill who proceeded to feu the lands for building purposes. An advertisement in the Glasgow Herald 25th February 1853 offered ‘beautiful and picturesque sites for villas, pleasure grounds, cottages and gardens; also, several very desirable sites for crescents and terraces.’
Part of the lands of Battlefield appeared for sale in an advertisement in the Glasgow Herald 7th May 1879 as ‘lying on the south-side of Battlefield Road, and extending to 10½ acres, or thereby. The lands, which are situated near Queen’s Park, afford most suitable ground for the erection of self-contained lodgings and tenements of a superior class, and command a view of the finest scenery in the district.’. The residential development of Battlefield was well underway by the late 1880’s and early 1890’s and replaced an earlier weaving village of 20 to 30 families that stretched down to the River Cart. The area consists predominantly of four storey Victorian and Edwardian tenements although there are some townhouses and some modern properties. Battlefield was once the centre of Glasgow’s Jewish Community although most have relocated to Giffnock and Newton Mearns or further afield. The B listed former Queen’s Park Synagogue on Lochleven Road which replaced an earlier corrugated iron building was designed by Ninian McWhannell (1860-1939) of McWhannell, Rogerson and Reid and constructed between 1924 and 1926. It has now been converted into flats for Arklet Housing Association. The design by Campbell Douglas and Sellers for the B listed Victoria Infirmary consisted of an administration block and nurses’ home flanked by pavilions. The funds for the building came from a bequest from Robert Couper of the Millholm Paper Mill and it was officially opened on 14th February 1890. The hospital was given permission to use the Royal Coat of Arms which can be seen above the main entrance. Additional wards and extensions were added by Campbell Douglas and Morrison 1888-1903; Henry Edward Clifford 1903-1925 and Watson, Salmond and Gray from 1925. The B listed Gothic former Deaf and Dumb Institute, 56 Prospecthill Road was designed by Salmon, Son and Ritchie to replace an earlier Institution at Parson Street, Townhead.
It opened as a boarding school on 22nd May 1868 with accommodation for 170 pupils including a dining-room, classrooms, museum, sick-room, dormitories and library. It became Langside College of Further Education in 1947 and converted to residential use in 2002. The B listed Edwardian Baroque Langside Library, 2 Sinclair Drive was designed by George Simpson (1863-1926) in 1913 and was the final Carnegie library built in Glasgow. A painting of the Battle of Langside by Maurice Greiffenhagen (1862-1931) from 1919 adorns an interior wall. The B listed Battlefield Rest, 55 Battlefield Road with its distinctive green and cream striped tiles is unique in Glasgow. It began life as a tramcar shelter designed by Burnet and Boston in 1914-15. Earmarked for demolition in 1990 a petition by local residents saved the building for the enjoyment of future generations. It was purchased by businessman Marco Giannasi who in 1993 started the restoration project to return the building to its former glory. It was re-opened to the public as a restaurant in 1994. The former Gothic style Queen’s Park Secondary School, 73-75 Grange Road was built for the Cathcart School Board 1874-1876 to designs by Francis Steel Colledge (1844-1923) and officially opened on 7th January 1876. A two storey Higher Grade School was added in 1900-02 by H & D Barclay. A three storey red sandstone Edwardian Baroque style block designed by Thomson & Sandilands in 1912 as a replacement for the original building was never completed due to the outbreak of the First World War. Former pupils of the Queen’s Park School include former Scotland manager Ally McLeod (1931-2004), Emanuel ‘Manny’ Shinwell (1884-1986), SNP politician Winifred Ewing (b.1929) and more popularly known as Madame Ecosse, businessman and philanthropist Sir Isaac Wolfson (1897-1991) and of course the world renowned comic Stanley Jefferson (1890-1965) better known as Stan Laurel, who along with his partner Oliver Hardy visited the school in the 1940’s and distributed sweets to the pupils. The Victoria Infirmary purchased the Queen’s Park School buildings in the late 1990’s and it was demolished in 2006 to make way for the New Victoria Hospital designed by HLM Architects which opened on 8th June 2009.
Views of Queens Park Secondary School and Mount Florida Public School