Welcome to this wander along Great Western Road, Glasgow, looking at the architecture and green spaces on the way from St George's Cross to Anniesland Cross.
The journey follows the three mile route of the original Great Western Road, the construction of which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1836.

Act of 1836 authorising Great Western Road

Reference to the extension of the Act of 1836 to create a turnpike (or toll road) which would later become Great Western Road


Statue of St George and the dragon, Glasgow

Statue of St George slaying the dragon at St George's Cross

The architecture and other interesting sights around St George's Cross are explored in my Woodside and Firhill web page.


The map below, which pre-dates the construction of Great Western Road, shows Anniesland as two rows of dwellings to the east of the toll point at the junction of present day Crow Road, Bearsden Road and Anniesland Road.

Map from 1795 showing miners' rows at Anniesland and Redtown

Map from 1795 showing miners' rows at Anniesland and Redtown

Anniesland and Redtown consisted of rows of cottages occupied by miners employed in the extraction of coal and ironstone from small workings scattered throughout the Jordanhill district. The remains of these old mine workings can still cause problems for local householders who may be unaware that their homes have been undermined.
The houses at Anniesland were built close to the line of Crow Road and those at Redtown were situated on the road to Knightswood.

Early twentieth century view of newly built terraces at Crow Road, which replaced the miners rows of Anniesland

Early twentieth century view of newly built terraces at Crow Road, which replaced the miners rows of Anniesland


Etching from 1892 showing Anniesland Pits

Etching from 1892 showing "Anniesland Pits"


The map below was surveyed in the late 1500's and published in 1684. Many familiar places with unfamiliar spellings appear on both maps. On the map below, there is no indication of any development between Jordanhill and Temple where the Anniesland toll point would later be created.

Map from 1684 showing area around Anniesland

Map from 1684 showing area around Anniesland


View of Annieland Cross from the west

View of Annieland Cross from the west, looking towards Great Western Road


Early 20th century view of Great Western Road from Annieland Cross

Early 20th century views of Great Western Road at Annieland Cross

Early 20th century view of Great Western Road from Annieland Cross


Start of Great Western Road, Glasgow

Start of Great Western Road at St George's Cross, with the familar spires in the distance


Early twentieth century view of St George's Cross

Early twentieth century view of St George's Cross


Sketch of St George's Cross before the church spires of Great Western Road were constructed

Sketch of St George's Cross before the church spires of Great Western Road were constructed


St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow

St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, built 1870 -1884, architect George Gilbert Scott


Lansdowne Church, Glasgow

Lansdowne Church, built 1862 - 1863, architect John Honeyman


Lansdowne Church War Memorial by sculptor Evelyn Beale

Lansdowne Church War Memorial by sculptor Evelyn Beale - a tryptich centred on Christ welcoming various historical figures


Aerial view of the spire of Lansdowne Church

Aerial view of the spire of Lansdowne Church, the River Kelvin and surrounding roads


Early 20th century view of Great Western Road with church spires in background

Early 20th century view of Great Western Road with church spires in background


Cooper's corner, Great Western Road, Glasgow

Clock tower at Cooper's corner, built 1886, architect Robert Duncan


Foggy street scene at Cooper's corner, Great Western Road, Glasgow

Foggy street scene at Cooper's corner, Great Western Road


Street scene of Great Western Road, 1913

Street scene of Great Western Road on a nice clear day, 1913


Sketch of 1840 and earlier Kelvin bridges

The above sketch shows the high-level bridge built in 1838 to carry Great Western Road over the Kelvin. Lansdowne Church, completed in 1863, can be seen in the background. The bridge shown passing under the central arch was built in 1825 at the site of the old Hillhead Ford. Both bridges were replaced in 1891 with a new bridge, shown below.

Sketch of 1891 Kelvin bridge


Sketch from 1842 of Kelvin bridges

Sketch from 1842 of Kelvin bridges from Glasgow Herald 23rd February 1961


Engraving of the Kelvin bridges from 1859

Engraving of the Kelvin bridges and Great Western Road, from 1859


The original stone bridge shown above was replaced by a cast iron structure designed by civil engineering partnership Bell & Miller, which was formally opened on 29th September 1891.

Great Western Bridge or Kelvinbridge, Glasgow

Great Western Bridge or Kelvinbridge, erected in 1891


Extract from Glasgow Herald 30th September 1891 regarding replacement Great Western Bridge

Extract from Glasgow Herald 30th September 1891 regarding replacement Great Western Bridge


View over Great Western Bridge of the site of Kelvinbridge railway station

View over Great Western Bridge of the site of Kelvinbridge railway station and Caledonian Mansions


Caledonian Railway's crest at site of Kelvinbridge Station

Carved crest featuring Caledonian Railway's lion and monogram at Caledonian Mansions

Historical details and photographs of the Caledonian Railway's Glasgow Central line from Maryhill to Great Western Road can be found in my Kelvin Walkway web page.


