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Pencil sketch of Greenbank Parish Church

Pencil sketch of Greenbank Parish Church, Sheddens


The village of Busby originated on the banks of White Cart Water, which formed the county boundary between Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. The Lanarkshire part of Busby was transferred from East Kilbride District to Eastwood District in April 1994. Following the abolition of Strathclyde Region in 1996, the whole of the town was included in the East Renfrewshire Council area.
Busby was developed as a manufacturing centre with water powered mills and bleachfields associated with the textile industry.

Description of Busby and Greenbank parish from Ordnance Gazeteer, 1901

Description of the town of Busby and Greenbank Parish from Ordnance Gazeteer, 1901


This map from 1832 shows the settlement of "Bushby" on the Lanarkshire side of White Cart Water at the junction of the roads to East Kilbride and Carmunnock.
The cotton mill on the Renfrewshire side of the river dates from the 1780's.

The boundary between Carmunnock and Mearns parishes is coloured green on the map and the boundary between Carmunnock and East Kilbride parishes is coloured red.

Map of Busby, 1832

Map of Busby, Lanarkshire, 1832


White Cart Water viewed from Busby Bridge

White Cart Water viewed from Busby Bridge

The first bridge at Busby was erected in 1785 to carry the new road from Glasgow to East Kilbride. The present day bridge was built in 1939 to accommodate the widened road.

Plaque at Busby Bridge


Greenbank Parish Church on Eaglesham Road was established within the boundaries of the Parish of Mearns to supply "much needed accommodation for members of the Church of Scotland residing in Sheddens and Busby".
The Church and hall were designed by William G. Rowan in his distinctive neo-Gothic style. The church was formally opened on Sunday 13th April 1884 by Rev. Cornelius Gillan of St. Mary's Edinburgh with the congregation's first minister, Rev. James Fraser, preaching at the afternoon service.

In 1889, the quoad sacra parish of Greenbank was created from portions of the ancient civil parishes of Cathcart, Eastwood and Mearns.

Greenbank Parish Church

Greenbank Parish Church


Exhibition drawing of Greenbank Manse by W.G. Rowan, displayed at Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1898

Exhibition drawing of Greenbank Manse by W.G. Rowan, displayed at Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1898


Photograph of Greenbank Manse, 2015

Photograph of Greenbank Manse, 2015


The view below shows the road junction at Sheddens, with signpost showing the road to Busby straight ahead and the Eaglesham road to the right. The Buck's Head Café occupies the prominent corner site which has been replaced by a roundabout and modern buildings.

Sheddens road junction before roundabout was created

Sheddens road junction before roundabout was created


Original St. Josephs's Roman Catholic Church, Sheddens

The Roman Catholic parish of St. Joseph was established in 1880 with a small sandstone church, situated close to the Sheddens road junction. It was built on the site of the present day church, which dates from 1971. The parish of St Joseph is included within the R.C. Diocese of Paisley.

St. Josephs's Roman Catholic Church, Sheddens

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Sheddens


Old photograph looking towards Clarkston Toll from the south

Old photograph looking towards Clarkston Toll from the south


Modern view of old stone-built terrace at Sheddens

Modern view of old stone-built terrace at Sheddens


Historic view at tenement block at at Viaduct Road, Sheddens

Two pictures of children and smartly dressed Edwardian ladies at Viaduct Road, Sheddens

Well dressed Edwardian ladies at Viaduct Road, Sheddens


The map below, which dates from 1863, shows the activity along the riverbank of the Renfrewshire side of White Cart Water to the east of the East Kilbride Road. The map displays the proximity of the two water-powered textile mills, situated either side of Busby House.

Map of Busby, 1863

Map of Busby, 1863


Busby House, which is shown in the above map on an elevated site above the river, was built in 1799 for the proprietors of the adjacent mill. In 1860, four years after the house had been acquired by Mr James Crum of Thornliebank, the house was completely remodelled and extended by architects, Peddie & Kinnear. It was demolished in 1962 and replaced with modern blocks of flats.

