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Welcome to this exploration of Thornliebank and the neighbouring parkland of Rouken Glen, which are situated along the banks of the Auldhouse Burn as it leaves East Renfrewshire, flowing towards the Glasgow city boundary.
Originating as a thriving manufacturing town, Thornliebank has more of a natural affinity with the Glasgow districts of Pollokshaws and Auldhouse than the dormitory suburbs of East Renfrewshire. The area between these neighbouring industrial settlements was developed by Glasgow Corporation with the post-war housing schemes surrounding Eastwood Parish Church in Thornliebank Road.


Thornliebank Public School was designed by Glasgow based architect, William Gardner Rowan. His drawing of the building was displayed at the annual exhibition of the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1897.

Exhibition drawing of Thornliebank Public School, 1897

Exhibition drawing of Thornliebank Public School, 1897

Photograph of Thornliebank Public School, 2015

Photograph of Thornliebank Public School, 2015


Early view of Thornliebank Public School

Early view of Thornliebank Public School


The old village of Thornliebank was situated on the banks of the Auldhouse Burn, south-west of Pollokshaws, where the river met up with the White Cart Water. Most of the district belonged to Messrs Crum of the Thornliebank Print Works, and was almost wholly inhabited by their employees.
From the late 18th century various generations of the Crum dynasty operated extensive works engaged in cotton spinning, power loom weaving, calico printing and bleaching, all powered by the waters of the Auldhouse Burn.

From 1881 Thornliebank had a railway station on the Caledonian line to Busby. There was also an earlier branch line on the Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway from Kennishead to Speirsbridge Goods Station, which had been created to serve Crum's works.

Map of  Thornliebank & surrounding area, 1898

Map of Thornliebank & surrounding area, 1898


Walter Crum (1796-1867)

Walter Crum (1796-1867)

Thornliebank House in Rouken Glen Park was built over a period of many years in a combination of various styles. It was advertised to let in March 1852 as 'The Mansion House of Birkenshaw in the Parish of Eastwood'. The land surrounding the house was 'in pasture'. In 1858 the house and surrounding estate was acquired by Walter Crum, the proprietor of the Thornliebank Printworks.
Walter Crum died in 1867 and the estate was passed on to his son, Alexander, who changed the name of the mansion to 'Thornliebank House'. Much of the beautiful landscaping of Rouken Glen is credited to Alexander Crum.
Alexander's son, William, inherited the estate in 1893 and sold it to Archibald Cameron Corbett in 1905. Cameron Corbett, who would later become Lord Rowallan, gifted the mansion and surrounding estate to the citizens of Glasgow in 1906.
Rouken Glen was officially opened as a public park on Saturday 25th May 1906. Thornliebank House was demolished in July 1965.

Thornliebank House

Thornliebank House


Edwardian view of Thornliebank House

Edwardian view of Thornliebank House with ladies enjoying the sunshine


Entrance to Stable Block on driveway to Thornliebank House

Entrance to Stable Block on driveway to Thornliebank House

Ornamental entrance to Stable Block at Thornliebank House

Ornamental entrance to Stable Block, which has avoided demolition


Birkenshaw Cottage at side of Stable Block

Birkenshaw Cottage at side of Stable Block


Thornliebank Co-op, Main Street

Thornliebank Co-op, Main Street

Thornliebank Co-operative Society was formed in 1861, taking over from Walter Crum's company store. The story of the society is shown in the report, below, published in 1910.

Plaque at Thornliebank Co-op

Plaque at Thornliebank Co-op


Tenement block built by Thornliebank Co-operative Society, 1906

Tenement block built by Thornliebank Co-operative Society, 1906

Plaque at Thornliebank Co-op tenement block

Plaque at Thornliebank Co-op tenement block, T.C.S, 1906


The Auldhouse Burn was dammed at Speirsbridge, creating a system of reservoirs holding the water needed to power Crum's extensive works.

Map of Speirsbridge, Thornliebank, 1897

Map of Speirsbridge, Thornliebank, 1897


Reservoir at the site of former Speirsbridge Goods Station

Reservoir shown in above map at the site of former Speirsbridge Goods Station


Weir at reservoir on Auldhouse Burn, Speirsbridge, on approaches to Thornliebank Print Works

Weir at reservoir on Auldhouse Burn, Speirsbridge, on approaches to Thornliebank Print Works


Girls preparing rollers at  Thornliebank Print Works

Girls preparing rollers at Thornliebank Print Works


Patterned cotton 'Calico' from printing machine at Thornliebank Print Works

Patterned cotton 'Calico' from printing machine at Thornliebank Print Works


The full extent of the Thornliebank Printworks can be seen in the illustration below. Speirsbridge Goods Station and the associated railway tracks can be seen at the bottom left, but the Auldhouse Burn cannot be spotted as it was culverted and directed through artifical channels as it passed through the works. The only remaining part of the site which can be identified from Main Street are the stone gateposts at the bottom right of the picture.