Great Western Bridge from level of Kelvinbridge railway station

Looking up at Great Western Bridge from level of station


1904 view of Great Western Road

1904 view of Great Western Road with central poles for the tramway which had been electrified between 1898 and 1901


Sketch of Great Western Road at Kelvin Bridge, 1912

Sketch of Great Western Road from the north side of the bridge, 1912


Glasgow Academy

Glasgow Academy built 1878, architect Hugh Barclay


Victorian engraving of Glasgow Academy

Victorian engraving of Glasgow Academy


Glasgow Academy from the banks of the Kelvin

Glasgow Academy from the banks of the Kelvin


Oran Mor, Glasgow

Kelvinside Parish Church built in 1862 and converted into the Òran Mór pub/ restaurant in 2004


Engraving of Oran Mor, Glasgow

Engraving of Kelvinside Parish Church, now the Òran Mór


Roof trusses of Oran Mor, Glasgow

Roof trusses and decorative ceiling over performance area of Òran Mór, Glasgow


Scene at Botanic Gardens, 1887

Scene at Botanic Gardens, 1887


Edwardian ladies with babies in perambulators at Botanic Gardens

Different fashions for Edwardian ladies (above) and 1930's ladies (below) strolling with perambulators at Botanic Gardens

Inter-war ladies with babies in perambulators at Botanic Gardens


Inter-war scene of mothers and children at Botanic Gardens, Glasgow

Inter-war scene of mothers and children at Botanic Gardens, Glasgow


Gentlemen with suits  and bowler hats avoiding summer sunshine at Botanic Gardens

Gentlemen with suits and bowler hats avoiding summer sunshine at Botanic Gardens


Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens, Glasgow

Kibble Palace glasshouse, originally built at Coulport and re-erected at Botanic Gardens in 1872


Inside the Kibble Palace, Glasgow

Inside the Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens, Glasgow


View of entrance to Kibble Palace, 1887

View of entrance to Kibble Palace, 1887


Reflection on pond at Botanic Gardens, Glasgow

Reflection on pond at Botanic Gardens, Glasgow


Crowds at Botanic Gardens gates c.1930

Crowds gathering at gates to Botanic Gardens Glasgow, c.1930


Tram at Botanic Gardens Station, Glasgow

Tram at former Botanic Gardens Station


Botanic Gardens Station was the showpiece station of the Glasgow Central Railway which operated through the west end from 10th August 1896. The booking office for the station was designed by James Miller.
The botanical theme of the station was accentuated with the two clock towers topped by large golden onion shaped domes!

Drawing of Clock tower at Botanic Gardens Station, Glasgow, by Gerald Blaikie

Clock tower at Botanic Gardens Station, James Miller, 1894

James Miller's plans for the new station were completed in March 1894 and were displayed for potential contractors who had to pay a fee of one guinea to view the architectural drawings and specifications at Miller's offices in West George Street.

Notice from Glasgow Herald, 6 March 1894

Notice from Glasgow Herald, 6 March 1894

Botanic Gardens Station closed in 1939 and had a variety of uses until it was destroyed by fire on the evening of 22nd March 1970.


Steam train passing through Botanic Gardens Station, Glasgow

Steam train passing through Botanic Gardens Station


Platforms at Botanic Gardens Station, Glasgow

Platforms at Botanic Gardens Station


Corner of Great Western Road at Botanic Gardens c.1950

Corner of Great Western Road at Botanic Gardens c.1950


Botanic Gardens Station c.1960

Botanic Gardens Station c.1960


Queen Margaret Drive is situated at the eastern end of Botanic Gardens opposite the junction of Great Western Road and Byres Road.
Although Queen Margaret Drive was a main artery to Maryhill and other suburbs north of the River Kelvin, there were no tram routes using it because of a huge wall erected at the northern end of the original Queen Margaret Bridge, restricting vehicular access.
The story behind the construction of the wall obstructing the end of the bridge is told in the North Kelvinside page of this website.

Junction of Great Western Road and Queen Margaret Drive

Junction of Great Western Road and Queen Margaret Drive


Landscaped terraces along Great Western Road, 1935

Landscaped terraces along Great Western Road on approaches to Queen Margaret Drive, 1935


Facing Botanic Gardens, BBC Scotland had its headquarters at North Park House in Queen Margaret Drive from 1938 until 2007.
The house and most of the associated buildings were converted to office accommodation in 2013.

North Park House, Glasgow

North Park House, designed by J.T. Rochead, 1869 -1871, and 1969 extension for BBC Scotland


North Park House when it was occupied as Queen Margaret College

Photograph of North Park House and a couple of students when it was occupied as Queen Margaret College


Visit to Queen Margaret College by Queen Victoria, 1888

Visit to North Park House, Queen Margaret College, by Queen Victoria in 1888


The purpose-built extension to Queen Margaret Medical College of 1895 was designed by John Keppie and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It too was part of the BBC complex on the site. Details are included in my Charles Rennie Mackintosh web page.

