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Location: Glasgow Guide / Glasgow Info / The Origin And History Of Glasgow Streets /  Pg 3  

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


DALBETH. This is a Celtic word signifying the field or meadow covered with birchwood.

DALE STREET (Bridgeton), named after David Dale, of Lanark Mills. See Charlotte Street.

DALMARNOCK ROAD was the highway to the estate of this name, which is said to have been derived from Saint Marnock, who had a cell at Kilmarnock; but this is mythical. In 1174 it was written Dalmurnech, which is purely Celtic, from two words dael and muranach, meaning the meadow or plain abounding in bent and iris.

DEAN STREET was formed on the lands attached to the Deanery. Deanside Lane adjoins.

DELFTFIELD was that part of Broomielaw Croft which lay between Robertson Street and Brown Street. It was named after the town of Delft in Holland. A pottery was for many years in operation here under the name of the Delftfield Co., which had been established in 1749.

DEMPSTER STREET, opened 1792, is only a fragment of its original size, it having extended over a great part of what is now Love Lone. It was named in honour of George Dempster of Dunichen, who was M.P. for the Perth Burghs from 1761 till 1790. Dempster visited Glasgow in 1787, and as he had opposed the repeal of the duty on French cambrics he was made the hero of a torchlight procession which was organised by the Bridgeton and Anderston weavers. This street when first opened was called Botany Bay. Burns alludes to Dempster in his epistle to James Smith.

DENNISTOUN. This suburb comprises several properties acquired at different times, the first purchase being Golfhill by James Dennistoun, who bought it from the trustees of Jonathan Anderson in 1814. He built the mansion-house, where he resided till he died on 11th October, 1835. His heirs and successors continued to purchase adjoining lands up till 1864, when the estate in cumulo extended to considerably over 200 acres, which is now fairly well covered with tenements and villas. The Dennistouns have had a long and honourable connection with this city, both as Virginia Dons and cotton magnates, and politically they followed their heart more than their own interest, and it is well known that they gave more than sympathy to the unfortunate Prince of the Forty-five when he honoured Saint Mungo with his presence. The Colgrain branch is the recognised head of the name, they having a pedigree that goes back beyond history when their ancestor gave the place-name to the district beyond Finlayston in Renfrewshire. The Maxwells of Stanely Castle came into possession of that holding through intermarriage with the Dennistouns, it having been granted to Sir Robert de Danielston by King Robert the Third on 24th August, 1392.

DIXON STREET, named for William Dixon of Dixon's Blazes. He was born at Govan in 1788. His wife, Elizabeth Strang, was a sister of the City Chamberlain. He died in 1862, and was succeeded by his son, the late W.S.Dixon.

DOBBIE'S LOAN is in great part an old Roman or military road, and was until the beginning of the last century a straggling path which in the sixteenth or seventeenth century formed the access to the crofts and common pasture on the north-west of the city, and apparently had its name from John Dobbie, who owned land early in the seventeenth century outside the Stable Green Port, and members of the Dobbie family continued to hold land in the district for a hundred and fifty years afterwards.

DOUGLAS STREET, named for James Douglas of Mains. James Campbell, the younger brother of Colin Campbell, the fifth of Blythswood, was left the estate of Mains by his mother's father, and he then assumed the name of Douglas.

DOVEHILL (GREAT and LITTLE) was originally the Dow Hill, which was intended to mean dew hill. In Gaelic it is dhu or black hill. The monkish conveyancers, however, rendered it the Hill of Doves.

DRURY STREET. Two youths residing here when it in state of chaos, having got stage struck through reading about Drury Lane Theatre, and wishing to impart as much of a theatrical air as possible to their environs, got the name printed and posted on a corner building, where it stuck to the wall, and has stuck to the locality ever since.

DRYGATE STREET is undoubtedly the oldest thoroughfare in the city. In Jamieson's history of the Culdees it is stated that the Pagans brought the word dry from Germany, as being the name by which every German priest was called. In ancient times, anterior to our ecclesiastical history, a Druidical place of worship stood on the site of the present Necropolis, the only-approach to which must have been the Drygate, hence it was designated the priests' road. A mint-house was erected here during the reign of Robert the Third.