Thornliebank Print Works

Thornliebank Print Works


The clock tower shown at the bottom right of the above picture can be seen in close-up in the view below.

Clock tower at entrance to Thornliebank Print Works

Clock tower at entrance to Thornliebank Print Works


Gatehouse at entrance to Thornliebank Print Works

Gatehouse at entrance to Thornliebank Print Works


Stone gateposts at the former entrance to Thornliebank Print Works

Stone gateposts at the former entrance to Thornliebank Print Works, now the site of Spiersbridge Business Park


Culverted section of Auldhouse Burn and original brickwork from Thornliebank Print Works

Culverted section of Auldhouse Burn and original brickwork from Thornliebank Print Works


Straightened and canalised section of Auldhouse Burn at Thornliebank Print Works

Straightened and canalised section of Auldhouse Burn at Thornliebank Print Works


The former Thornliebank Parish Church was built for the established Church of Scotland in 1891 on an elevated site gifted by Alexander Crum, proprietor of the Thornliebank Print Works. After the merger with the United Free Chuch in 1929, the church became known as Thornliebank Woodlands Parish Church.

Thornliebank Woodlands Parish Church from the north-west

Thornliebank Woodlands Parish Church from the north-west


The church buildings have been converted by Noah Developments into 10 self-contained apartments, first occupied in October 1993.

Thornliebank Woodlands Parish Church from the south-east

Thornliebank Woodlands Parish Church from the south-east


The present day Thornliebank Parish Church was built in 1855 in a simple neo-Gothic style. The congregation originated in 1836 with the establishment of a 'preaching station' in the village for the Thornliebank Secession Church. As a result of a church union in 1847, this denomination joined the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, who erected the new church building which opened on 6th May 1855. This denomination became part of the United Free Church in 1900, which in turn merged with the established church in 1929.

Thornliebank Parish Church

Thornliebank Parish Church, Spiersbridge Road


Old photograph of Thornliebank Parish Church, Spiersbridge Road

Old photograph of Thornliebank Parish Church, Spiersbridge Road


Surviving row of terraced houses behind Thornliebank Parish Church

Surviving row of terraced houses behind Thornliebank Parish Church


19th century street scene at Speirsbridge, Thornliebank

19th century street scene at Speirsbridge, Thornliebank


Edwardian view of Speirsbridge, Thornliebank

Edwardian view of Speirsbridge, Thornliebank


The Roman Catholic Church of St Vincent de Paul, Thornliebank, was constructed in 1960, replacing an earlier structure which was used when the parish was established in 1942.
The architects of St Vincent's were Gillespie, Kidd and Coia who specialised in church buildings at the time. The proposed site was on a on a difficult slope which required considerable underbuilding for both the church and the presbytery.

St Vincent de Paul R.C. Church, Thornliebank

St Vincent de Paul R.C. Church, Thornliebank


Alexander Crum Memorial Library was built in memory of Alexander Crum, who had been the Liberal M.P. for Renfrewshire as well as being the proprietor of the Thornliebank Print Works. The library was situated opposite the gates of the works, allowing employees to use its facilities during their meal breaks.
The architect of the neat little sandstone building was Rowand Anderson of Edinburgh, who designed it in the Scottish vernacular style of the late 17th century.
The opening ceremony took place on Saturday 20th March 1897, when Sir John Stirling Maxwell handed the title deeds to Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, the chairman of the trustees.

One of the speakers at the event was Lord Kelvin, who had been married to Alexander Crum's sister, Margaret. He praised his late brother-in-law and described the Thornliebank Works as "an example to the United Kingdom and the whole world, for Mr. Crum adopted as system of smoke prevention and now there was scarceley the faintest visible sign of smoke issuing from those great chimneys". It appears that the Crums were 'Green' long before it was fashionable!

Alexander Crum Memorial Library, Thornliebank

Alexander Crum Memorial Library, Thornliebank


Memorial plaque at Alexander Crum Memorial Library, Thornliebank

Memorial plaque at Alexander Crum Memorial Library, Thornliebank


Alexander Crum's monogram, 'AC 1894' at Thornliebank Library,

Alexander Crum's monogram, 'AC 1894' at Thornliebank Library


Thornliebank war memorial

Thornliebank war memorial


City bound tramcar from Rouken Glen passing along Main Street,Thornliebank

City bound tramcar from Rouken Glen passing along Main Street,Thornliebank  

 

Rouken Glen Park and its mansion house was gifted to the city of Glasgow by Archibald Cameron Corbett in 1906. It was officially opened as a public park on 26th May 1906 by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir William Bilsland. In June 1984 Glasgow City Council eased the financial burden on the city's ratepayers by leasing the park to Eastwood District Council, who have since been succeeded by East Renfrewshire Council.

