Drawing of the twin towers of Hampden Park, Glasgow, by Gerald Blaikie

Famous twin towers of Hampden Park, Mount Florida, demolished in 2002

Mount Florida is a suburb in Glasgow's south side which was largely developed with sandstone tenements, terraces and villas after the arrival of the Cathcart Circle railway line in 1886. It is the home of Scottish Football, with the ultra-modern National Stadium occupying the site of various versions of the old Hampden Park, which had a long and fascinating history.

International football match, Scotland v England, Hampden Park, 4th April 1908

International football match, Scotland v England, Hampden Park, 4th April 1908


The district grew in and around the "Lands of Mount Floridon", which consisted of 15 acres of orchards and gardens surrounding the house of the same name. It was situated at the highest point of the present day Prospecthill Road in the Lanarkshire section of the Parish of Cathcart.

1822 map of the eastern section of Cathcart Parish

1822 map showing a house called Mount Floridon, which was the site of a marriage in September 1816 (below)


Notice from September 1814 for sale of houses at Mount Floridon, Cathcart, Glasgow

Notice from September 1814 showing that there were two dwellings surrounded by 15 acres of land at Mount Floridon


The house and walled gardens were again offered for sale in early 1844 when owned by a Mrs Bell. It was described at that time as "Mount Florida".
The house appears to have been in a habitable condition until around 1855 when it was destroyed by fire, leaving only the ruins shown in the map shown below.

Close up view of Mount Florida House, which was entered from Prospecthill Road

1850's map showing close up view of two semi-detached dwellings at Mount Floridon House, by then renamed as Mount Florida


The extracts below are from the Ordnance Survey Name book from 1856-1857 regarding Mount Florida / Mount Floridon.

Extract from Ordnance Survey Name book from 1856-1857 regarding Mount Florida

The description column below reads "A farm house now in ruins (having been burned about a year ago) situated on the Crown of a Hill of the same name & said to be on the route pursued by the Troops of Queen Mary when advancing to the Battle of Langside. It is the property of Mr James Bunten.

Extract from Ordnance Survey Name book from 1856-1857 regarding Mount Florida


The extract below provides a Victorian account of the area at the time of the Battle of Langside on 13th May 1568, when the forces of Mary Queen of Scots approached the battefield from Rutherglen along the route of Prospecthill Road, passing Hangingshaw and Mount Floridon.
The "Bushy-Aik-Lane" appears in the old maps following the line of Battlefield Road towards the village of Langside. The "road to Ayr" proceeding south is Cathcart Road and the "bridge near the old Castle" is the Snuff Mill Bridge.

Extract from 1845 describing the route of Queen Mary's troops from Rutherglen to Langside

Extract from 1845 describing the route of Queen Mary's troops from Rutherglen to Langside


Site of the long gone Mount Florida House, as viewed from Prospecthill Road

Site of the long gone Mount Florida House, as viewed from Prospecthill Road


1850's map showing ruined house from where the area derived its name

1850's map showing ruined Mount Florida House and farmhouse at Clincart to the south


The area to the south and west of the 15 acres of "Lands of Mount Floridon" comprised the 95 acres of the "Lands of Clincart". The farmhouse and surrounding fields at Clincart were sold in 1836. This parcel of land included the site of the present day National Stadium at Hampden Park and much of the late Victorian and Edwardian development of the present day suburb of Mount Florida.

Notice from May 1836 for sale of 95 acres of land for development at Clincart, Mount Florida

Notice from May 1836 for sale of 95 acres of land at Clincart, south of Mount Florida House

The "large and excellent Farm House, which has extensive Offices attached" mentioned in the 1836 sale notice is shown to the rear of the group of buildings in the photograph below.
The two-storey farmhouse and ancilliary building have survived from the 1830's to serve as a pavilion and dressing rooms for "Lesser Hampden", part of Queens Park Football Club.
The original photograph would have been taken from the upper levels of a newly built tenement in Cathcart Road. It dates from the earliest years of the twentieth century when Clincart still clearly had a working farm complete with haystacks and outhouses.

