Home Page - scotcities.com    South Side Guides    Contact   

Drawing of the tower of Strathbungo Parish Church by Gerald Blaikie

Tower of Strathbungo Parish Church

Strathbungo and Crossmyloof originated as neighbouring villages situated to the south-west of Glasgow on the road to Pollokshaws. They were separated by a mere half mile of straight road and subsequent development has led to the present day districts being contiguous.

The name Strathbungo, which is pronounced as “Stra'bungo”, is thought to be a corruption of Strathmungo, after Glasgow's patron saint.
An alternative name for Strathbungo was Marchtown, derived from the marches or divisions occurring very near to each other at the site. The marches for the counties of Renfrew and Lanark and the marches for the parishes of Cathcart and Govan surrounded the village.
To complicate matters even further, the parish boundaries of both Cathcart and Govan did not follow the county boundaries and adjacent parts of the parishes could be situated in either Lanarkshire or Renfrewshire!
This extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), gives Strathbungo a special mention as being situated in the parish of Govan.

Extract from Duncan's Itinerary of Scotland, 1823

Map from 1820 showing Marchtown and Crossmyloof

In the above map of Renfrewshire from 1820, Marchtown is shown on the western side of Pollokshaws Road at the junction with Nithsdale Road. The county boundary with Lanarkshire, to the north of the village, is coloured blue. The boundary for the Renfrewshire part of Govan Parish is coloured red and the boundary for Cathcart Parish is green.
Crossmyloof was within Cathcart Parish near the yellow boundary of Eastwood Parish, were Shawlands was situated.

Stra'bungo had multiple identities in the early 1800's, being known as Marchtown, Strathmungo or Strathbungo.
This extract from Duncan's Itinerary of Scotland (1823) shows all the settlements on the road from Glasgow to Pollokshaws, separated by fractions of a mile, including Strathbungo and Crossmyloof.
The syllables of Crossmyloof are deliberately hyphenated as if to make a point about the derivation of the name.
"Loof" or "luif" is old Scots for the palm of the hand, so a literal translation would be "Cross my palm".

Extract from Duncan's Itinerary of Scotland, 1823

This more detailed map shows the village of Strathbungo being situated on both sides of Pollokshaws Road, alongside Allison Street and Nithsdale Road. The map was surveyed in the late 1850's, shortly before the the commencement of the Regent Park development to the west, and about twenty years before the opening of Strathbungo Station.

Map from 1858 showing village of Strathbungo

Extract re Strathbungo from Gazetter of Scotland 1842 Extract re Strathbungo from Topographical Dictionary of Scotland 1846

Investigations carried out by the Glasgow Archaeological Society in 1890 suggest that the name Marchtown originated when the area was being developed by the Maxwells of Pollok, the feudal superiors. It appears that they did not like Strathbungo as a name and therefore called it Marchtown in the legal documents granting tenure to the new occupants. Marchtown was used in the feuing plan which was prepared to accurately plot the available portions of land and the surrounding marches.

In this painting of Strathbungo from the early 1800's, the artist's foreground view is from the bottom of Camphill near the present day entrance to Queen's Park at Balvicar Drive. The church at the edge of the village can be seen to the right of the picture. The grazing cattle would now be in the middle of the Queen's Park pond!

Painting of Strathbungo village

Painting of Strathbungo village

In the early 1800's the county boundary from Strathbungo to the Clyde was marked by the Kinninghouse Burn, which drained the extensive bogland of Shawmoss, which covered more than 150 acres of ground between Strathbungo and Haggs Castle on its western edge. The moss would have included all the flat land surrounding the railway stations at Crossmyloof and Maxwell Park, currently used for housing and sports fields.
Around 1825, large scale drainage operations took place, reducing the volume of water in the Kinninghouse Burn and sending a considerable flow westward to the White Cart Water in what is now Pollok Country Park. Prior to this the marshland was often flooded, used for curling in winter and providing a habitat for numerous species of water fowl.
After the drainage of the surrounding land, the source of the burn was situated closer to Strathbungo. It had then been reduced to a small stream that could dry up in prolonged summer droughts.

Map showing Kinninghouse Burn at Strathbungo

The map below shows the Kinninghouse Burn at the top of the page, flowing to the left from Strathbungo towards the Clyde. On the Lanarkshire side of the burn at the bottom of the map, you can see that the Barony of Gorbals stretched all the way from the city centre to the boundary at the village of Strathbungo. There is a a dedicated section of this website covering the Origins & History of Gorbals .