Extract from Glasgow Herald 25th May 1906 regarding the opening of Rouken Glen Park

Extract from Glasgow Herald , 25th May 1906, regarding the opening of Rouken Glen Park the following day


Tram at entrance to newly opened Rouken Glen Park

Tram at entrance to newly opened Rouken Glen Park

Tram journeys for day trips to Rouken Glen were very popular in the old "red cars" which were updated with a new numbering system in 1938. Passengers used either the No.8 or the No.25 tram, with the No.8 travelling along Kilmarnock Road and Fenwick Road through Newlands and Giffnock to the park gates. A round trip could be completed with a return journey on the No.25 tram which passed through Thornliebank and Pollokshaws before joining up with the No.8 at Shawlands Cross.


Day trippers entering the gates of Rouken Glen Park

Day trippers entering the gates of Rouken Glen Park


Gatehouse at Rouken Glen Park

Gatehouse at Rouken Glen Park


Gatehouse at Rouken Glen, shortly after the arrival of the trams in 190

Gatehouse at Rouken Glen, shortly after the arrival of the trams in 1906


Walled Garden and greenhouses at Rouken Glen Park

Walled Garden and greenhouses at Rouken Glen Park


Gate to Walled Garden at Rouken Glen Park

Gate to Walled Garden at Rouken Glen Park


Boating pond at Rouken Glen

Boating pond at Rouken Glen


Pond at Rouken Glen, 2016

Pond at Rouken Glen, 2016


The outflow from the reservoir at the head of Rouken Glen had a series of waterfalls, which are still a major attraction to visitors to the park.

Map showing waterfalls at head of Rouken Glen

Map showing waterfalls at head of Rouken Glen


Artificial waterfall at reservoir at head of Rouken Glen

Artificial waterfall at reservoir at head of Rouken Glen


Natural waterfall  at head of Rouken Glen

Natural waterfall at head of Rouken Glen


Rear view of Thornliebank House sitting high above Auldhouse Burn

Rear view of Thornliebank House sitting high above Auldhouse Burn  

 

The Auldhouse Burn supplied the water supply for Thornliebank House. The remains of the pump house are still visible beside the footbridge over the burn.

Old mill wheel at pump House Rouken Glen, 1910

Map showing pump House on Auldhouse Burn below Thornliebank House


Old mill wheel and footbridge at pump House Rouken Glen, 1910

Old mill wheel and footbridge at pump House, Rouken Glen, 1910


Axle of old mill wheel at pump House, Rouken Glen, 2015

Axle of old mill wheel at pump house, Rouken Glen, 2015


Edwardian ladies on footbridge at pump house, Rouken Glen Park

Edwardian ladies on footbridge at pump house, Rouken Glen Park


Rocks with rust coloured staining on banks of Auldhouse Burn, Rouken Glen

Rocks with rust coloured staining on banks of Auldhouse Burn, Rouken Glen


Horizontal beds of  sandstone and limestone at Rouken Glen

Horizontal beds of sandstone and limestone at Rouken Glen


Exposed layers of sedimentary rock surrounding tree roots at Rouken Glen

Exposed layers of sedimentary rock surrounding tree roots at Rouken Glen


Thin layers of shale at edges of Auldhouse Burn, Rouken Glen

Thin layers of shale at edges of Auldhouse Burn, Rouken Glen


Gamekeeper standing downstream from weir on Auldhouse Burn, Rouken Glen

Gamekeeper standing downstream from weir on Auldhouse Burn, detailed below


Weir and mill lade on approaches to site of Newfield Works, Rouken Glen

Weir and mill lade on approaches to site of Newfield Works, Rouken Glen


Map showing Newfield Works, on Auldhouse Burn, Rouken Glen

Map showing Newfield Works, on Auldhouse Burn, Rouken Glen


Surviving walls of Newfield Works, Rouken Glen

Surviving walls of Newfield Works, Rouken Glen


Mill lade approaching outflow at Newfield Works, Rouken Glen

Mill lade approaching outflow at Newfield Works, Rouken Glen


Outflow at Newfield Works, Rouken Glen

Outflow at Newfield Works, Rouken Glen


Edwardian family enjoying a day out at Rouken Glen

Edwardian family enjoying a day out at Rouken Glen


Edwardian scene at main avenue of Rouken Glen Park

Edwardian scene at main avenue of Rouken Glen Park




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
Unauthorised reproduction of any image on this website is not permitted.

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