Braidfauld was the 45th ward in the City of Glasgow, Scotland, prior to the re-organization into multi-member wards. It is bounded on the south by the River Clyde (along which is a pleasant walkway) and on the north by (mostly) Tollcross Road. Its western boundary is the west wall of the old Belvidere Hospital carried on roughly northeastwards to Tollcross Road, and its eastern boundary is Causewayside Street. Braidfauld is a slightly artificial creation and few residents would recognise it as other than a sub-district of their area, feeling more affinity (depending on where they live) with neighbouring areas such as Barrowfield, Parkhead and Tollcross.
- 1 Origins of name
- 2 History
- 3 Buildings
- 4 Famous residents
- 5 Statistics
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- 8 Bibliography
Origins of name
The district is named after Braidfauld Farm, which is mentioned on local maps until the 1930s, at the junction of London Road with the now Braidfauld Avenue. "Braid" is Old Scots for the top of a slope. A "fauld" was the poorer part of the village fields left fallow until manured by grazing sheep or cattle. "Braidfauld" was the "fallow land at the top of the slope". Similarly, "Maukinfauld" was the "fallow land pestered by hares" ("maulkens" in Scots). Braidfauld Street ran to a farm of that name, as Maukinfauld Road, in the middle of the district, ran to the farm after which it is named.
Braidfauld Street was the terminus of the Number 9 Auchenshuggle tram, opposite the Auchenshuggle woods. Auchenshuggle was a hamlet slightly to the north east, and was part of the Easterhill Estate, which ran down to the River Clyde. Easterhill House, erected as a country retreat by Glasgow merchants in the 19th century has been demolished. Other farms underlying modern Braidfauld were Braidfauld and Maukinfauld farms and Newbank House (all mentioned on an 1865 map). Lilybank is not mentioned on any earlier map and is perhaps a modern fanciful name, modelled on the nearby Newbank.
Beyond the woods is the site of the Dalbeth Estate. The estate was primarily a country retreat, but the owners worked the freestone and coal underneath. It is even said some local gold was found while, in the shallows of the Clyde large mussel-like bi-valves often provided serviceable pearls. Here Thomas Hopkirk established the prize collection of rare plants which became the basis of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the West-end.
Later, in 1850, Dalbeth returned (after 300 years) to the possession of the Roman Catholic Church. The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd established a Magdelen Asylum, where unmarried mothers could work out their penitence. In 1865, they established a Girls' Reformatory. A Boy's Reformatory was established later, slightly further west, in Westthorn Mills. A Church designed by Peter Paul Pugin (1851–1904), (brother of E.W. Pugin) in typical ornate style, with three naves, was opened in 1902. A Polish Education Centre was established during the Second World War, so that soldiers in the Free Polish Army could complete their (Polish) secondary education there (from a newspaper clipping of April 1944). It became the Parish Church in 1948 and the Reformatory buildings became the Good Shepherd R.C. Primary School. The Church and school were closed in 1975 and later demolished, along with the Primary School/ Reformatory Buildings. The land is now used as an extension to Dalbeth Cemetery.
Like the other great houses erected by Glasgow merchants, Dalbeth House has disappeared, as has the 19th-century convent, though the administration building of the cemetery may incorporate parts of both. The sisters' cemetery is still there, slightly to the side of the much larger St Peter's Cemetery, Dalbeth, which included a Jews' Cemetery in the 19th century. There are distinctive Polish and Italian parts of the cemetery, and many locally famous Catholics (including John Wheatley) are buried there.
Govancroft Pottery 1911-1976
Across London Road, at the corner of Potter Street, was the substantial Govancroft Pottery. At one point this had (according to the Pottery Society), "a monopoly of (ceramic) jam jars" which it exported throughout the world. Latterly, it produced distinctive thistle shaped ware. A quick search on the website indicates that there is still a substantial trade among collectors for them. The pottery was closed in 1976. A pleasant set of modern houses has taken their place, called "The Potteries". There is a Govancroft museum in Edinburgh which you can view by appointment if you call beforehand 07908843755 the museum has many rare and wonderful wares.