Map showing Kinninghouse Burn at Strathbungo

Map showing Kinninghouse Burn separating the Barony of Gorbals, Lanarkshire, & the Lands of Shields, Renfrewshire

With the coming of carefully planned terraces of houses at Regent Park, a new sewer was constructed on a different line from the burn, passing through the centre of the new development. The flow of the burn was diverted at its source to connect with the new sewer.
On the other side of Strathbungo village the burn had flowed towards the Clyde to what would later become Springfield Quay. It was culverted in stages, linking up with the extensive public sewers of the developing industrial districts of Tradeston and Kinning Park.

This sketch from 1884 shows the approaches to the village from the city, with Strathbungo Parish Church on the left. This church was replaced with a new building in 1888. A history of the churches on the site is included among the many spires illustrated in my Queen's Park Churches web page.
The drawing shows the tramlines on Pollokshaws Road in an age before the electrification of Glasgow's tram system. At this time the city had an extensive horse-drawn tram service.

Sketch from 1884 looking towards the village of Strathbungo

View of Pollokshaws Road from 1884, looking towards Strathbungo

Pollokshaws Road Strathbungo, June 2014

Same stretch of Pollokshaws Road with 1888 church, June 2014

These photographs from c.1900 and 2014 show a stretch of Pollokshaws Road on the south side of the junction with Allison Street, looking towards the city centre. The balustraded red sandstone tenement at the corner remains as a recognisable feature. The site of the last remnants of the traditional houses in the village now contains the red sandstone block which has the Panda House Restaurant and part the Kind Man Public House. On the near side of the road you can see a pawnbrokers sign near the site of the Allison Arms.

Photograph of Pollokshaws Road, Strathbungo  c.1900

Photograph of Pollokshaws Road, Strathbungo, c.1900, with children playing in a puddle

Photograph of Pollokshaws Road, Strathbungo, June  2014

Photograph of Pollokshaws Road, Strathbungo, June 2014

Photograph of Pollokshaws Road, Strathbungo  c.1900

Photograph of Pollokshaws Road, Strathbungo, c.1900, with children running across the street

Red sandstone tenement block at corner of Pollokshaws Road and Allison Street

Balustraded red sandstone tenement block at corner of Pollokshaws Road and Allison Street

Strathbungo's old name is still remembered at March Street, near the site of the original settlement.

Street sign at March Street, Strathbungo, Glasgow

Corner of March Street and Nithsdale Street

Corner of Nithsdale Street and March Street with Police Station in middle of tenement block

Monogram of Renfrew County Council 'RCC' at Police Station,  March Street, Strathbungo

Monogram of Renfrew County Council 'RCC' at former Police Station, March Street, Strathbungo

Shortly after Strathbungo became part of Glasgow in 1891 work began on the replacement Police and Fire Station in Craigie Street. The building was designed by the City Engineer, Alexander Beith McDonald and was erected in stages between 1892 and 1898. The complex was converted to 38 flats in the summer of 1994.
The red sandstone Strathbungo Public School was designed by the Glasgow architects, John Gordon and Thomas Baird. It is still in use for its intended purpose, being currently known as St Bride's Primary School.

View of former Craigie Street Police Station and Strathbungo Public School

View of former Craigie Street Police Station and Strathbungo Public School

Strathbungo is noted for the density of licensed premises contained within such a small district. This is a direct result of its former marginal status.
The adjacent burghs of Pollokshields and East Pollokshields had been carefully planned with restrictions on trade and permissable house types. There was no provision for any shops among the villas of Pollokshields and certainly no hostelries in either area.
Strathbungo was also situated just outside the Cathcart Constituency which had a ban on the sale of alcohol from 1920 until 1976. The “dry” area included the huge Castlemilk estate which was not exposed to the dangers of a single pub when it was developed after World War II.
This protection from the evils of alcohol in surrounding neighbourhoods resulted in the streets of the more favourable districts near the Queen's Park being overprovided with public houses and licensed restaurants, which continues to this day.
The popularity of the district for drinkers is shown in this Victorian description of the local inns.

