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Location: Glasgow Guide / Glasgow Info / The Origin And History Of Glasgow Streets /  Pg 2  

The Origin And History Of Glasgow Streets (Page 2)
By Hugh Macintosh (1902)
  Pages: 0  1  2  3  4  5


BAIN STREET, in honour of Sir James Bain, who was Lord Provost of the city in 1874.

BALGRAY. The town of the flock, such as sheep or goats.

BALMANO STREET, opened 1792, was formed on the garden belonging to a lady of that name. Her son was a well-known surgeon and druggist in Trongate Street.

BALSHAGRIE. The windy town.

BALTIC STREET was formed on ground acquired by the Baltic Jute Works Co., who built extensive factories here. It did not succeed, and was wound up after a few years’ operations.

BANKIER STREET, After William Bankier, a former Provost of Calton.

BARDOWIE STREET, named for the estate of this name in the parish of Baldernock and county of Stirling, on the margin of Bardowie Loch. It is about six miles from the city.

BARRACK STREET, opened 1795. It formed the eastern boundary of the Infantry Barracks, which were built on lands anciently known as the Butts, where the citizens practised archery. A battle was fought here during the reign of Queen Marie between the Regent Arran and Lennox and Glencairn. Upwards of three hundred fell on either side, and the town suffered severely, as it was given up to pillage. A large portion of these lands was granted to the Government in 1795 as a site for an infantry barracks, for which purpose they were utilised for well-nigh a century but the locality becoming unsuitable, new quarters were erected in the north-west portion of the city. In the circumstances it was fully expected that the ground which the War Office authorities had so long enjoyed the free use of would have been handed back to the city to be utilised as an open garden space, which was much needed in the district, but with that parsimony which is invariably shown to Scotland in things Imperial a deaf ear was given to all remonstrance, and the place was sold for a very large sum To a railway company.

BARTHOLOMEW STREET, named for John Bartholomew of Cotton Hall. He was an extensive cotton spinner and proprietor of several factories. He died at Helensburgh, 30th September, 1824.

BATH STREET got its name from William Harley, a speculative character, who early in the last century built public baths and also extensive dairy premises at the north-east end of this thoroughfare.

BEACONSFIELD ROAD in memory of the famous political Earl, who first gained notoriety through an attack made upon him in Parliament by the redoubtable Dan, who in his diatribe styled him a veritable descendant of Judas Iscariot and no doubt closely related to the thief upon the cross.

BEDFORD LANE, previously known as Puddock Row, this title doubtless having arisen from the multiplicity of frogs in the district, these little reptiles always having been numerous in the open lands on the south-side of the river, particularly so in the districts of Little Govan and Polmadie.

BELLAHOUSTON. This place is mentioned in a Crown charter granted in 1597, where it reads Ballahawstene. In a charter of the following year it is printed Ballahowstene. Balla is from the Celtic baile (a town), and the name Howstene following would lead to the supposition that it meant Howstene's town, but the name Houston of old was written Hewston or Hughston, the town of Hugh, and was therefore complete in itself. This is clearly defined in the case of Houston in Renfrewshire, as likewise in the notes on Houston House in the parish of Uphall, given in the history of Strathbrock by the Rev. James Primrose, which would give rather a strange rendering of the name. A supposition that the place may have been held at one time by a rentaller of the name of Houston is also open to objection from the difference in spelling. The name is evidently purely Celtic, and its true meaning will have to be sought for in a Gaelic dictionary. These notes have been given in rectification of the popular idea that the place had been named by a former proprietor after a favourite daughter called Bella.

BELL STREET (City), opened 1710, and named for Sir John Bell, who was Provost in 1680.

BELLFIELD STREET, named for Isobel, wife of John Macdonald, who had a villa in it.

BELLGROVE STREET, previously known as Witch Lone. It is said to have been originated by the masons who built the Cathedral, they living in Rutherglen. It was also a drove road for cattle crossing Clyde at Dalmarnock Ford.

BISHOP STREET (Anderston) was formerly called Bishop's or Parson's Croft, having been church lands. After the Reformation King James the Sixth gave these lands, which consisted of about thirteen acres, to John Andrew, who was clerk of his Secret Council. It afterwards became the property of the Incorporation of Tailors.

BISHOPBRIGGS derives its name from a bridge erected by a Glasgow bishop to facilitate communication with his rentallers in the district.

BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE, was laid off and opened in 1823 under the name of Garden Square, this title being given to it by William Hamilton Garden, who was a son of Francis Garden of Fetteresso. He was at that time head of a well-known West India firm in the city, and speculated extensively in property. He resided in the Crawford mansion, having bought it in 1813, the site of which is now occupied by the station of the North British Railway.

BLACKBURN STREET (Plantation) was so named after the Midland town by one of the trustees of Mr Maclean, because he had business connections with it.