Further west again (close by the Glasgow Celtic supporters' club) is what remains of Westthorn Park (the allotments only, the cycle track and football fields having been removed). The beauty of the sylvan, meandering Clyde at Westthorn was described rapturously in the First Statistical Account of Scotland (1791–1799) and again in Rambles Around Glasgow of 1835. It still feels very surprisingly remote and is still beautiful. Westthorn was the site of riots in the early 19th century. Thomas Harvie became the new owner of Westthorn House and estate. He tried to cut off a right of way (from Dalmarnock to Carmyle) in 1819. The riots were put down by the military (the Enniskillen Dragoons) under the direction of the Sheriff. However, the locals, supported by a fund raised by Glasgow democrats, took Harvie to court - all the way to the House of Lords - and eventually won their case. Mr Harvie owned a distillery in Port Dundas. Nowadays the site of Westthorn House is occupied by a bottling plant for John Dewar and Sons.
Parkhead Juniors 1880-1963
Across London Road from Westthorn Park is the site of a football park, (Helenslea Park named after a daughter of the owner of nearby Belvidere House). It used to be the home ground of Parkhead Juniors Football Club. Founded in 1880, it was the oldest team in the Scottish Junior League. They were one of the eight founder members in 1895 of what was to become the Scottish Junior Football League.
They won the Scottish Junior Cup five times - 1899, 1903, 1915, 1920 and 1924), and appeared as finalists in 8 out of the 12 seasons from 1911. "If no single club could claim total dominance over the period (i.e., the first half of the 20th century) Parkhead at least merit an honourable mention with three league titles (one shared); four Glasgow Cups; two Junior cups and three other appearances in the final". On 10 April 1924, in the semi-final of the 1923/24 Junior Cup, they faced Bridgeton Waverley at Celtic Park in front of a crowd of 11,500 (even though the Scottish Football Association cup final was taking place at Hampden Park at the same time).
The entrance was in Methven Street. Parkhead Juniors seem, like a lot of Lilybank, to have disappeared from history. Though they were still playing in the 1950s, they went defunct in June 1963.
To the south west corner of Parkhead Juniors park is a 19th-century house - probably the original Lilybank farm house. To the north of this, opposite the Fire Station in Cuthelton Street, is a (still functioning) old local store - formerly known as "the ferme", it now sports the name of "The Farm Shop"
Belvidere Hospital 1871-1999
Further west from Westthorn Park lies the site of the former Belvidere Estate. This was originally called Wester Dalbeth, but was renamed in the late 18th century after the estate house, Belvidere. A brickfield site was established there in the mid-19th century. In 1870 there was a smallpox epidemic in Glasgow which threatened to overpower the city's charity hospitals. The Council bought the Belvidere estate and established, in that country area, the "City Hospitals" for infectious diseases. The original wooden isolation pavilions were replaced by 19 smallpox pavilions by 1887. It became the Belvidere Hospital for infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis, with airy wards, including beds on balconies overlooking Westthorn Park. Finally, it became a geriatric hospital before closing in 1999. Except for the imposing Administration building, the buildings have been demolished.
Parkhead Stadium Station
The Glasgow Central Railway ran through Bridgeton Station and under London Road, emerging from a tunnel at Dalriada Street. In Whitby Street, a few minutes to the north west of Belvidere, there used to be Parkhead Stadium Station, famously visited once by George V and Queen Mary on their way to Beardmore's Steelworks in Parkhead, which was the major employer in the area. This has completely disappeared, as have most of the ancillary engineering and boiler-making small firms. (There was a spur from the railway to John Thomson (Wilson's Boilers) along the back courts of Dunning Street.) Parkhead Tram Dept, on Tollcross Road lives on as a bus garage, but the only major employer is United Biscuits (in Clyedford Drive) though there are distribution warehouses along the London Road.
Helenvale Street Recreation Ground
Helenvale Street is also the home of the large recreation ground, created originally for employees of Glasgow City Transport. It contained a Bowling Green and a football ground. This was opened on 2 September 1924 when the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) kicked off a match between Rangers and Partick Thistle. Rangers won. Parkhead Juniors also played there in their heyday.
This street leads to Tollcross Road, where there is the Parkhead Public Library (which may not technically be in Braidfauld).