Description of Victorian public houses in Strathbungo

The Glasgow to Barrhead railway line opened in 1848, originally operating from Southside Station in the Gorbals and later from St Enoch Station. There is a full description of the development of the line at the Gorbals Stations page of this website.
The line was in operation for nearly thirty years before the opening of the station at Strathbungo in 1877, and 40 years before the opening of Crossmyloof Station in 1888. The first stop on the route in 1848 was at Pollokshaws (now Pollokshaws West) Station. As well as Barrhead, current destinations for trains passing through are East Kilbride, Kilmarnock and Carlisle.

View of the railway line running from Strathbungo towards Crossmyloof

View of the railway line running from Strathbungo towards Crossmyloof

Strathbungo Station closed on 28th May 1962, the same day that the electric “Blue Trains” replaced the steam and diesel trains on the Cathcart Circle lines.
The commuters of Strathbungo were able to use the faster, cleaner, new trains from either Queens Park or Pollokshields West stations, which are both nearby.

City bound train passing site of former Strathbungo Station

City bound train passing site of former Strathbungo Station

Former booking office at Strathbungo Station

Former booking office at Strathbungo Station suspended on cast-iron columns

The route of the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon passed by many familiar landmarks in the city before reaching the former Strathbungo Railway Station.
The photograph below shows the leading pack of the mens' race when they were about twenty minutes away from the finishing line in Glasgow Green. The eventual winner of the race, Michael Shelley of Australia, can be seen nearest the old station among the three leading runners.

Athletes leading the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon passing  Strathbungo Station

Leading athletes of the the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon passing Strathbungo Station

Former booking Office for Strathbungo Station on railway bridge at Nithsdale Road

Former booking Office for Strathbungo Station on railway bridge at Nithsdale Road

This early 1960's view of Strathbungo Station shows a single-decker 108 trolleybus passing along Nithsdale Road. The 108 was introduced on 16th November 1958 on a route from Mount Florida to Paisley Road Toll passing through Strathbungo via Allison Street and Nithsdale Road before heading to the terminus by way of Kenmure Street and Shields Road.
The service was replaced by the 68 motorbus on 3rd March 1967.

View of former Strathbungo Station, c.1962

A recent view of the same scene (below) shows very little change apart from the removal of the stairways leading down to the station platforms.

View of former Strathbungo Station 2014

This view of Strathbungo junction from the Nithsdale Road railway bridge shows the various lines in the vicinity.
On the far left there is a city bound electric train coming from Pollokshields West Station on the Cathcart Circle.
In the centre there is a Barrhead bound train from Central Station approaching the site of the former Strathbungo Station.
On the far right is the line to the old St Enoch Station heading towards Gorbals Junction at Cumberland Street where it once met up with the City Union Line. The track is still usable as far as Larkfield Bus Depot where it joins the route to Polmadie Rail Depot which runs parallel to the West Coast Main Line and the M74 extension.

View of Strathbungo Junction looking towards the city centre

View of Strathbungo Junction looking towards the city centre

Strathbungo's grandest tenement is the semi-circular Salisbury Quadrant situated at the junction of Nithsdale Drive and Nithsdale Street. It was finished a few years after the death of Alexander Thomson in 1875.

Salisbury Quadrant, Nithsdale Street, Strathbungo

View of Salisbury Quadrant looking down Nithsdale Street towards Allison Street

The boundaries of the Strathbungo Conservation Area were designated in 1973 and altered in 1978. It covers only the late Victorian additions to the district - the Regent Park development and Salisbury Quadrant. It excludes most of the buildings contained within the bounds of the old settlement.

Aerial view of Strathbungo

Aerial view of Strathbungo Conservation Area

Drawing of Alexander Thomson's home at Moray Place, Glasgow, by Gerald Blaikie

Drawing of Alexander Thomson's home at Moray Place, Regent Park, by Gerald Blaikie

Regent Park was a planned suburb which originated in 1859 on land adjacent to the railway to the west of Strathbungo village. As it progressed, the site of the Titwood Brick and Tile Works, to the south of the village, was cleared for development. The first terrace to be built in Regent Park was at 1-10 Moray Place, which was completed in 1861. This included Alexander Thomson's family home at No. 1.
The Alexander Thomson's Terraces section of this website contains a detailed photographic study of 1-10 Moray Place.