DUKE STREET, opened 1794, is named for the Duke of Montrose, whose lodging overlooked it. Previous to 1801 it extended as far west as Balmanno Street, the name being cut deep in the east corner tenement. It was at first known as Carntyne Road, and is the longest street in any city in the United Kingdom, which came out in the following way: - In the course of a controversy in a weekly periodical on this question, a prize being offered to the person who solved the matter, Oxford Street, London, was given and accepted as the longest; but our respected townsman Mr. M. Gemmel, the well-known property agent, had reason from his own knowledge to be dissatisfied with the award, and he had the street measured, it turning out to be, as he expected, considerably longer than Oxford Street.

DUMBRECK is a corruption of the Gaelic word dunbreac, meaning the hill speckled with daisies, otherwise the spotted rising ground or ridge where heather, bracken, and pasture alternated. The name at present embraces a large area, but originally applied only to Bellahouston Hill, now included in the public park. This in the olden time was the property of the Rowans, one of the oldest territorial families in Govan. The old mansion of Holmfauldhead near Linthouse, and at present (1901) in course of demolition, was their last residence in the district. By the way, the late Earl of Dufferin's lady is the eldest daughter of the late Archibald Rowan Hamilton of Killyleagh Castle, County Down, whose grandsire was Archibald Hamilton Rowan, a son of Old Holmfauldhead, as he was called. This Archibald was rather advanced in his politics, and went to Ireland, where he became secretary to the Society of United Irishmen in 1793, in which year he came to Edinburgh, and for challenging the Lord Advocate of Scotland to fight a duel had to cut and run. Time toned him down and he behaved better after.

DUNCAN STREET (Calton), named in honour of Admiral Duncan, hero of Camperdown.

DUNDAS, PORT, named for Sir Laurence Dundas who cut the first sod of the Forth and Clyde Canal on 10th June, 1768, and the eastern portion, on his own estate, was the foundation of Grangemouth, of which the Earl of Zetland, his descendant, is the superior.

DUNCHATTAN STREET is formed on the lands of Dunchattan, of which George Macintosh was the proprietor. The name means the hill of the Cattanach or Clan Chattan, of which the Macintosh was chief.

DUNLOP STREET, opened 1772. Colin Dunlop of Clyde Iron Works, who was Provost in 1770, opened this street, and built the mansion fronting Argyle Street in 1750. It is the second from the east corner, and is the oldest building in the street. George Murdoch, who was Provost in 1766, had a residence at the corner. It was almost identical with Dunlop's, and latterly was for many years occupied as the Buck's Head Hotel.

EAGLESHAM STREET (Plantation), after the village in Renfrewshire of this name, where the paternal ancestors of the present proprietor of this estate had been engaged in cotton-spinning, they having been proprietors of the factory there in the palmy days of the trade. The late John Ramsay of Kidalton, who was M.P. for the Falkirk Burghs in 1874, was in his youthful days a clerk in this factory when it was being run by Mr White

EGLINTON STREET was originally called Marlborough Street, but at the opening of the Paisley and Johnstone Canal, of which concern the Earl of Eglinton was chairman, the name was changed.

FINNIESTON STREET was formed on the lands of Stobcross, at that time held by John Orr of Barrowfield, who named it after a Mr. Finnie, who was a tutor in his family.

FIRPARK STREET formed the northern boundary of what was previously known as the Fir Park, now the Necropolis.

FLEMINGTON STREET. Part of the lands of Cowlairs, through which this street was formed, was known of old as Flemington.

FORDNEUK STREET, as it's name denotes, was the ford in the corner over Camlachie Burn.

FOX STREET, named in honour of Charles James Fox, the celebrated statesman.

FRANKLIN STREET, named in honour o the American Benjamin, who was at once statesman, scientist, and philosopher.

FRASER STREET, named for D.D.Fraser, a well-known clothier in the east end of the city, who speculated extensively in property.

FREDERICK STREET, opened 1787, was named for the Duke of York.

FRENCH STREET. It was at first called Papillon Street, after Pierre Jacques Papillon, who was brought from Rouen in France in 1785 by George Macintosh to superintend a Turkey-red dyeing establishment, which latterly assumed such large dimensions in the hands of Henry Monteith & Co.

GAIRBRAID STREET was formed on the lands of this name, which was the patrimonial estate of Miss Mary Hill.

GALLOWGATE STREET was formed through the Gallow Muir, which was outwith the Gallowgate Port, near St. Mungo’s Lane.

GARDNER STREET (off Dumbarton Road) was formed on the lands of Muirpark, which had been acquired by Mr. Gardner, flesher, Partick.

GARSCADDEN STREET, after the estate of this name in the parish of New Kilpatrick and county of Dumbarton.

