Home Page - scotcities.com    South Side Guides    Contact   


Engraving of Pollokshields, 1829

This engraving dates from 1829 before Pollokshields had been developed. It was titled "View of Glasgow from the Farm of Shields", with a view looking towards the Cathedral in the distance. What is surprising is the number of multi-storey buildings and chimney stacks in the foreground, presumably in the Gorbals and surrounding districts.
It is difficult to guess where the vantage point for the image would have been situated.


Map of Shiels 1795

The map above was surveyed about 30 years before the engraving and shows the farmhouse at "Shiels" situated on the hilltop near the present day junction of Shields Road and Nithsdale Road. Shields Cottage is shown at "L.Shiels" (for Laigh Shields), near where you would now find the junction of St Andrews Drive and Shields Road.


The extensive garden suburb of Pollokshields was developed on land owned for centuries by the Maxwells of Pollok in the parish of Govan in the county of Renfrewshire.
Sir John Maxwell, the 8th baronet, built a bridge over the canal and railway lines at Shields Road, linking Kinning Park to the present day St Andrews Drive.
This description from 1841 of a train journey on the newly opened Glasgow and Ayrshire Railway describes the train passing under the bridge at Shields Road, then described as the road leading "from the Paisley road to Pollokshaws". The description of Shiels Cottage matches the house shown as "L.Shiels" in the earlier map.

Map of Shiels 1795

A detailed study of the development of the railway at this location can be found at the Pollokshields Stations section of this website.


In 1851 development of villas began along the road which ran parallel to the canal and the railway. The first phase of the development progressed over the next 25 years, leading to Pollokshields acheiving the status of an independent burgh for a short period from 1876 to 1891, after which it became part of the city of Glasgow.

Early map of Pollokshields

The map above shows Pollokshields consisting of a few rows of dwellings situated alongside the Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrossan Canal and the railway lines west of Shields Road. This earliest part of Pollokshields was redeveloped in the late 1960's and early 1970's when the old houses were replaced with blocks of flats.
The future site of the large houses in the planned garden suburb is shown on the map as "(Part of) Titwood", around a steading named "Haggbowse"
The area east of Shields Road was a separate burgh, East Pollokshields, which was developed with upmarket tenemental housing.
Having being created as a carefully planned suburb, Pollokshields had a total prohibition on trade. Neighbouring East Pollokshields was however allowed the shops, schools and other classes of buildings you would expect to find in a typical Victorian neighbourhood. There were no licensed premises permitted in either district.


This description of a train journey passing through Pollokshields in 1852 gives an impression of the area before and after the development of the sandstone villas.

Description of Pollokshields from railway


The example, below, of an early semi-detached house in Pollokshields shows that the original houses were much more modest in size and in the extent of their garden grounds compared to those which would come later. This house was situated on the north side of Maxwell Drive on the present site of St Albert's School.

House at Pollokshields, 1926

1926 view of semi-detached house at Pollokshields, now demolished


It was insisted upon that the villas of Pollokshields were all built to different plans. No two villas were permitted to be exactly alike. The number of large villas was greatly expanded from the 1880's through to the completion of the planned suburb around 1910.
Public green space was provided by Maxwell Park which opened in 1890. The large gardens surrounding the houses were widely planted with broad-leaved trees such as beech, sycamore and lime. There were also trees planted on the kerbsides of the broad avenues to add to the overall greenery and give some spectacular autumn colour.

House at Pollokshields, 1926

Detached villa, built 1886, as part of later development in Avenues west of St Andrews Drive, Pollokshields


Haggs Castle in St Andrew's Drive was originally built as a defensive tower house in the 1580's. It was restored as a dwelling house during Victorian times when modern day Pollokshields was being developed. It had a number of different uses before returning to its present use as a private residence in 1998.

Haggs Castle 1933

Front view of Haggs Castle, 1933


Rear view of Haggs Castle and associated outbuildings

Rear view of Haggs Castle and associated outbuildings on the old road from Pollokshaws to Govan



Drawing of Haggs Castle from the south-east Drawing of Haggs Castle from the south-west

Drawings of the ruins of Haggs Castle before restoration


Engraving of restored Haggs Castle

Engraving of restored Haggs Castle


Trees growing alongside the pavements of Pollokshields

Trees growing alongside the pavements of Pollokshields


Pollokshields Burgh Hall, which was gifted to the district by Sir John Stirling Maxwell

Pollokshields Burgh Hall, which was gifted to the district by Sir John Stirling Maxwell


Pollokshields coat of arms

Pollokshields arms carved into stonework over entrance to Burgh Hall, with date of 1890


Moonlight over Pollokshields Burgh Hall

Moonlight over Pollokshields Burgh Hall


The Sherbrooke Castle Hotel was designed by architects, J.Thomson & R.Sandilands' as a private residence, Rhuadsgeir, at 11 Sherbrooke Avenue. Their drawing of the house, below, was displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1896.