The east end of Glasgow was initially the preferred choice area of Glasgow's tobacco merchants and they built several country estates in the Braidfauld and surrounding area. None of these buildings survives, all having been demolished and the estates turned into housing. The estates included Easterhill House, Dalbeth House, Westthorn House and Belvidere House - each was photographed in the late 19th century by Thomas Annan. The buildings at the entrance to 1920 London Road are the remains of the lodge house for Dalbeth House.
The Farm Shop in Cuthelton Street was part of the 18th-century farm in that area.
The administration building for St Peter’s Cemetery, Dalbeth was part of the 19th-century Convent of the Good Shepherd and may incorporate part of the original Dalbeth House.
Eastwards of the entrance to the driveway is a much remodelled 19th-century cottage, set back from the road at the entrance to the Nun’s Cemetery.
Half-a mile westwards on London Road, opposite the entrance to the former Belvidere Hospital, is a much re-modelled two storey family house, possibly related to the original farm. It is of locally quarried sandstone and is probably of about the middle of the 19th century.
Overlooking Tollcross Road, and set in its original grounds, is the magnificent Tollcross House', built in 1848.
It was built (of gray ashlar) for one of the partners of Clyde Iron Works, James Dunlop. The architect was David Bryce who also designed Fettes College in Edinburgh and Balfour Castle in Orkney which shares with Tollross House the Scots Baronial style of crowstepped gables, circular towers with conical caps, massed chimneys and mullioned windows. The family gave up living there as tenements invaded the surrounding area. The grounds became Tollcross Park in 1897 and the buildings became a Children’s Museum, housing the locally famous “Who killed Cock Robin?” display of stuffed birds, small mammals and insects. It also had the last deer shot in the park -"Bobbie" - stuffed and on display. The building was turned into flats in 1998, and the display moved to the Forge shopping mall a mile away.
All that remains of the ruins of Belvidere Hospital is the imposing, Administration Building, in classical style and of the same grey sandstone.
With the coming of railways, sandstone could be easily transported over long distances and buildings began to be built of an attractive red sandstone, usually quarried at Lockerbie.
A two storey family house in the middle of the drive to St Peter's Cemetery at 1920 London Road is of red brick, rather than sandstone.
More imposing is the stately line of four- storey red sandstone tenement flats, known as the Deer Park flats, built at the turn of the century along Tollcross Road, opposite Tollcross park and running towards Parkhead Cross. These tenements have repeating, rounded, bow windows and continue further along Tollcross Road, following a stately parallel line towards Parkhead Cross. (At the juncture with Makinfauld Road, shops and a pub formed the ground floor. There is also a small shop built into the middle of the tenements opposite the main park gates).
The finest red sandstone flats are some quaintly Art Nouveau tenements built in 1902 in Helenvale Street by John Hamilton (an architect who also did Shawlands Cross Parish Church Halls and Sir John Stirling Maxwell Primary in Pollokshaws).
. These are continued into Whitby Street, close to where Parkhead Stadium Station used to be.
No more traditional tenements were to be built after these, though they together with the Deer Park tenements mentioned above still highly sought-after places to live. The flats above the Tavern Pub in Tollcross Road are pre-First World War.
Increasing use of railways for transporting materials meant that traditional sandstone in building was replaced by brick (often rendered) and slates replaced by tiles. Traditional designs were also often given up in favour of designs from pattern books, especially where there was pressure on costs.
For most of the 20th century domestic building was exclusively carried on by the City Council, (Glasgow Corporation), or later Housing Associations, and it was not until the 1980s that private housing began to make a comeback.
The 1919 (Addison) and 1924 Housing (Wheatley) Acts gave local councils a duty to build houses for working class citizens for which central government provided a subsidy. The aim was to provide "homes fit for heroes" - the heroes being the soldiers returning from the First World War. The Minister responsible for the 1924 Act was a local man named John Wheatley. The Glasgow council (Glasgow Corporation) eventually envisaged three grades of housing schemes.