BOTANIC GARDENS, opened in 1832 on ground extending to 21 acres which was feued from Campbell of Blythswood. They did not succeed as a company concern, and were taken over by the Corporation in 1892 at a cost of £59,531. The banks of Kelvin extending to 18 1/2 acres have been added since then to the gardens at a cost of £9360. What was called the Old Botanic Gardens were situated on the north side of Dumbarton Road west of Claremont Street, and are now built over.

BOTHWELL STREET. This thoroughfare was exploited by James Scott of Kelly about the middle of the last century. He expended a large sum of money in forming it, having got a special Act of Parliament to enable him to construct the viaduct at its western extremity to carry it over Bishop Street into St. Vincent Street; but the scheme was a little too premature, as it is only now taking shape to rank as a leading thoroughfare.

BRAND STREET, named for Harvey Brand, who was proprietor of the ground on which it was formed.

BRIDGEGATE STREET, opened in 1100, and previous to the erection of the bridge over the river. It was known as the Fishergate from the fact that the fishers and fish dealers had incorporated themselves into a society and had built the greater part of it.

BRIDGETON is formed upon a part of the lands of Barrowfield called Goosefauld. It was laid off for feuing by John Walkinshaw, the proprietor, in 1705, but it was very slow in being taken up, and the place was of little account until Rutherglen Bridge was built in 1775. The bridge cost £1800, of which sum Rutherglen contributed £1000.

BRIDGETON CROSS. The place at present so named is a misnomer. Camlachie Burn is the boundary between Bridgeton and Calton, and this so-called Cross, being on the west side of the burn, is therefore in Calton. The Cross proper is at the junction of Reid Street and Dale Street, and the spot was for many years marked with a cross in the roadway by stones sunk in the macadam. The writer has also seen it referred to in the minute-book of the Bridgeton Feuar Court, which was the governing authority previous to annexation to the city. This minute-book unfortunately got mutilated accidentally, and there is only a small portion of it now in existence. But sufficient has been stated to locate the Cross of this suburb, although there is no historic record to prove it, as Mr. Renwick seems to think is awanting in the case of the Cross in Rottenrow. Record indeed! Bridgeton is of yesterday, no building or house in it being yet 200 years old. J. W. Small, in his "Scottish Market Crosses," published last year, says:-" In many cases I did not find any Cross where I had been led to suppose a Cross existed, but in one exceptional case I found a cross marked in the causeway." So it was with Bridgeton, but on making a pilgrimage to the shrine a few weeks since I found the vandals had swept the mark away. Sanitary affairs were conducted in rather a primitive fashion in Bridgeton up til 1830, when the contractor for cleansing was bound to sweep the street only six times during the year, for which he got the handsome remuneration of £3 lOs. Two years later, when the contractor was James Roberton, farmer, Dalmarnock, it is mentioned in the minute-book that he was awarded an additional ten shillings for having given the streets an extra touch up. This gentleman, by the way, it may be mentioned, was the father of a late leading legal luminary in this city, Sir James Roberton. Pavements in this district up till this date were unknown, and, without even the Auld Reekie warning of "Gardie loo," buckets of slops were shot out from front doors on to the common thoroughfare, so that wayfarers had to be wary or they got soused.

BROOK STREET, so named from its contiguity to Camlachie Burn, which used to be spanned here by a footbridge.

BROOMIELAW, a grassy slope or meadow with broom growing on it. The first quay or jetty, with a weigh-house and crane, were erected here in 1662.

BROOMWARD STREET was formed on the lands of this name, whereon the Dunlops of Craigton early in last century erected extensive cotton-spinning works. The father of the late John Elder, of Fairfield Shipbuilding Yard, who had come from Strathaven as an operative, superintended the fitting up of the machinery when the place was being built.

BROWN STREET (City), opened in 1800. It was formed on the bleachfield of Brown, Carrick, & Co., and named for the senior partner.

BUCHANAN STREET, opened 1780 and named for Andrew Buchanan, of Buchanan, Hastie, & Co., who were leading merchants in the city. He was proprietor of the ground on which it was formed as far north as Gordon Street.

BRUNSWICK STREET, opened 1790, named in honour of the House of Hanover, This street was formed on the garden attached to the house of a well-known sporting man, Mr. Baird of Craigton.

BYRES ROAD was formed through a small village or clachan called the Byres of Partick. Sometimes it was called the Bishop's Byres. An attempt was made some years since to change the name to Victoria Road, but the public would not have it.

CALTON is from a Gaelic word, coillduin, meaning wood on the hill. It had been known for some time as Blackfauld, and formed part of the Barrowfield estate. It was ultimately raised into a Burgh of Barony, and annexed to the city in 1846. The Cross was at the junction of Main Street and King Street, the latter at that time being known as New Street.