Drawing of Rhuadsgeir 11 Sherbrooke Avenue, later Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, 1896

Drawing of Rhuadsgeir, later Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, 1896


Sherbrooke Castle Hotel

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel


Night time view of floodlit Sherbrooke Castle Hotel

Night time view of floodlit Sherbrooke Castle Hotel


'Kelmscott' is an out-of-the ordinary villa situated in Springkell Avenue, close to the Sherbooke Castle Hotel. The architect, John Nisbet, skilfully fused elements of the then fashionable Arts and Crafts style with the familiar Scots Baronial style to seen throught West Pollokshields.
Nisbet's exhibition drawing of the house, below, was displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1903.

Exhibition Drawing of 'Kelmscott', Pollokshields

Exhibition Drawing of 'Kelmscott', Pollokshields, 1903


This photograph of the house was taken in 1905, just after its completion. It shows that the 'as-built' version was very close to that envisioned by the architect in the perspective drawing displayed two years earlier. The garden shrubbery had just recently been planted, with the trees being mere saplings.

Photograph of 'Kelmscott', Pollokshields, 1905

Photograph of 'Kelmscott', Pollokshields, 1905


This photograph of Kelmscott from 2014 shows how well preserved the villa has been over the last hundred-plus years. It is a beautiful example of Edwardian domestic architecture, retaining all its original exterior features in pristine condition.

Photograph of 'Kelmscott', Pollokshields, 2014

Photograph of 'Kelmscott', Pollokshields, 2014


Further examples of exhibition drawings of large villas shown alongside modern photographs can be viewed at the Domestic Architecture of Glasgow's South Side page of this website.


Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church

Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church


Photograph of newly built Sherbrooke Church, 1900

Photograph of newly built Sherbrooke Church, 1900


Doorway at Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church, flanked by carved figures

Doorway at Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church, flanked by carved figures


Tracery on window of Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church

Tracery on window of Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church


Eagle lectern at Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church

Eagle lectern at Sherbrooke St Gilbert's Church


The last remaining part of Pollokshields Glencairn Church can be viewed from Shields Road near the corner with Glencairn Drive. It was known as Trinity UP Church when it first opened in 1891. The body of the church was was destroyed by fire in 1988, leaving only the east window (below) standing.

Remains of east window of Pollokshields Glencairn Church

Remains of east window of Pollokshields Glencairn Church


Perspective drawing of Pollokshields Trinity UP church by architect, W.G. Rowan

Perspective drawing of Pollokshields Trinity UP church by architect, W.G. Rowan, 1892


Old map showing Trinity UP Church shortly after it was built

Old map showing Trinity UP Church shortly after it was built


Another church to be mysteriously destroyed by fire was Pollokshields UP Church in Leslie Street, East Pollokshields, which was burnt out in 1983.
The church was designed by W. F. McGibbon and was built in 1882.

Pollokshields UP Church, Leslie Street

Pollokshields UP Church, Leslie Street


Former Pollokshields Free Church, built in 1878

Former Pollokshields Free Church, designed by W.G. Rowan and built in 1878


Pollokshields Free Church is currently used as a nursing home, Nithsdale Lodge

Pollokshields Free Church is currently used as a nursing home, Nithsdale Lodge


Terraced houses on the eastern side of Shields Road, on the other side of the old burgh boundary

Terraced houses on the eastern side of Shields Road, on the other side of the old burgh boundary


Pollokshields Established Church, built at the corner of Shields Road and Albert Drive in 1878

Pollokshields Established Church, built at the corner of Shields Road and Albert Drive in 1878


Tracery on window of Pollokshields Church

Tracery on window of Pollokshields Church


Not all the magnificent villas of Pollokshields have survived into the twenty first century. A block of modern flats now atands on the site of 'Redholme' in Nithsdale Road.
As well as the photograph of the exterior, below, there are some interesting photographs of the interiors, showing the decoration and furnishings of the time.

Photograph of 'Redholme', Nithsdale Road, 1906

Photograph of 'Redholme', Nithsdale Road, 1906


The archetypical Edwardian Drawing Room of 'Redholme', below, was furnished in a very conservative style with a spinning wheel as an ornamental feature.

Photograph of Drawing Room at 'Redholme', 1906

Photograph of Drawing Room at 'Redholme', 1906


In total contrast, the Dining Room is decorated in the ultra-modern Art Noveau style of the day, with wallcoverings and ceilings featuring familiar motifs inspired by the likes of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries. The suspended light fitting is very modernistic, adding to the overall effect of the room.

Photograph of Dining Room at 'Redholme', 1906

Photograph of Dining Room at 'Redholme', 1906



Church on the Hill, Langside

Muirend to Cathcart
-

Old Cathcart
-

Newlands
-

White Cart Walk, Linn Park
-

Mount Florida
-

White Cart Walk, Pollok Park
-

Langside and Battlefield
-

Pollok Park & the Burrell
-

King's Park
-

Rivers: Brock, Levern & Cart
-

Castlemilk
-

Pollokshaws & Auldhouse
-

Queen's Park Churches
-

Pollokshields, Garden Suburb
-

Govan
-

Strathbungo & Crossmyloof
-

Hutchesontown
-

Laurieston
-

 Gorbals - Origins & History
-

 Cathcart Circle - A Railway Tour
-

 Glasgow Quiz Pages - South side
-

 Gerald Blaikie - Prints and Canvasses


All original artwork, photography and text © Gerald Blaikie 2014
Unauthorised reproduction of any image on this website is not permitted.

Contact: admin@scotcities.com