View of buildings at Clincart Farm and Mount Florida Church with Hampden Park in the background

View of buildings at Clincart Farm and Mount Florida Church with Hampden Park in the background

Aerial View of former farmhouse and offices at Clincart Farm, now part of Lesser Hampden football ground

Aerial View of former farmhouse and offices at Clincart Farm, now part of Lesser Hampden football ground


1913 map showing layout of district some 60 years after the earlier map

1913 map showing layout of district after development of the old lands of Mount Floridon and Clincart


Inter-war view of Hampden Stadium with Lesser Hampden to the left and Cathkin Park at the top of the frame

Inter-war view of Hampden Stadium with Lesser Hampden to the left and Cathkin Park at the top of the frame


Modern view of Hampden Stadium with Lesser Hampden to the left and Cathkin Park at the top of the frame

Modern view of Hampden Stadium with Lesser Hampden to the left and Cathkin Park at the top of the frame

The cleared ground to the right of the stadium is the site of the former Hampden Trolleybus Garage which was latterly used as a Council lighting depot. The site was cleared at the time when the photograph was taken to create a "Transport Hub" in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


Mount Florida tram terminus in Clincart Road

"Importers of Spirits" near Mount Florida tram terminus in Clincart Road before the district became a "Dry Area" in 1921


Springburn bound tram cars at Mount Florida tram terminus, Clincart Road

Springburn bound tram cars at Mount Florida tram terminus, Clincart Road


No. 12 tram at Mount Florida terminus in Clincart Road

No. 12 tram at Mount Florida terminus in Clincart Road

The view below shows a No.12 tram at Clincart Road shortly before the route was replaced with the No. 108 trolleybus on 16th November 1958. The No. 105 trolleybus in the background was heading for Clarkston via Cathcart and Muirend.
The Mount Florida terminus for the No. 108 trolleybus was at Ballogie Road near the junction of Carmunnock Road and Kings Park Road.

No. 12 tram approaching Mount Florida terminus with  No. 105 trolleybus in the background

No. 12 tram approaching Mount Florida terminus with No. 105 trolleybus in the background


When I was a wee boy my mother used to send me, with the fare of a threeha'penny half, on the 105 trolleybus with a message list and a ten bob note to get from Cathcart to Curley's store in Mount Florida.
She was obviously misusing child labour, but I loved it and remembered enough about the long gone means of transport to produce some old fashioned drawings.

The 105 trolleybus route was introduced on the 5th July 1953 replacing tram services 5 and 13 which were operational along Clarkston Road, Holmlea Road and Cathcart Road.
Around the same time a new fleet of Sunbeam vehicles were introduced to supplement the original Daimler and B.U.T. (British United Traction) trolleybuses which had come into service in 1949 on earlier routes.
The 105 was the only remaining service in operation when Glasgow's trolleybus system came to an end on 27th May 1967.

Glasgow Trolleybus, TB series, 1953 livery

1949 Glasgow B.U.T. Trolleybus (TB series) with 1953 livery

 

Glasgow Trolleybus, TG series, with original 1953 livery

Glasgow Sunbeam Trolleybus (TG series) with original 1953 livery


Glistening window in Cathcart Road fašade of Mount Florida Parish Church

Glistening window in Cathcart Road fašade of Mount Florida Parish Church


South facing fašade of Mount Florida Parish Church

South facing fašade of Mount Florida Parish Church


Former Cathcart Parish Council Chambers, now Mount Florida Medical Centre

Former Cathcart Parish Council Chambers, now Mount Florida Medical Centre


Entrance to Council Chambers, which served their original purpose for only 5 years, 1907 to 1912

Entrance to Council Chambers, which served their original purpose for only 5 years, 1907 to 1912


End bay of chambers in bright summer sunshine

End bay of chambers in bright summer sunshine


Pigeons roosting above Cathcart coat of arms

Pigeons roosting above Cathcart coat of arms


Reflection on window at new Hampden Stadium

Reflection on window at new Hampden Stadium


South stand at new Hampden Stadium

South stand at new Hampden Stadium


View from south stand at Hampden Stadium, looking east

View from south stand at Hampden Stadium, looking east


Aerial view of Hampden Stadium, 1994

Aerial views of Hampden Stadium, 1994 (above) & 2014 (below)

Aerial view of Hampden Stadium, 2014


View from terraces of Cathkin Park, the former home of Third Lanark FC

View from terraces of Cathkin Park, the former home of both Queens Park FC & Third Lanark FC


Aerial view of Cathkin Park from the north, with Cathcart Road to the right

Aerial view of Cathkin Park from the north, with Cathcart Road to the right


Exhibit from the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden showing Third Lanark with their nickname, the Hi Hi!

