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houses & mansions in glasgow's south side


The finest example of residential architecture in the south side of Glasgow is undoubtedly Alexander Thomson's Holmwood House in Cathcart, which has a dedicated page in this website.

Engraving of Holmwood House, Cathcart

Engraving of Holmwood House, Cathcart


There are many more dwellings of special architectural interest in the south side, including Ravensworth, Cathcart, designed by the noted Yorkshire architect Fred Rowntree.
The perspective drawing of Ravensworth, below, was displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1905.

Exhibition Drawing of Ravensworth, Cathcart, 1905

Exhibition Drawing of Ravensworth, Cathcart, 1905

Ravensworth was built for Mrs Mary Dunn, a member of the Dunn family associated with the biscuit manufacturers, Gray Dunn & Company. The architect of Ravensworth, Fred Rowntree, was married to Mary Anna Gray, a daughter of William Gray of the same firm.
Ravensworth was designed in a very English style of architecture, standing out from the familiar sandstone villas of the area, built around the same time.

View of Ravensworth, Cathcart, 2014

View of Ravensworth, Cathcart, 2014


The houses on the south side of Glasgow map the progress of the ever expanding city from the old inner city areas like Gorbals and Govanhill in the nineteenth century, to the outlying housing schemes such as Castlemilk and Toryglen which were created in the second half of the twentieth century.

Villa in Clarkston Road

Villa at Clarkston Road, Cathcart


Tenements at Brownlie Street, Mount Florida

Tenements at Brownlie Street, Mount Florida

The traditional Glasgow tenements, which were built in the period from 1880 to 1914, can be seen throughout the area.
Tracing the origins of the earliest blocks can be difficult as in many cases the street names came later than the buildings.
The tenement illustrated above is part of a development originally known as Randolph Terrace which was erected by Alexander Brownlie in 1886. The disposition refers to the property as being in the "Parish of Cathcart in the County of Renfrew". In 1893, after further development of the surrounding area, Randolph Terrace was renumbered from the new streets which it now fronted. The part of the street shown above, known as 10 Randolph Terrace in 1886, became 25-27 Brownlie Street in 1893. The Brownlie connection remained 100 years later, with some of the flats still in the ownership of the Brownlie family.
The Glasgow Herald on 1st March 1886, the day the Cathcart District Railway opened, advertised for sale by public roup "Three tenements of dwelling houses at Randoph Place, Mount Florida". It went on to state that "The opening of the new railway is creating an increased demand for houses in the locality".

The complete 1913-14 Valuation Roll showing the occupiers of houses in the city has been digitised as part of the "Glasgow Story" project.
Maps of all 36 electoral wards have also been digitised to help identify streets which may have had their names changed.


The inter-war bungalows built by McTaggart & Mickel were the last speculatively built sandstone fronted houses in Cathcart. These were built as late as the 1930's, before brick with a roughcast finish became the norm for house construction.
The house below is typical of the bungalows in Carmunnock Road and the streets leading off it, not far from Cathcart Old Parish Church.

Bungalow at Cathcart

Sandstone fronted bungalow at Cathcart


The roughcast finish shown below is more typical of what you would see in the slightly later bungalows to be found in Kings Park and Muirend.

Roughcast finished bungalow

Roughcast finished bungalow built by McTaggart & Mickel


Some of the oldest villas on the Circle line can be found between Crosshill and Queens Park stations, where the housing plots were mostly developed in the 1870's and 1880's, pre-dating the Pollokshields, Newlands and Cathcart houses.

Villa at Queen's Park

Villas at Crosshill

Villa at Queen's Park


One of the earliest surviving villas in Crosshill is 'Howburn' in Queen Mary Avenue, which was built in 1857. It was designed in an Italianate style by John Baird.
An unusual feature of the house is that it has separate front entrances to the upper floor and the lower floor. It is now occupied as two distinct dwellings, created without having to go through the usual building works entailed in the division of Victorian villas.