"Ordinary" estates were to be built to a high specification in estate layout, building and fitments, and so were to be let at a relatively high rent. They were mostly four-in-a-block flats, each flat with its own front door, with some semi-detached and short terraces here and there. They were made of brick and roofed with tiles. Churches, shopping parades and community centres were to be incorporated. These ‘garden suburb’ houses - an idea imported from the south - were let to teachers and semi-professional council employees. Examples in Glasgow were built at Carntyne, Mossend and Knightswood. The logic of these developments (in terms of supporting the ‘working classes’) was that those who moved to these areas would release relatively high quality tenements for incoming working class tenants. These schemes, like red sandstone tenements, remain highly desirable places to stay. None were built in Braidfauld.
A second grade of council housing were 'Intermediate' schemes, aimed at skilled and semi-skilled workers who could afford the rent, still exists today in Newbank, built opposite (and possibly for the staff of) Belvidere Hospital. This 1920s ‘Intermediate’ housing scheme took on many of the aspects of the ‘Ordinary’ schemes - four-in-a-block cottage style flats with gardens and some area landscaping and is still attractive today.
At the lower end of the spectrum were "Rehousing" estates built to receive those cleared from slum areas of Glasgow.
These were built under the 1930 (Greenwood) and 1935 Housing Acts, when the pressure to house many thousands was greater and the central government subsidy smaller. The specification was much lower than "Ordinary" schemes. (Each block cost about £250 to build in contrast to the £1000 it took to build an ‘Ordinary’ block.) A reversion was made to the tenement model, though in ‘modern’ guise, the estate was not well laid out and no provision was made for shops or community buildings. The tenants, who were mostly unskilled, would be charged a low rent.
Much of the rest of Newbank and the whole of Lilybank (opened in 1933) was given over to "Rehousing" grade houses. Most were demolished in the 1990s, though you can still see examples a mile further east in Dunira Street (illustrated).
The 1930s houses (actually, flats) in these areas were what were to become standard three-storey tile-roofed tenements of grey reconstituted stone, with back-courts for drying greens. The flats - normally six, all accessed from a doorless close - were mostly of 2, 3 or 4 bedroom, built to accommodate tenants cleared from the 19th-century "slums" of Garngad, Calton and Camlachie. By contrast with the houses they had left, the new ones had some amenity - a toilet and bathroom, a kitchen with an oven back-to-back with the fireplace in the adjoining main room, a gas boiler, two sinks linked by wringer, a pulley and a coal bunker. The main living room had an open coal fire, and there was a "meat press" (a cupboard ventilated from the outside) in the corner. Other rooms were heated by gas fires, and each room had an electric light and socket. (Electricity and gas were at that time generated by the council itself).
There was an attempt to give the resuscitated tenement model a ‘modernist’ air by using reconstituted concrete, but this did not weather well. There were however, no schools, churches, public houses, or other communal facilities, so tenants had to make use of amenities in Tollcross and Parkhead.
Between Maukinfauld Road and Braidfauld Street is a post-World War II development of low-rise houses, many semi-detached or short terraces.
A range of low-rise "maisonette"-type houses, some in closes, some short terraces, were built in Glenisla Street in the 1960s. They are brick built and roof-tiled.
Three high-rise blocks of flats, in part over the disused railway and station, were erected between Helenvale Street and Springfield Road in 1967–69. They were built by George Wimpey, a locally well-known builder.
In the 1980s, the council began releasing land for private development (something it had previously declined to do). Eastwards along the railway, new houses were erected in the 1990s as was a development known as The Potteries (on the site of the old Govancroft Pottery). On Tollcross Road, east of the Deer Park tenements, flats in an extensive, super-modern block was built in 2005.
Industrial and commercial
The only major industrial or commercial buildings are the late-19th-century Parkhead Bus Depot (formerly a tram depot) on Tollcross Road, the United Biscuits factory in Clydeford Drive and a range of hangar-type developments along the London Road in the old Westthorn estate, mostly concerned with bottling or storing whiskey (Allied Distillers and John Dewar & Sons Ltd).
Braidfauld’s pubs are all in Tollcross Road, - The Tavern, (built especially to be near Parkhead depot), The Bells, opposite Tollcross Park, and midway between them The Grapes (both part of 19th-century tenements which also include small shops). The 1960s Glasgow Celtic Supporters Club on London Road also has a bar for members.