Alexander Thomson's house at 1 Moray Place

Alexander "Greek" Thomson's house at 1 Moray Place, Regent Park

Before the 1891 absorption of the area by the City of Glasgow, the houses on the even numbered side of Pollokshaws Road , on the left of this photograph, were addressed as Regent Park Terrace, after which the Glasgow numbering system was adopted. The terraces connecting Regent Park Terrace with Moray Place were addressed as “Squares” - Regent Park Square, Queen Square and Princes Square (later renamed Marywood Square).
The blocks on the eastern side of Pollokshaws Road, shown to the right in the photograph, were known as Bute Terrace, Strathbungo. For some inexplicable reason Bute Terrace is included within the boundaries of Crosshill Conservation Area, an area with which it has no natural affinity.

Looking down Pollokshaws Road from Marywood Square towards Strathbungo

Looking down Pollokshaws Road with Regent Park Terrace to the left and Bute Terrace to the right

The street signs for Pollokshaws Road at Bute Terrace, Strathbungo, had the location "Crosshill" covered over after protests about the inaccuracy of the designation.

Street sign at Bute Terrace, Strathbungo

Bute Terrace, Strathbungo

Section of Bute Terrace, Strathbungo, between Queens Drive and Torrisdale Street.

Looking down Queen Square towards Queen's Park

Looking down Queen Square from Moray Place towards Pollokshaws Road

View of terrace at Moray Place, Regent Park

View of terrace at Moray Place, between Marywood Square and Queen Square

View of terrace at Moray Place, Regent Park

View of terrace at Moray Place, between Queen Square and Regent Park Square

Glasgow's "other" famous architect also had connections with Regent Park, Strathbungo.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh plaque in  Regent Park Square, Strathbungo

Plaque at Regent Park Square where Charles Rennie Mackintosh once lived

Some of the land between Strathbungo and Crossmyloof was not developed until the inter-war era of the twentieth century when the red sandstone terraces to the south of Regent Park were built. These later houses were included in the original Strathbungo Conservation Area, but removed when the boundary was revised in 1978.

Corner of Vennard Gardens and Pollokshaws Road

Vennard Gardens, where Regent Park ends and 1920's development begins

On the way to Crossmyloof, the undeveloped ground to the west of Pollokshaws Road was known as the "Lands of Westfield", while the ground on the eastern side was known as the "Lands of Camphill", later to become Queen's Park. Camphill House, which still stands within the park, is featured in the Langside and Battlefield page of this website.

Extract re Westfield, Crossmyloof, from Glasgow Herald, 1st August 1881 Extract re Westfield, Crossmyloof, from Glasgow Herald, 2nd February 1883

Portions of the Lands of Westfield were available for speculative development when the above sale notices were published in 1881 and 1883.
The "short distance to Strathbungo Station" was mentioned because Crossmyloof did not have a station until 1888, while Strathbungo station had opened in 1877, a few years before the advertisement was published.
The advertisements were for plots of land on the western side of Pollokshaws Road upon which sandstone tenements in and around Minard Road would subsequently be erected. Minard Road first appears in the Post Office Directory for 1893/ 1894 along with the even numbered (south-eastern) side of Westfield Street, which was subsequently renamed as Westclyffe Street.

Many people now think of Crossmyloof as being the area of inter-war bungalows near Morrisons supermarket, which was built on the site of the old indoor ice rink.
These houses were actually built on the fields of Shawmoss Farm, which was sequestrated in 1926 following the bankrupcy of its owner, Alexander Aitkenhead. The dairy attached to the farmhouse, run by Mrs Annie Aitkenhead also went out of business and the land was acquired for residential development.

This map from the late 1850's shows Crossmyloof around the junction of Pollokshaws Road and Langside Avenue. Minard Road had yet to be formed and Westfield was primarily an area of orchards and nurseries used for cultivation of fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Crossmyloof Bakery, owned and operated by Neale Thomson of Camphill, was the largest bakery in the vicinity of Glasgow at the time and some of the original buildings from the bakery are still standing. In Baker Street, Crossmyloof Buildings provided terraced accomodation for the bakery workers. The terraces, which were designed by Alexander "Greek" Thomson, were demolished in 1964.
The Cart Forge was situated between Baker Street and Cathcart Place, the local name for this section of Pollokshaws Road. It was used for the fabrication of axles for railway wagons.

