Category: Stuff

Guide to Glasgow Necropolis

Biographic and descriptive sketches of Glasgow Necropolis by George Blair (Glasgow, 1857)

Grab it while you can

Going through Strathaven today I was stunned to see a building site at the corner of Todshill Street and Kirk Street where the Castle Tavern used to be.  The whole building was gone. I’ve passed it hundreds of times and now it’s completely gone. A bit of research turned up the information that the building, which dates from 1820, was “beyond repair”. What a shame.

I’m hoping that I grabbed a picture of it on one of my wanders around Strathaven, but I’ll need to hunt through a lot of pictures. And it’s not the only time that’s happened recently – the Strathclyde Hospital site in Motherwell is wiped clean too. A lesson in grabbing photos when you can, because you can’t keep up with everything.

And I should know already! Apparently when I was wee I asked about some fancy walls that we would pass on the bus to and from Glasgow. At the time Mum said that there used to be a big house there, but I don’t think anybody actually knew much more about it. The bus routes changed, the road system changed and I had no reason to go there, so they were forgotten. Years later a restaurant was built there and the walls were kept around the car park.

And then the retail park was built and they wiped away everything for the sake of a few extra parking spaces that I’ve never seen filled. There are still four or five large beech trees that must have part of the grounds, but that’s it.

It never occured to me to take a picture, despite being into local history, archaeology and photography. Without a digital camera, taking photos was always saved for special occasions, but there’s no excuse now.

But then, how often do you pay attention things before they’re wiped away.

Incidentally, the walls belonged to Nook or Neuk House or Farm. Most of  what I’ve been able to find out is from maps. Its first appearance seems to be on the 1750s Roy map as Neuk. William Forrest’s early 19th map shows Nook, belonging to Mr Barrie, and it appears as Neuk or Nook thereafter. More recently, maps  from the late 60s still show the house and all its out buildings, but they’re gone by 1971-72, although the drive and paths are still shown.It’s all vanished on 1976 maps to be replaced by a Depot.

Its only claim to fame is that a balloonist called Captain Spencer had to make a forced landing there in 1895 (Niven, 1965, p232). It doesn’t seem to have a very important place in the whole scheme of the world, but it was there was a long time. It’s also just a wee bit more interesting than a retail park, and it would be nice to add a picture of the place to go with my mental picture of those old walls seen from the bus.


I’ve kept a blog for a few years now that reflects my professional and personal interests, but it was getting too one-sided, so I’m moving various parts of it here instead.

I find lumps, bumps and lines in the landscape absolutely fascinating. I love archaeology and history, particularly of my home county of Lanarkshire.

Of course, my gorgeous family, work commitments and our lovely Scottish weather often stop me from getting out and about, so a lot of my exploring happens digitally. NLS maps, Google maps, Bing maps, CANMORE, Scotland’s Places and Flickr are all wonderful resources for an adventurer stuck on the couch.

Not forgetting all the books and magazines that I can lay my hands on. Thank the heavens for libraries.