Public buildings in Braidfauld include the Fire Station in Cuthelton Street, and Calton-Parkead Church in Helenvale Street (perched originally above the railway). The fire station was built of red brick in the late 1940s. The church was built as Newbank Church by the Church of Scotland in 1934-35 to replace a mission hut nearby (the 'Tin Church'). As its name suggests, its original congregation had been cleared from the slums of Calton and Camlachie and it was built of brick to a vaguely early Christian (though decidedly modern) style. The interior has arcades of round arches on circular stone piers with scallop capitals and a big semi-circular arch to the raised chancel. The architects were Hutton and Taylor who also designed King's Park Parish Church, which too was part of a significant church building programme by the Church of Scotland at that time. The stained glass windows are by Gordon Webster and are more recent - the Crucifixion in the chancel (1970) and St Luke in the aisle (1971).
The Roman Catholic parish Church of the Good Shepherd, built by Peter Paul Pugin, was demolished in the 1970s.
- Thomas Hopkirk (1785–1841) assembled a huge collection of plants at his estate in Dalbeth and published a comprehensive Flora - one of the first. He was one of the founders of what was to become the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. He donated his collection of plants to start it off. There is a Hopkirk Laboratory in Glasgow University named after him.
- John Quinton Pringle (1864–1925) was born in Dennistoun, Glasgow and later lived in Maukinfauld Road, Tollcross. After leaving school at twelve and serving an apprenticeship as an optician, he set up his own business in his early 30s. From 1865, he attended evening classes in Glasgow School of Art. He painted comparatively few works, and most were small scale and were of his relatives, friends and the local area. He did not exhibit a lot during his lifetime. One of his paintings in the Kelvingrove Art Galleries is of the view from his flat in Maukinfauld Road - across open countryside to St Margaret's Church, Braifauld Street, with a train steaming up the line from Parkhead Station to Tollcross. His work can be seen at Kelvingrove, at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Tate Britain in London, and as part of the Government Art Collection (GAC). Many can be viewed on-line.
- John Wheatley (1869–1930), MP, represented the Shettleston constituency in the House of Commons. He was Minister for Health in 1924, in Ramsay MacDonald's first Labour Government, when he passed the Housing Act mentioned above. He is buried in St Peter's Cemetery Dalbeth.
- Jack House (1906–1991) was a locally renowned journalist, historian and novelist. He was born in 13 Deerpark Gardens, on Tollcross Road, opposite the park, though he moved to Dennistoun when he was two.
- John Cairney (1930 -) film, stage and television actor, was born in 1930 and the family lived in a tenement flat at 20 Williamson Street, but was evacuated during the War. He is renowned the world over for his portrayal of Robert Burns. He now lives in Auckland, New Zealand. (See his website at).
- Susan Baird (1949- ) has represented Braidfauld since 1974 and was Lord Provost of Glasgow between 1988 and 1992. She lives in the constituency.
- Kay Carmichael Social activist who lived on benefits in the area for a short time to find out about the conditions.
Number of Males 3,057 (45.4%)
Number of Females 3,678 (54.6%)
0-4 382 (5.7%)
5-15 789 (14.7%)
16-29 1317 (19.6%)
30-44 1576 (23.4%)
45-59/64 1286 (19.1%)
60/65+ 1187 (17.6%)
(2001) 47 0.7%
Working age population
Males 1975 (47.3%)
Females 2204 (52.7%)
Working age in employment
Working age population by occupational sector
Higher Managerial & Professional 110 (2.7%)
Lower Managerial & Professional 446 (10.9%)
Intermediate Occupations 361 (8.8%)
Small Empl. & Own Account W. 105 (2.6%)
Lower Superv. & Tech. Occupations 312 (7.6%)
Semi-routine Occupations 685 (16.7%)
Routine Occupations 623 (15.2%)
Never Worked/L.T. Unemployed 464 (11.3%)
Full-time Students & Other 995 (24.3%)
(2005) Total 226
Males 182 (9.2%)
Females 44 (2%)
Total Dwellings (2005) 3,597
Owner Occupied 1,204 (33.5%)
Private Rented 201 (5.6%)
Glasgow Housing Association 1,589 (44.2%)
Other Social Rented 603 (16.8%)
Total Dwellings (2001) 3,578
Detached 62 (1.7%)
Semi-detached 389 (10.9%)
Terraced 443 (12.4%)
Flats and Others 2,684 (75.0%)
Total number of households (2001) 3347
Households with no car 2278 (68.1%)
Households with 1+ car(s) 1069 (31.9%)
- http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/YourCouncil/Council_Committees/Councillors/ward45.htm gives a Council factsheet on Braidfauld.
