Pollokshaws has a storied and proud heritage - today we wanted to take a look at the local history of the Southside through the architecture and the story’s they tell.
Pollokshaws was originally a village predominantly dedicated to weaving in the 17th century. A group of Flemish weavers were brought to the area in the 19th century by the landowners, the Maxwells of Pollok, on account of their exceptional weaving skills.
Pollokshaws was granted a charter to become a Burgh of Barony in 1812. It became a police burgh in 1858 and remained a burgh of Renfrewshire until 1912 when it was annexed to the City of Glasgow.
Though it had been an industrial area, this changed in 1957 when it was proposed as the second Comprehensive Development Area in Glasgow (the first was Hutchesontown). The area was demolished and rebuilt anew.
The 1960’s regeneration scheme of mainly high-rise buildings has started to make way for new mainly low-rise modern housing - but despite this razing, there’s still plenty of historic buildings that indicate the burgh’s historic past.
A lot of this information was supplied from the Pollokshaws Heritage Trail, created by Paul O’Cuinn on behalf of Pollokshaws Heritage Group.
1. Pollokshaws Burgh Hall
Pollokshaws Burgh Hall was commissioned by Sir John Stirling Maxwell (1866-1956) at a cost of £20,000. He employed Edinburgh architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson who drew up designs that reproduced details of the Glasgow College buildings on High Street.
2. The Old Swan Inn
The 1901 public house that stands on the corner of Haggs Road and Pollokshaws Road formerly known as Maxwell Street has been the site of an inn for over well 100 years. It is more commonly known as the site of the Old Swan Inn which first appeared on an Ordnance survey map of 1892-94. The Swan Inn building was rebuilt on the site of the previous inn by Glasgow Spirit Merchant John Hunter Gilmour between 1898 and 1901. In 1971 it became one of the first major conservation works undertaken by Glasgow City Council. The pub is now called the ‘nineteenOone’ - named after the year it was built
3. The Bank building
This tenement building is one of the few survivors of the 1960s redevelopment scheme in what used to be known as Pollok Street. It was built in 1902 for John Campbell Esq. and provided accommodation for the Commercial Bank of Scotland which had formerly been housed in the Toonhouse building and Prentice and Frew solicitor’s office, with six dwellings above. The Commercial Bank of Scotland merged with the National Bank of Scotland in 1959 and subsequently with the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1969. During the Clydeside blitz of 13th and 14th of March 1941 an unexploded bomb landed behind the building, but it was safely defused and removed. In the 1960s there was an attempted robbery at the bank when a firearm was discharged. Fortunately no one was wounded, but a bullet hole was visible in the ceiling. The building is now residential flats.
4. The Stag Building
In the New Statistical Account for the Parish of Eastwood, the Rev. George Logan remarks that there are ’56 licensed alehouses or whisky shops in the parish.’. The Stag Inn on what is now Greenview Street is first mentioned by that name in the Glasgow Post Office Directory of 1889-90 and then on an Ordnance Survey map from 1892-94. The licensee at this time was Wine and Spirit Merchant John Lyons who took over the premises in 1888-89 from Wine and Spirit Merchant D. McCafferty who was the licensee between 1886 and 1888 at what was then numbers 12/14 Pollok Street. In 1905 John Lyons erected a new tenement incorporating numbers 12/18 Pollok Street to be used as dwellings and shops. The Stag Inn remained at numbers 12/14 Pollok Street. The other two shops seen here were Carmichael’s the chemist and Dougie’s dairy, now Nico’s Deli.