Exhibit from the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden showing Third Lanark with their nickname, the Hi Hi!


One of the earliest known pictorial recordings of a football match were the cartoons shown below of a Charity Cup tie played at Cathkin Park on 26th April 1884. The local derby match was played out between Mount Florida rivals, Queens Park and Third Lanark.
The first image shows the goalless first half of the match, which was described by the Glasgow Herald as "a spirited contest with neither side being able to gain any advantage". Queens Park were playing in their familiar narrow black and white hoops, while Third Lanark were playing in white. The "reporter" appears as a messenger pigeon!

Queens Park v Third Lanark, 26th April 1884

Cartoon showing first half of football match, Queens Park v Third Lanark, 26th April 1884


The second half produced two goals and much throwing of bowler hats in the air! Third Lanark scored first with a goal from Kaye following a corner kick. Queens Park equalised soon after with "Harrower scoring a neat goal for his side".

Queens Park v Third Lanark, 26th April 1884

Cartoon showing second half of football match, Queens Park v Third Lanark, 26th April 1884


Glasgow's Deaf and Dumb Institution relocated from Barony Glebe in Townhead to new custom-built premises at Mount Florida in 1868. The new building in Prospecthill Road was designed in the Venetian style by local architects, Salmon, Son & Ritchie. It was formally opened on 22nd May 1868 by Glasgow's Lord Provost, Sir James Lumsden.
The Institution became part of Langside College in 1947 and in 2002 it was converted for residential use as the 'Chroma Building'.

Exhibition drawing of former Deaf & Dumb Institution, designed by Salmon Son & Ritchie

Exhibition drawing of former Deaf & Dumb Institution, designed by Salmon Son & Ritchie


Old photograph of former Deaf and Dumb Institution, Prospecthill Road, Mount Florida


Former Deaf and Dumb Institution in Prospecthill Road, now apartment block, the Chroma Building

Former Deaf and Dumb Institution in Prospecthill Road, now apartment block, the Chroma Building


Carved owl in banded stonework at Chroma Building

Carved owl in banded stonework at Chroma Building


Entrance to Chroma Building, Mount Florida

Entrance to Chroma Building, Mount Florida


Upper floor of Chroma Building in dappled summer sunshine

Upper floor of Chroma Building in dappled summer sunshine


Mount Florida School, built 1895 - 1897

Mount Florida School, built 1895 - 1897


The Vogue Cinema was situated at the very end of Cathcart Road where Mount Florida converges with Battlefield and Cathcart. It originated as the Kingsway Cinema when it opened in 1929, at the same time as the "talkies" were being introduced. It was designed by architect James McKissack.
The cinema was renamed as the Vogue in 1950 and showed movies until 1965, after which it became a bingo hall. It was vacated in 1986 and was allowed to fall into a state of total dereliction over a twenty year period before its demolition in the summer of 2006.
The view below is from the early 1970's when the Vogue was in use as a bingo hall.

Vogue Cinema, Cathcart Road

Vogue Cinema, Cathcart Road


Plaque to Simon Bolivar, Mount Florida, Glasgow

In the 1930's, during a time of civil unrest in Spain, Montgomery Terrace was renamed after Simon Bolivar, a Scottish Rite freemason


Beautiful carved faces in early 1900's Art Nouveau style decorating Mount Florida tenement

Beautiful carved faces in early 1900's Art Nouveau style decorating Mount Florida tenement



 

Dixon Halls, Crosshill

Gorbals
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Pollokshields, Garden Suburb
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Govan
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Strathbungo & Crossmyloof
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Mount Florida
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Pollok Park & the Burrell
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Langside and Battlefield
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White Cart Walk, Pollok Park
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King's Park
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Rivers: Brock, Levern & Cart
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Castlemilk
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Pollokshaws & Auldhouse
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Queen's Park Churches
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Shawlands & Pollokshaws Churches
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Muirend to Cathcart
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Old Cathcart
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Newlands
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White Cart Walk, Linn Park
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Cathcart Circle - A Railway Tour
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East Renfrewshire Suburbs
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All original artwork, photography and text © Gerald Blaikie 2017
Unauthorised reproduction of any image on this website is not permitted.

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