CAMLACHIE or CAMBUSLACHIE are both Celtic terms, meaning the wild duck hollow or glen. Camlaiche, another form, means the muddy bend of the burn.

CAMPBELL STREET, opened 1784, from Gallowgate Street to Graeme Street, was formed on ground belonging to James Campbell of Petershill.

CAMPBELL STREET (WEST) is named for Campbell of Blythswood.

CAMPERDOWN STREET, to commemorate Camperdown’s Red Fight, when Admiral Duncan routed the Dutch on 11th October, 1797. The local authorities forbade illuminations in celebration because (it was said) the Dutch were Protestants. From this it would appear that pro-Boerism is not a creation of yesterday.

CANDLERIGGS STREET, opened in 1724. A candlework formerly occupied a site at its north end.

CANNING STREET (Calton) is named for the Honourable George Canning, who died in 1827, Prime Minister of Great Britain. It had previously been known as Barrowfield Road, being the highway to the manor-place of that name.

CANON STREET, opened in 1360, was formed upon the site of what had been a seminary for canons.

CARLTON PLACE, opened 1802. It was laid off by James Laurie of Laurieston, who put up gates at either end to stop cart traffic, but the attempt failed. The internal decoration, particularly the plaster work, in some of the lodgings in this terrace, which was executed by artificers from Italy, has not up till the present time been equalled by local tradesmen.

CARMENT DRIVE, named for Dr. Carment, of Carment, Wedderburn, and Watson, the well-known legal firm in Edinburgh who are the agents of Sir John Maxwell of Pollok, on whose estate this thoroughfare is formed.

CARMUNNOCK means the round hill of the monk.

CARMYLE, from the Gaelic cathirmaol, meaning the bare town. It was a poor little hamlet till 1741 when Mr Mackenzie, a Glasgow merchant, started a muslin manufactory in it

CARRICK STREET, opened 1800, was formed on the bleachfield Brown, Carrick & Co., and named for the junior partner.

CARSTAIRS STREET, named for the residential estate of Henry Monteith.

CASTLE STREET, opened 1100, was the highway to the Bishop’s Palace or Castle, which was used for either purpose as the exigencies of war or religion demanded.

CATHCART STREET (Hutchesontown) opened 1798, named for Lord Cathcart.

CATHEDRAL STREET, opened 1840, previous to which date there was a narrow road called Potter-row Lone a short distance south of the present street, which ran in the same direction, but the operations of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Co. swept it away and altered the locality.

CHARLES STREET (Mile-end), named after a former East-end proprietor. There was a close or entry in the locality that was known as Charley's Close, and it latterly had an unenviable notoriety from being the haunt or gathering-place of the roughs of Calton and Bridgeton. Who Charley was history sayeth not, but when be departed this life it was found that he had left a legacy to the East-enders in the shape of a small green which was to remain an open space for ever, but the little oasis has been utilised by a railway company, who have not given an equivalent.

CHARLES STREET (St. Rollox), named after Charles Tennant the elder, grandsire of the present Baronet. He founded St. Rollox Chemical Works in company with George Macintosh of Dunchattan in 1788.

CHARLOTTE STREET, opened 1779, and named for the grandam of our late Empress Queen, Victoria. It had previously been known as Merkdaily, that is the daily market where fruit and vegetables were sold. David Dale the Socialist, and founder of Lanark Mills, had his town house here, still standing at the south-west corner. He built it in 1782 at a cost of £6000. It and the garden were acquired in 1850 for an Eye Infirmary, at the price of £2,800.

CHARLOTTE LANE. Previous to the formation of London Street in 1824 this was a labyrinthine passage extending from Great Hamilton Street to Saint Andrew Square. The operation cut it in two, and the eastern portion became for a time London Lane. But the dwellers in the East liked not the title, and imagined that they saw some resemblance in the passage to the narrow way where the Mesopotamian soothsayer and his poor old donkey encountered the celestial messenger with such marvellous results, so they named it Balaam’s Pass, pronounced Balaum's Pass, and it was better known by this cognomen than any other for many years. The authorities have lately put up fresh name-plates bearing the legend Charlotte Lane.

CHEAPSIDE STREET, after the thoroughfare of this name in London, which got its title from having been the site of a cheap market.

CHURCH PLACE (off Main Street, Anderston) has been the site of a place of worship for well nigh one hundred and fifty years. The Rev. James Stuart, who was the second minister of the Relief Church here, was ordained in 1775 having previously been assistant at Saint Andrew's Church. He was a son of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, and was born in Dunblane in 1745. He died in 1519.

CLAYTHORN STREET was formed on the lands of Claythorn, which belonged to John Luke, who was an extensive merchant in the city.

CLYDE STREET (GREAT) was formerly known as the Horse Brae, from the slope that led down to the ford. Here the fairs and markets were held for the sale of all kind of quadrupeds.