- http://www.old-maps.co.uk/ - a map of 1865 of the Braidfauld area can be found by searching for « Braidfauld ».
- http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/ - click ‘browse scanned pages’ then search for « Barony » to see a facsimile of the Reverend Mr John Burns’ account for the First Statistical Account of Scotland (1791–99)
- http://www.electricscotland.com/history/glasgow/carmyle_kenmuir.htm - gives an extract from ‘Rambles Round Glasgow’ (1854) by Hugh Macdonald
- http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/smihou/ - for photographs and histories of the great houses on the Clyde (that is, Easterhill, Dalbeth, Westthorn and Belvidere)
- https://web.archive.org/web/20071001032003/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gordon.adams1/GlasgowHistory/Books/ - for many resources on the history of Tollcross and Dalbeth
- http://www.hopkirk.org/hopkirk/Page122321.html - a family history site, containing a portrait an information on Thomas Hopkirk of Dalbeth
- https://web.archive.org/web/20090201124315/http://www.davidbryce.org.uk/intro.html - a site dedicated to the architect of Tollcross House.
Paintings by John Quinton Pringle can be viewed on:-
- Burt, John ‘Working Class Housing in Glasgow’ in S D Chapman (ed) ‘The History of Working Class Housing’ David and Charles 1971.
- Corporation of Glasgow ‘Short Account of the Municipal Undertakings of the City of Glasgow.’ 1938
- Corporation of Glasgow Housing Department ‘Review of Operations 1919 - 1937’ (1937)
- Damer, Seàn & Hartstone, Linda ‘A Social History of Glasgow Housing 1919 to 1965’ Appendix III Articles, from Déviance et Société Vol 15 No 3 pp 293–299 1991
- Damer, Seàn ‘From Moorpark to "Wine Alley"- the rise and fall of a Glasgow housing scheme.’ Edinburgh Education and Society Series, Edinburgh 1989. ISBN 0-85224-622-6/ 0 85224 657 9 pbk
- Gibb, Andrew ‘The Development of Public Sector Housing in Glasgow’ (University of Glasgow, 1982)
- Gibb, Andrew ‘Glasgow: the making of a city’ (1983)
- Jury, A. G., Housing Centenary: A Review of Municipal Housing in Glasgow from 1866 to 1966,(Glasgow, 1966).
- McLellan, D (ed) ‘No Mean City to Miles Better’ (1988)
- Mooney, Gerry ‘Living in the periphery: housing, industrial change and the state’ (1988 - unpublished PhD thesis, University of Glasgow; copy Mitchell Library Glagow ref f363.50941443 MOO).
- Niven, D ‘The Development of Public Housing in Scotland’ Croom Helm (London 1979)
- Pacione, Michael ‘Housing Policies in Glasgow since 1880’ Geographical Review Vol. 69 No.1 (Copy in Mitchell Library Glasgow ref GC f 363.5094 1443 PAC H)
- Pacione, M., Glasgow, The Socio-Spatial Development of the City,(Chichester, 1995).
- Smith, John G and Mitchell, John O ‘The Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry’ 2nd ed 1878)
- Strathclyde Regional Archivist ‘Housing in 20th Century Glasgow: Documents 1914-1990s’ from Housing in Glasgow - plans, studies and datasets.
- Williamson, Elizabeth, Ritches, Anne & Higgs, Malcolm ‘The Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow’ Penguin Books in association with the National Trust for Scotland 1990
- Worsdall, Frank ‘The Tenement - a way of life. A social, historical and architectural study of housing in Glasgow’ W & R Chambers Ltd, Edinburgh 1979 ISBN 0-550-20352-4
- BBC Scotland/ Carmichael, Kay - three-part documentary on the Lilybank scheme, Glasgow 1977 (BBC archives)