'Howburn', Queen Mary Avenue, Crosshill

'Howburn', Queen Mary Avenue, Crosshill


'Howburn', Queen Mary Avenue, Crosshill

Photograph of 'Howburn', Queen Mary Avenue, 2014


Rear elevation of 'Howburn', Queen Mary Avenue, Crosshill

Rear elevation of 'Howburn', Queen Mary Avenue, Crosshill


The Cathcart Circle Railway line was the impetus for the creation of wealthy new suburbs with large stone houses and extensive gardens, which were developed around 1900.

Passengers travelling on the Inner Circle from Glasgow Central will pass through the affluent neighbourhoods surrounding the stations at Pollokshields West, Maxwell Park and Langside & Newlands before the train reaches Cathcart.

Villa at Pollokshields

Villa at Pollokshields

To view the largest & grandest villas in Glasgow, you should take the train to Maxwell Park Station and visit "the Avenues" off St Andrews Drive. You could not fail to be impressed with the detached villas in Sherbrooke, Springkell, Sutherland and Hamilton Avenues, which all run into Maxwell Park. There are many other large houses scattered throughout Pollokshields, but not as grand as those in "the Avenues"


Detached Villa in Pollokshields

Detached Villa in Pollokshields

Many of the villas in Pollokshields show unique design touches. The houses in this area were not mass produced as the tenements and terraced houses in nearby areas were. Even some of the larger houses were however built to a few popular designs with small variations to make them appear original.
The houses around Maxwell Park were richly embellished, like the one above, which features a circular turret added to the front public room and an individually designed porch to the side entrance. The rear of this house has small rooms upstairs which were originally intended as servants quarters.
It is very similar to 'Southwold', a detached villa in Sherbrooke Avenue. shown below.

 'Southwold', Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollokshields

'Southwold', Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollokshields


'Matheran' is one of the largest and finest villas in the area, situated on a commanding site at the corner of Sherbrooke Avenue and Springkell Avenue.
The architects of the house were Messrs. Frank Burnet, Boston and Carruthers. Their exhibition drawing of the house, below, was displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1904.

Exhibition drawing of 'Matheran', Pollokshields, 1904

Exhibition drawing of 'Matheran' at corner of Sherbrooke Avenue and Springkell Avenue


Corner view of 'Matheran', Pollokshields

Corner view of 'Matheran', Pollokshields


Entrance to 'Matheran' from Springkell Avenue, AD 1903

Entrance to 'Matheran' from Springkell Avenue, "AD 1903"


'Matheran' was occupied by the Glasgow School of Occupational Therapy before reverting to residential use at the end of 2002.

Springkell Avenue fašade of 'Matheran', Pollokshields

Springkell Avenue fašade of 'Matheran', Pollokshields


Nearby you can find 'Inchgarvie', another large villa designed by Messrs. Frank Burnet, Boston and Carruthers around the same time as 'Matheran'.
The exhibition drawings of the two massive villas were displayed side-by-side at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1904.

'Inchgarvie' Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollokshieldss

'Inchgarvie' Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollokshields


Illustration of 'Oaklands',  Sherbrooke Avenue, from 1904

Illustration of 'Oaklands', Sherbrooke Avenue, from 1904


Photograph of 'Oaklands', Sherbrooke Avenue, from 2014

Photograph of 'Oaklands', Sherbrooke Avenue, from 2014


House under construction, Pollokshields

If you are lucky enough to find a development plot for a new house in the Conservation Area, Glasgow City Council will ensure that it is built in the style of the existing properties surrounding it.

The house under construction, above, is situated in Sherbrooke Avenue. When it is completed the stonework and building style will make it blend in naturally with the beautiful houses erected a century earlier. its good to know that old fashioned workmanship is still around in Glasgow and traditional construction skills haven't been completely overtaken by the modern world.


Villa at Pollokshields

Villa at Pollokshields

The main differences in house style between Pollokshields and those built later houses in Newlands was of scale and attachment. The large houses of Pollokshields are mostly detached, while those in Newlands are more likely to be semi-detached and situated in smaller plots.

Semi in Newlands

Semi - detached Villa at Newlands


Rendering of Alexander Thomson's home at Moray Place, Strathbungo, by Gerald Blaikie

Drawing of Alexander "Greek" Thomson's home at 1 Moray Place, near Pollokshields West Station


 


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All original artwork, photography and text © Gerald Blaikie 2017
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