CLYDE STREET (Calton) was formed on the property of John Clyde, who was a brewer in Craignestock (which is in the vicinity) in 1777. This family were the maternal ancestors of Robert Dalglish of Kilmardinny, who was for many years a popular representative of the city in Parliament.

CLYDE (RIVER), from the Gaelic word clith, meaning strong. It is not to be confounded with Clwyd in Wales, it being the name of the son of Cunedda Wledig, who conquered the Gwyddel or Irish settlers in North Wales.

COCHRANE STREET, opened 1787, named for Andrew Cochrane, who was Provost in 1760. It had previously been known as Cotton Street, from the fact that it was almost entirely taken up with the offices of cotton brokers, spinners and yarn agents. The Bird Market was held on the north side of this street previous to its removal to a lane on the north side of Bell Street, City.

COLEBROOKE STREET, named for Sir Thomas Edward Colebrooke, Bart. He was for many years a popular Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire.

COLLEGE STREET, off High Street, was formed by the Corporation in 1794.

COLLEGE STREET (WEST) was formed on the site of a monastic establishment, which at the Reformation was bestowed by the Crown upon the College of Glasgow.

COLLINS STREET, in honour of Sir William Collins, who was Lord Provost in 1877. He was senior partner of William Collins, Sons & Co., the well-known publishing firm.

COMMERCE STREET was at first called Queen Street.

COOK STREET, named for James Cook, a well-known engineer whose works were there. He engined some of the earlier steamers on the Clyde.

CORNWALL STREET, Plantation, was named for a relative of Mrs Maclean, wife of the first proprietor of that name.

CORUNNA STREET, commemorative of Sir John Moore's victory over the French on 16th January, 1809.

COWCADDENS STREET was formed through the village of. So named from being the place where cows were milked.

COWLAIRS was part of the commons belonging to the town. In the burgh records of 9th March, 1631, it is recorded that part of the lands of Cowlairs was let for £6 13s. 4d., and the mikle hill nearest Flemington, the Sagie Holm, part of Kowlairs, and Channel Moss were let for 52 merks.

CRAIGIEHALL STREET. This was the name of the greater part of the Plantation estate, on which this street is formed, previous to its acquisition by Mr. Robertson in 1783.

CRANSTONHILL was formerly called Drumother Hill. Some sapient historian twisted this ancient title into Drumover Hill, stating that it had acquired the latter cognomen from being the spot to which all vagabonds were escorted when to the tune of the "Rogues’ March" they were drummed out of town. This was a pure invention. The Vagabonds were ejected at the Gallowgate Port, so that they might benefit by the sight of the permanent gallows (which stood on the Butts) en passant. "Senex" mentions that he saw a Highland woman escorted to Cranstonhill. This must have been an exceptional case, and may have been done to give her a chance of getting back to her native wilds. The true solution of the name is to be found in two Gaelic words - druim odhar - pronounced somewhat like "drumover," and meaning the grey ridge. Peden, the Scottish prophet, prognosticated that the Cross of Glasgow would ultimately be on this spot. At the present rate of extension in this direction his prediction seems likely to be fulfilled at no very remote date.

CROSSHILL derives its name from an ancient cross which stood n a height still named the Cross Hill. This monument was about ten feet high and three-and-a-half wide, and bore a sculptured representation of Christ entering Jerusalem riding on an ass. It was removed by some vandals about the end of the eighteenth century.

CR0SSMYLOOF. The origin of this name has been ascribed to Queen Mary. The village, however, was not in existence in her time, and the lands went under that name long anterior to the Battle of Langside. It is said by A. M. Scott, the historian of Langside, to be a compound of Latin and Gaelic in connection with a cross of elm wood with which it was customary in Catholic times to mark the boundary of the parish.

CROWNPOINT ROAD derives its name from Crown Point House, built here in 176l by William Alexander, the name being that of a famous stronghold on the Canadian frontier which was taken from the French by General Amerhst.

CUMBERLAND STREET (Hutchesontown) is marked on McArthur’s map, made from actual survey in l778, as Shields Lone.

CUMBERLAND STREET (Calton) is intersected by Canning Street and was originally known as North and South Cumberland Streets respectively. There are no less than four thoroughfares of this name in the city, and why the Butcher of Culloden comes to be so unduly commemorated is past the comprehension of any patriotic Scotsman; but in the earlier days it was sufficient for those who imposed those titles to sink all national feeling in the bigotry and superstition of the time, and only to remember that he crushed for ever the hopes of a pseudo Roman Catholic in his aspirations to the throne. Tolerated somewhat in the same spirit, there ramps as the chief ornament at the Cross of our city the bonnet-less and sandalled effigy of one whose whole life was permeated with holy zeal, yet he lent himself to the carrying out of the Massacre of Glencoe and the destruction of the Darien Expedition.


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