The eclectic collection was acquired over many years by Sir William Burrell, a wealthy Glaswegian shipping magnate and art collector, who then gifted it to the city of Glasgow Corporation in 1944. The gift was made on the condition that the collection was to be housed in a building 16 miles (26 km) from the centre of Glasgow, to show the works to their greatest advantage, and to avoid the damaging effects of air pollution at the time. The trustees spent over 20 years trying to find a suitable 'home' for the collection, one which met all the criteria set out in the Trust Deed, without success. Eventually, when the Pollok Estate was gifted to the city in 1967, the Trustees had certain terms of the deed waived, which allowed the current site, 3 miles (5 km) from the city centre and within the city boundaries, to be chosen for the collection.
The building 
A design competition for the museum building in 1971 was delayed by a postal strike, allowing time for the eventual winning architect Barry Gasson to complete his entry, designed in collaboration with Brit Andresen.
The building is L-shaped in plan and is specifically tailored to house and display the diverse collection, with larger pieces such as Romanesque doorways built into the structure, at the same time giving views out into the park over formal grassed areas to the south, and into adjacent woodland to the north.
The entrance, through a 16th century stone archway built into a modern red sandstone gable, leads to a shop and other facilities, then on to a central courtyard under a glazed roof, adjacent to the reconstructions of three rooms from the Burrell's home, Hutton Castle near Berwick-on-Tweed: the wood panelled drawing room, hall, and dining room complete with their furnishings. Galleries on two levels house various smaller artefacts, over a basement storage level, and at the lower level a restaurant gives views over the lawn to the south.
The museum was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 , and was named as Scotland's second greatest post-war building (after Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's St. Peter's Seminary) in a poll of architects by Prospect magazine in 2005.
The collection 
The Burrell contains an important collection of medieval art including stained glass and tapestries, oak furniture, medieval weapons and armour, Islamic art, artefacts from ancient Egypt and China, Impressionist works by Degas and Cézanne, modern sculpture and a whole host of other artefacts from around the world, all collected by one man.
The nearest railway station to the Burrell Collection is Pollokshaws West (approximately 10 minutes walk), with trains to Glasgow Central normally operating four times per hour (three times per hour on Sundays).
- "The Burrell Museum, Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museum". Glasgowarchitecture.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- "The Burrell Collection". Glasgow Museums. Retrieved 2008-02-17.