Busby House

Busby House


The Lower Mill at Busby was situated downstream from the earlier Upper Mill which was built c. 1780 and demolished in 1900. The Lower Mill was established in 1790 by James Doxon. The largest section of the mill, shown in the photograph below, was destroyed by fire in 1968 and the site re-developed with small garages and workshops.

Lower Mill, Busby

Lower Mill, Busby, with railway viaduct in background


This view shows some of the remnants of the Busby Lower Mill and the adjacent garages and workshops. The railway can be seen at the bottom left, with the mill situated between the river and the main road on the top right.

Site of Lower Mill, Busby

Site of Lower Mill, Busby, looking upstream on White Cart Water


Site of Lower Mill, Busby

Ruins of Lower Mill, Busby


Overgrown staircase at entrance to Lower Mill, Busby

Overgrown staircase at entrance to Lower Mill, Busby


Woodland encroaching on rear of Lower Mill, Busby

Woodland encroaching on rear of Lower Mill, Busby


Another local mansion, also named 'Busby House', in Field Road was built in 1796. The house was extended and remodelled by Alexander "Greek" Thomson in 1856-1857 for local landowner, Durham Kippen, who rented it to Messrs. Inglis & Wakefield, the proprietors of the nearby calico printing works. Thomson's extensions were built with locally quarried Giffnock sandstone which provided a contrast to the harled walls of the original house.

Busby House

Busby House, altered and extended by Alexander "Greek" Thomson


View of Busby House with Alexander Thomson's alterations and later conservatory

View of Busby House with Alexander Thomson's alterations and later conservatory


View showing Alexander Thomson's additions and alterations to the side of Busby House

View showing Alexander Thomson's additions and alterations to the side of Busby House


Busby House in Field Road was allowed to fall into a state of dereliction before being demolished in 1969.

Derelict Busby House shortly before demolition in 1969

Derelict Busby House shortly before demolition in 1969


Duff Memorial Hall was built in memory of the sons of local resident, William Duff, who both died during the First World War. The Hall and Library opened on September 10th 1921.
Lieutenant William Duff jnr died in June 1915 at Gallipoli and his brother, Lieutenant John Mitchell Duff, died in in India in August 1919.

Duff Memorial Hall and Library, Busby

Duff Memorial Hall and Library, Busby


Tenement block in Main Street, Busby

Tenement block in Main Street, Busby


Busby Public School was designed by Glasgow based architect, William Gardner Rowan, who also designed Thornliebank Public School. The school, which opened in 1903, was built in the Edwardian Renaissance style which was popular for public buildings at the time.

Busby Public School

Busby Public School


Busby Public School surrounded by open fields

Busby Public School surrounded by open fields


Busby Parish Church is situated close to the school. It originated with a congregation of the United Presbyterian Church which had formed in 1847, long before this denomination merged with the Church of Scotland in 1929. The church then became known as Busby West Church. Busby East and West churches combined in 1990 to form Busby Parish Church

Former Busby West Church, now Busby Parish Church

Former Busby West Church, now Busby Parish Church


Former Busby West Church, now Busby Parish Church

Gable of Busby West Church,


The Auld Kirk, formerly Busby East United Free Church

The Auld Kirk, formerly Busby East United Free Church

Plaque at the 'Auld Kirk' Busby

The former Busby East United Free Church was situated on the Lanarkshire side of the river at the corner of Carmunnock Road.
The congregation originated in 1865 following the disruption of the established Church of Scotland in 1843.
After the merger of Busby East and West churches in 1990 to form Busby Parish Church, the buildings at Carmunnock Road were converted to flats as 'The Auld Kirk'.


Gable of the Auld Kirk, Busby

Gable of the Auld Kirk, Busby


Horses in Main Street, Busby

Horses in Main Street, Busby


Old view of Main Street, Busby

Old view of Main Street, Busby


Busby Co-operative Society was formed in 1861, providing for the employees in the local industries. The story of the society is shown in the report, below, published in 1910.