Former Queen Margaret Medical College, Glasgow

Former Queen Margaret Medical College when unoccupied after the departure of the BBC in 2007


Inscription over entrance of former Queen Margaret Medical College

Inscription over entrance of former Queen Margaret Medical College - QMC, 1895


There are many large Victorian villas in the west end, comparible to those of Pollokshields in the south side were more extensive plots of ground were available.
Many of the grandest houses can be found in Kelvinside and Dowanhill on the north and south sides of Great Western Road respectively.

Perspective drawings of 'Elstow' in Victoria Circus, Dowanhill, were displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1900. 'Elstow' was built in 1856 and extended and renovated in 1900 to the designs of architect Alexander Nisbet Paterson who prepared the drawings shown below.

Exhibition drawing of Elstow, Dowanhill, by architect Alexander Paterson, 1900

Exhibition drawing of 'Elstow', Dowanhill, 1900


Elstow, Victoria Circus, Dowanhill, 2014

'Elstow', Victoria Circus, Dowanhill, 2014


Exhibition drawing of rear of Elstow, Dowanhill, 1900

Exhibition drawing of rear of 'Elstow', Dowanhill, 1900


Perspective drawings of 'Stoneleigh' in Cleveden Drive , Kelvinside, were displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1901. 'Stoneleigh' was built to the designs of architect Henry Edward Clifford who prepared the drawing shown below.

Exhibition drawing of  'Stoneleigh', Kelvinside, 1901

Exhibition drawing of 'Stoneleigh', Kelvinside, 1901

Exhibition drawing of rear of 'Stoneleigh', Kelvinside, 1901

'Stoneleigh', Kelvinside, 2014

Alexander Greek Thomson's Great Western Terrace

Alexander "Greek" Thomson's Great Western Terrace, completed after his death in 1875

Thomson's many terraces throughout the city are explored in my Alexander "Greek" Thomson's terraces web page.


Not all the west end's fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture has survived to the present day.
Kiloran House in Hatfield Drive was demolished in 2007 to make way for a new building for Anniesland College. The house was built for James Thomson Tullis in 1905 and design drawings of both the exterior and interior where displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1906.

The architects of Kiloran House, Messrs Stewart and Paterson of Glasgow, designed the house and its interior fittings in a conservative style for its time, without falling into the "fin de siècle" trap which allegedly contributed to the end of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's time as a fashionable designer and architect in Glasgow.
J. Thomson Tullis, who had commissioned the house, was a director of the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts at the time when Mackintosh's modernistic house designs were being exhibited. To compare the Stewart and Paterson's drawings of those of Mackintosh's houses, you should visit my Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow Buildings web page.

Exhibition drawing of Kiloran House , Hatfield Drive, 1906

Exhibition drawing of Kiloran House , Hatfield Drive, displayed in 1906


The furnishings and interior decoration of Kiloran House are in total contrast to Mackintosh's unique designs for houses built around the same time.

Drawing room of house at Hatfield Drive, Anniesland, 1906

Interior views of Drawing Room, Parlour, Dining Room & Billiards Room of Kiloran House, Hatfield Drive, 1906


Map from 1909 showing the fields of Flemingtown Farm surrounding Kiloran House

Map from 1909 showing the fields of Flemingtown Farm surrounding Kiloran House


Aerial view of demolished site of Kiloran House at Anniesland College

Aerial view of demolished site of Kiloran House at Anniesland College


Anniesland College, Hatfield Drive, completed 2011

Anniesland College, Hatfield Drive, completed 2011


Ascot Cinema, Glasgow

The façade of the former Ascot Cinema in Anniesland was retained as part of a development of 12 flats completed in October 2003


Art Deco tower at Ascot Cinema, Glasgow

Characteristic semi-circular Art Deco tower designed by Charles McNair for the cinema which opened in 1939


Anniesland Mansions, Glasgow

Anniesland Mansions, built 1907 - 1913, architect Hugh Campbell


Bingham's Pond

Springtime view of Bingham's Pond which is situated alongside Great Western Road near Anniesland College


Coot among the rushes at Bingham's Pond, Glasgow

Coot among the rushes at Bingham's Pond, Great Western Road



Drawing of statue of St George and the Dragon, St Georges Cross, Glasgow © G.Blaikie 2011

 Introduction
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 Hillhead
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 North Kelvinside
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 Great Western Road
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 Kelvin Walkway
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 Park District
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 Woodside & Firhill
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 Partick
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 West End Quiz Pages
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 Dowanhill and Partick Churches
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 Scotcities Home Page
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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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