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White Cart Water, looking downstream from Snuff Mill Bridge, Cathcart

White Cart Water, looking downstream from Snuff Mill Bridge, Cathcart


Winter scene at Snuff Mill Bridge, Cathcart

Winter scene at Snuff Mill Bridge, Cathcart


Snuff Mill Bridge viewed from start of White Cart Walkway, Cathcart

Snuff Mill Bridge viewed from start of White Cart Walkway, Cathcart


The Cathcart Snuff Mill was known by various names in old maps and records. It appears on the 1850's maps as either "Cathcart Paper and Snuff Mills" or "Cathcart Paste Board and Snuff Mills". The Post Office Directories of the time shows the mill in the ownership of Solomon Lindsay and Sons, Papermakers.

Old Snuff Mill showing defences from the river, which was at a very low level after a dry spell

Old Snuff Mill showing defences from the river, which was at a very low level after a dry spell


1850's map of Snuff Mill, Cathcart

Map from 1850's shows the mill being powered by water diverted at a weir, which raised the water level at the inward end


Aerial view of Snuff Mill, Cathcart

Present day aerial view, at same scale, with river added from Victorian map


Millwheel at Snuff Mill, Cathcart

View of the millwheel powered by the White Cart Water


Stones from weir at White Cart Water

The site of the weir is marked today by large stones left in the river


Stones from weir at White Cart Water

The channel were the river was diverted to the mill has been blocked with stones



Map and aerial view of Cartbank House on opposite bank to the weir


The Tennis Party at Cartbank House

The Tennis Party, a painting by John Lavery, 1885, of a scene at Cartbank, Cathcart


Lady on a Safety Tricycle at entrance to Cartbank House

Lavery's painting of a Lady on a Safety Tricycle, 1885, was set at the entrance to Cartbank House which is still recognisable 125 years later


Glimpse of Cartbank House from Linn Park

Glimpse of Cartbank House from Linn Park, sitting high above a steep ravine at White Cart Water


Linn Park, Cathcart, viewed from White Cart Walk

Linn Park, Cathcart, viewed from White Cart Walkway


South-east façade of Alexander Thomson's Holmwood House

South-east façade of Alexander Thomson's Holmwood House, which can be seen from pathway

A fully illustrated tour of Holmwood House can be seen at my dedicated web page


1850's map showing Cathcart section of White Cart Water, before Holmwood House was built

1850's map showing Cathcart section of White Cart Water, before Holmwood House was built


Millholm Paper Mill was owned and operated by brothers, Robert and James Couper. The proceeds of the estate of Robert Couper, who died childless on 12th June 1883, were used to help establish the Victoria Infirmary. Robert also left a bequest to provide the Couper Institute for the residents of Cathcart.
The brothers lived alongside the mill, with James at Holmwood and Robert at Sunnyside, which was demolished in the late 1960's.

Site of Millholm Paper Mill on riverside

Site of Millholm Paper Mill on riverside - Sunnyside House was situated facing the bend in the river


Mine workings on riverbank facing Millholm Paper Mill

Mine workings scarring the riverbank facing Millholm Paper Mill


As well as water power from the fast flowing river there were ample supplies of coal in the locality to provide heat and power for industrial processes. There were also beds of shale to be found along the riverside yielding the raw material for oil, gas and synthetic dyes used in local manufacturing.

Huge slab of  black shale on exposed river bed

Huge slab of black shale lying on exposed river bed


Old grindstone on river bed near site of Millholm Paper Mill

Section of old millstone on river bed at Millholm, Cathcart


Brick lime kiln near site of Millholm Paper Mill

Overgrown remains of a circular lime kiln near the site of Millholm Paper Mill

Burning the local limestone in small kilns produced quicklime which was used in the papermaking process as a bleaching agent and for reducing the acidity of the finished products.


Deep hollow in Linn Park, formerly the foundations and solum of Cathcart House which was demolished in 1927

Deep hollow in Linn Park, formerly the foundations and solum of Cathcart House, which was demolished in 1927


Close up view of site of Cathcart House and ancilliary buildings

Close-up view of site of Cathcart House, originally known as Cartside House


Engraving from 1798 of Cathcart House

Engraving from 1798 of Cathcart House and Castle from what is now the Seil Drive entrance to Linn Park

The story of the Castle and its surrounds can be found in the Cathcart, Origins & History section of this website


Photograph of Cathcart Castle c.1900

Photograph of Cathcart Castle c.1900


The more southern parts of Linn Park originated as part of the "Lands of Hagtonhill" centred on Linn House, which was built c.1811. The mansion was extended in 1852 and converted into four dwellings in 2007.

Linn House, built c.1811, with side extension added in 1852

Linn House, built c.1811 with side extension added in 1852.