GARSCUBE ROAD, named for estate on the hank of the Kelvin, in the parish of New Kilpatrick, and about four miles from Glasgow. It is the seat of Sir George Campbell, Bart. of Succoth

GARTHLAND STREET, opened 1793. William Macdowal of Gairthland, having bought the Shawfield Mansion, formed this street in the garden which was behind. It extended to the Back Cow Lone, now Ingram Street.

GEORGE SQUARE, opened 1787, and named in honour of King George the Third, of whom it was intended to have a statue in the centre. The public were incensed when it was enclosed; and drew down the railing several times.

GEORGE STREET, east from George’s Square, was opened in 1792, and is named for King George the Third, its extension westward being called West George Street.

GERMISTON STREET, after the lands of that name, which are on the north side of the Monkland Canal, east of Saint Rollox.

GIBSON STREET (Hillhead), named for John Gibson, the superior. It had previously been called King Street.

GIBSON STREET (off Gallowgate Street) is named for James Gibson, a joiner, who feued the ground and formed the street.

GILMOREHILL, whereon sits the College. The first part of the name is purely Celtic, the latter English, and means the servant of Mary’s (Saint Mary) hill.

GIRGENTI is the a rather foreign-sounding title of the small estate which has been acquired for the isolation of habitual inebriates. Timothy Pont, at page 61, of his "Cunningham," mentions, in relation to it, that a small section of the Barony of Bonshaws was acquired by a Captain John Cheape of the army, who resided on it during the last 20 years of his life. This obscure little farm had been previously known by the name of Muirhead; but the new owner changed the name to Girgenti, in compliment to the town of that name in the island of Sicily, to which place in his former peregrinations he mayhap had found cause to form an attachment. He resided here from 1829 till his death, which occurred in the spring of 1850. The property consisted of about 50 Scotch acres. He built a new mansion-house and expended about £6000 on a property the original cost of which was £1350.

GLASSFORD STREET, opened 1793, is formed on the site of Henry Glassford of Dougalston's garden. The Shawfield Mansion was its southern boundary, the eastern wing of which is still there, though considerably altered and the writer remembers seeing, previous to the last alteration, the hooks in the wall whereupon had hung the old garden gate. Since the foregoing was written, the remaining remnant of the old mansion has been swept away, the site having been acquired for a bank.

GLEBE STREET, as its name denotes, was formed on church lands.

GOOSEDUBBS STREET originally extended from Stockwell Street to the Old Wynd, but railway extension has curtailed it. The name originated from the geese belonging to Provost Aird, who resided in Aird's Lane, which adjoins, disporting in the dubbs or puddles in the street.

GORBALS. Garbales is an old term in Scotch law meaning teinds, which may be the origin of the name. The Magistrates and Council bought the lands of Brigend or Gorbals from Sir Robert Douglas of Blaickerston in 1647 for £81,333 6s. 8d. Scots - the half for Hutchesons’ Hospital and the other half between the City and the Trades’ House This purchase included Kingston, Tradeston, Laurieston, and Hutchesontown, bounded on the south by Strathbungo.

GORDON STREET, opened 1802, was formed on ground belonging to Mr. Gordon of Stirling,. Gordon & Co., They were extensive merchants. The family are now represented by Henry Erskine Gordon of Aikenhead.

GOVAN. Chalmers, in his "Caledonia" says the name is a modification of a Gaelic word gamban, pronounced gavan, and signifying a ditch. Leslie, a historian, thinks it comes from two Saxon words, god and win, signifying good wine; but this is too far fetched, as the burgh never had much to do with wine, so that the first is the more likely origin.

GRACE STREET is formed on the Land of Stobcross, and is named in memory of the youngest daughter of John Geddes of Verreville Pottery, she having been burned to death one night when dressing for a ball.

GRAEME STREET (off High Street) was named after Robert Graeme, a former Sheriff-Substitute.

GRAHAMSTON, a district in Anderston, on the north side of Argyle Street, was named for John Graham of Dougalston, who died in 1749.

GUILDRY COURT (off Bridgegate Street) is immediately behind the site of the Old Merchants' House, which was begun to be built in 1651, but the steeple was not finished till 1663. It is still in existence, but the grand old hall was taken down many years since. The Merchants' House Corporation returns five of the nine members who constitute the Dean of Guild Court, including the President or Lord Dean.