Description of Busby Co-operative Society from 1910

Description of Busby Co-operative Society from 1910


Busby Co-operative Society, Main Street

Busby Co-operative Society, Main Street


A new branch railway line from Pollokshaws to Busby was opened on 1st January 1866 mainly for the transportation of minerals, raw materials and goods in connection with the quarries and textile mills on the route. It had the side effect of opening the intermediate districts up for the creation of commuter suburbs.
The line was established by the Busby Railway Company which was absorbed by the Caledonian railway in 1882.

Busby Station

Busby Station with booking office now used as a Chinese Restaurant


View of Busby Station from footbridge connecting platforms

View of railway line at Busby Station from footbridge connecting platforms


Original decorative cast iron at Busby Station

Original decorative cast iron at Busby Station


Busby Glen provides local residents with some beautiful walks in the wooded area along the riverbank. The parkland was gifted to Busby by William. J. Kippen, a descendant of local mill owner, Durham Kippen, who occupied Busby House and the surrounding estate.
The plaque below is attached to the gate pier at the entance to the park.

Plaque at entrance to Busby Glen

Plaque at entrance to Busby Glen


Waterfall on White Cart Water, Busby Glen

Waterfall on White Cart Water, Busby Glen


Railway viaduct over White Cart Water, Busby

Railway viaduct over White Cart Water, Busby


Aerial view of White Cart railway viaduct, Busby

Aerial view of White Cart railway viaduct, Busby


Close-up view of railway viaduct from pathway at Busby Glen

Close-up view of railway viaduct from pathway at Busby Glen


View of railway viaduct from the depths of Busby Glen

View of railway viaduct from the depths of Busby Glen


White Cart Water crosses into Mearns Parish at Waterfoot, about three miles downstream from its source in the parish of Eaglesham. There were two water-powered grain mills at Waterfoot, 'Mearns Mill' on the northern side of Earn Water and 'Drip Mill' on White Cart Water, downstream from its confluence with Earn Water. This mill is still operational, under the name of 'Dripps Mill'.

Map of White Cart Water at Waterfoot

Description of Earn Water, Waterfoot, 1901


View of White Cart Water at Waterfoot showing Dripps Mill and old bridge

View of White Cart Water at Waterfoot showing Dripps Mill and old bridge


View of White Cart Water and Dripps Mill from old bridge at Waterfoot

View of White Cart Water and Dripps Mill from old bridge at Waterfoot


Sketch of White Cart Water and Dripps Mill at Waterfoot

Sketch of White Cart Water and Dripps Mill at Waterfoot


Winter scene at Dripps Mill, Waterfoot

Winter scene at Dripps Mill, Waterfoot


Weir on White Cart Water on approach to Dripps Mill, Waterfoot

Weir on White Cart Water on approach to Dripps Mill, Waterfoot


Mill lade at Dripps Mill, Waterfoot

Mill lade carrying water into Dripps Mill (above) and outflow back into White cart Water (below)

Outflow to White Cart Water at Dripps Mill, Waterfoot


Aerial view of site of 'Mearns Mill' at the confluence of Earn Water and White Cart Water at Waterfoot

Aerial view of site of 'Mearns Mill' where the roadway crosses Earn Water close to its confluence with White Cart Water


Confluence of Earn Water and White Cart Water at Waterfoot

Confluence of Earn Water (left) with White Cart Water (right)


Site of Mearns Mill on Earn Water, close to confluence with White Cart Water

Site of Mearns Mill on Earn Water, close to confluence with White Cart Water




Logo of Mearns Tower

Giffnock & Netherlee
    East Renfrewshire

Newton Mearns
    East Renfrewshire

Thornliebank & Rouken Glen
    East Renfrewshire

Busby & Waterfoot
    East Renfrewshire

Newlands
    City of Glasgow

Cathcart - Architecture & History
    City of Glasgow

Muirend to Cathcart
    Along Clarkston Road

Pollokshaws & Auldhouse
    City of Glasgow

White Cart Walk
    Cathcart to Netherlee

Churches of Eastwood Parish
    City of Glasgow

White Cart Walk
    Pollok Country Park

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All original artwork, photography and text © Gerald Blaikie 2016
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