Map from 1858 showing village of Crossmyloof

Extract re Crossmyloof from Topographical Dictionary of Scotland 1846

The last remnant of the old village to disappear was Westfield Lane, at the corner of Minard Road and Pollokshaws Road. This photograph shows a remarkable contrast between old and new, with the tramlines passing the quaint old hamlet with a billboard showing the way to the new Crossmyloof railway station.
The location of the photograph at Westfield Lane was confirmed by the street sign at the corner, under the thatched roof of Peter Campbell's shop.

Westfield Lane, Crossmyloof

Extract from Post Office Directory 1889 for Westfield Lane, Crossmyloof

George Muir, whose slater's workshop is shown in the photograph lived at Crossmyloof Buildings, showing that the terraces of Baker Street were not restricted just to the workers of Crossmyloof Bakery.

The map of Westfield Lane shown below was surveyed at the same time as the photograph, between the opening of the new station in 1888 and the erection of the red sandstone tenement at the corner of Minard Road in 1893.
It is remarkably accurate, down to the position of the trees, the tramlines and even the billboards.

Map showing Westfield Lane, Crossmyloof

Painting of Westfield Lane, Crossmyloof

Contemporary painting of Westfield Lane, Crossmyloof

In this modern view Westfield Lane has been replaced by the red sandstone tenement blocks of Minard Road.
On the opposite corner stands Campvale Buildings which were built in 1873, about 20 years before the formation of Minard Road.

View of the site of Crossmyloof village

View of the site of Crossmyloof village, looking west.

The Corona Bar occupies a fine corner position at the site of the old Crossmyloof village. It was built in 1912, replacing an earlier hostelry shown in the Victorian maps above. The nature of the site allowed a highly decorative single storey design by James. H. Craigie of the Glasgow architectural practice, Clarke and Bell.

View of Corona Bar from Pollokshaws Road

View of Corona Bar from western side of Pollokshaws Road

Over each of the entances of the Corona Bar there are plaster images of a hand with a cross in the palm. There have been lots of suggestions as to the origins of the name Crossmyloof with the most popular being associated with either Mary Queen of Scots or local gypsies.

Hand with a cross in the palm at Corona Bar, Crossmyloof

Hand with a cross in the palm at Corona Bar, Crossmyloof

Camphill Gate and nearby Springhill Gardens were the highest residential blocks in Glasgow when erected between 1904 and 1906. These five storey blocks were designed by John Nisbet without the luxury of elevators, which would be expected in any modern development of this height. Camphill Gate was built in front of the buildings of Neale Thomson's Crossmyloof Bakery so there were no back greens for the use of the occupants. The architect got round this problem by providing a flat roof laid out as a drying area. The roof was fabricated by the Albion Fireproof Construction Company.

Camphill Gate, Pollokshaws Road, with iron ballustrade at flat roof

Camphill Gate, Pollokshaws Road, with iron ballustrade at flat roof

In the twentieth century Crossmyloof was best known for its indoor ice rink, which opened in 1907 and closed in 1986. It was situated in what is now the site of Morrisons supermarket.
The article below gives a brief description of the ice rink a few years after it had opened.

Description of origins of Crossmyloof Ice Rink

Inside Crossmyloof Ice Rink, 1909

Inside Crossmyloof Ice Rink, 1909

Crossmyloof Public School was built in 1877 in Deanston Drive, which was called Stevenson Drive at the time.
The school building was converted into 16 flats in the summer of 1996.

Former Crossmyloof Public School

Former Crossmyloof Public School, Deanston Drive

This old map dating from 1776 shows Langside as "Langton" and Strathbungo as "Marchton". Crossmyloof is unmarked as the small group of houses next to the 3 mile mark from Glasgow, down the hill from Langton.
The written description of the settlements along the road mentions Crossmyloof and also "Lanton" and the "River Earl", which was an alternative name for the White Cart Water in honour of Earl Cathcart, which was never widely adopted. These old forms can still be found in local place names such as Earlspark and Lanton Park on the other side of the Cart in Newlands.

Church on the Hill, Langside

Muirend to Cathcart

Old Cathcart


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


Pollokshaws & Auldhouse

Queen's Park Churches

Shawlands & Pollokshaws Churches


Pollokshields, Garden Suburb


Strathbungo & Crossmyloof

 Cathcart Circle - A Railway Tour

 Glasgow Quiz Pages - South side

 Gerald Blaikie - Prints and Canvasses

All original artwork, photography and text © Gerald Blaikie 2015
Unauthorised reproduction of any image on this website is not permitted.

Contact: admin@scotcities.com