This sale notice from 24th October 1811 describes a "genteel new house" at the site.
The owner of Hagtonhill, Rev. James Hall, had become bankrupt and the estate was put up for auction on behalf of the creditors.

Sale Notice for Hagtonhill with new house, dated 24th October 1811

Sale Notice for Hagtonhill with new house, dated 24th October 1811


The "Lands of Hagtonhill" were described in a later sale notice, published on 16th March 1820, in which Linn House is described as a "very commodious Mansion-house". The notice also mentions an "elegant Cast Iron bridge belonging to the property", which is still very much in use today. There is no mention of the cast iron bridge in the 1811 sale notice, so it was presumably put in place sometime between 1811 and 1820.

The 1820 notice offered a larger area of land than did the 1811 advertisment, as it included part of the lands of Bogton which were separately owned by James Hall's wife, Mary Maxwell. This additional land had been the subject of a legal action by the creditors against Mrs Hall, which was determined at the Court of Session on 11th January 1814.

Sale Notice for Linn House and surrounding estate, dated 16th March 1820

Sale Notice for Linn House, dated 16th March 1820


Map published in 1826 showing Linn House and Hagtonhill

Map published in 1826, showing Linn House and Hagtonhill


White iron bridge, cast as a single span, leads to the Netherlee section of the park

White iron bridge, cast as a single span, leads to the Netherlee section of the park


Waterfall, a short distance downstream from white bridge

"Linn" is an old Scots word for the waterfall from which the park derived its name


Reflections on river flowing towards waterfall

Reflections on river flowing towards waterfall


Winter view of the waterfall swollen with meltwater

Winter view of the waterfall swollen with meltwater


Linn Park beach

Linn Park "beach", a short distance downstream from the waterfall


Ventilation shaft at abandoned coal pit in Linn Park

Ventilation shaft at an abandoned coal pit in Linn Park


1850's map of the Netherlee section of Linn Park

1850's map of the Netherlee section of Linn Park


Dressed stone wall at site of Netherlee Print and Dye Works

Dressed stone wall at site of Netherlee Print and Dye Works


In the mid-Victorian era oil and gas were produced from the local black shale which was abundant in the district.
The pieces of shale found on the riverbank were formed from mud and organic matter in thin sedimentary layers. Shales are typically deposited in stagnant or slow moving water, indicating that river beds and surrounding flood plains have probably been in the area since prehistoric times.

Fragments of shale from Linn Park, Cathcart

Fragments of local shale, which is very brittle and flakes off easily in your hands


The Netherlee section of the park contains the overgrown remains of what appears to have been a vertical retort used for shale oil extraction. A single cast-iron distillation column passed through a coal-fired furnace and the resulting mixture of vapours were collected from the black outlet pipe which protrudes from the top of the structure. The inlet pipe which can be seen near the bottom of the retort was for the injection of steam.
The crushed shale was fed in to a hopper attached to the top of the structure and the collected vapours were condensed for further distillation to produce paraffin oil, lubrication oils and synthetic aniline dyes.

 shale oil retort in Netherlee

Vertical shale oil retort with large cast-iron pipe protruding from the top of the structure

This form of shale retort was developed by Scottish engineer Alexander Carnegie Kirk in collaboration with James “Paraffin” Young.
The vertical retort produced a greater range of oil and gas derivatives than its predecessors. Various fractions provided products which were utilised for the local manufacturing processes and for the cleaning and lubrication of plant and machinery. The residues were further processed with various chemicals to create a range of fashionable aniline dyes at the Netherlee Print and Dye Works on the opposite bank.

Diagram showing internal structure of a shale oil retort

Diagram showing internal structure of a typical vertical retort

The diagram shows the hopper on top, with a valve mechanism to prevent the escape of gas. The crushed shale was dropped into the cast-iron column where it remained for about eight hours in the relatively low heat. Steam was injected into the bottom of the retort to diffuse and moderate the heat. The spent shale ended up in an undergound trough of water, from which it was regularly removed. The water provided a seal to contain the vapours within the retort.


Exposed section of cast-iron column at shale oil retort, Netherlee

Exposed section of cast-iron column at base of shale oil retort, Netherlee


Frozen White Cart Water in midwinter

Frozen White Cart Water in midwinter


Ducks standing on the ice on White Cart water

Ducks standing on the ice on White Cart Water



Church on the Hill, Langside

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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Mount Florida
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White Cart Walk, Pollok Park
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Langside and Battlefield
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Pollok Park & the Burrell
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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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Pollokshields, Garden Suburb
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Govan
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Strathbungo & Crossmyloof
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Hutchesontown
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Laurieston
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 Gorbals - Origins & History
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 Cathcart Circle - A Railway Tour
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 Glasgow Quiz Pages - South side
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 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.

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