HALLSIDE STREET, after the estate of this name, which is in the parish of Cambuslang, and is distant about seven miles from Glasgow

HAMILTON STREET (GREAT), opened 1813, and named for John Hamilton of North Park, who was Chief Magistrate. It had previously been a footpath known as The Pleasants, and was interspersed with self-contained houses, which had gardens back and front. It was at that time nine or ten feet above its present level, and culminated in a hillock about fifteen feet high near its eastern extremity, where stood the toll-house. The Green reached in at this point with a clump of trees, whose branches overhung the roadway till within the last fifty years. The street ends a few yards east of this, where a small burn or gott crosses it, and this burn was of old the dividing line between the City and the burgh of Calton.

HAMILTON STREET (LITTLE), opened 1791. This street had previously been known as the Beggars’ Row.

HANGINGSHAW, a place where people were executed. Aitkenhead Road and Prospecthill Road converge upon and cross each other in this district, and both of them, previous to assuming their present titles, were known as the Hangingshaw Road.

HANGMAN’S HOUSES. This was a row of small dwelling-houses, which stood on the north-east boundary of the ground pertaining to the College, on the line of Drygate Street. They are marked on a map of 1775. The last of the professionals who resided there was known as Hanging Wattie. Tam Young, who died in 1835, was the last of the stock executioners, and "Senex" mentions that his family, ashamed of the odium attached to the calling, went into a far country and sank out of sight. They did not do anything of the kind. Tam's son and name-bearer, who was well known to the writer, followed a professional occupation in this city till the day of his death, which took place several years ago.

HANOVER STREET, opened in 1787, and is named for the Elector of Hanover. This title was borne by the kings of Britain from the time of King George the First till the death of William the Fourth, when, in virtue of the Salic law, it passed by inheritance to Ernest, Duke of Cumberland. This thoroughfare had previously been called David Street.

HARVEY STREET (off Paisley Road), from the Christian name of Harvey Brand, who was proprietor of the ground on which it was formed.

HARVEY STREET (Port-Dundas) after Thomas Harvey, who was originally a carter; but he ultimately became proprietor of several licensed Shops, where he sold meal and whisky, and amassing considerable wealth, he built a distillery in this street, and became proprietor of the lands of Westthorne, which abut upon the banks of the Clyde near Belvidere, where he resided. To secure complete privacy in his domain he tried to stop the right-of-way by the river bank, and built a high wall close down to the water. The public threw it down, only to be rebuilt, this time surmounted with a cheveux de frise and a watch-tower. A gang from Bridgeton, assisted by some miners, blew up the greater part of the little fort with gunpowder. The military latterly had a skirmish in the affair. Meantime, Harvey's shops were boycotted. The matter was fought in the Court of Session, culminating in the House of Lords in favour of the public, which spelled ruin for Tam Harvey of Harvey’s Dyke.

HARVIE STREET (off Dalmarnock Road), named for Douglas Harvie, sometime a contractor there.

HAVANNAH STREET, opened 1763, and named by Gavin Williamson in honour of the capture of the capital of Cuba He had been with the naval contingent, and with his prize-money built the first tenement in it. This thoroughfare has been swallowed up in extending the College Railway Station.

HIGH STREET, opened in 1100. It led to the highest part of the town, but it was of little account until the University was erected in it.

HILLHEAD. Andrew Gibson had been tenant of these lands conjointly with those of Byres of Partick up till June 1702, when he became proprietor, his forbears having been rentallers of the same for a considerable period prior to his succession. The same family were also proprietors about this time of the estates of Overnewton and Balshagrie, and as showing the state of society in the good old, we find it on record that John Gibson of Hillhead is outlawed for non-appearance at the Court of Paisley in 16.87 to answer a charge of robbing an orchard at Whyteford, and, in company with others, committing an outrage upon the proprietor, Mr. Kibble, who was ancestor of the Kibbles of Greenlaw. Another member of the same family was a sort of Greirson of Lagg in regard to the Covenanters who came under his ban while holding the office of Chief Magistrate.

HOLM STREET formed the southern boundary of the holm or hollow called Blythswood Holm.

HOPE STREET, when first opened, was called Copenhagen Street.

HOSPITAL STREET is formed upon the site of St Ninian’s Leper Hospital founded by Lady Lochow in 1350.

HOULDSWORTH STREET is named after Henry Houldsworth. He came from Nottingham towards the end of the eighteenth century to manage a cotton spinning factory which stood on the banks of the Kelvin. His success was phenomenal, as by the beginning of last century he was running on his own account a large factory in Cheapside Street and also a machine shop in John Street (City ), where he was the first to make cotton-spinning machinery in Scotland. On the decay of the cotton trade he merged into that of iron, by starting the Anderston Foundry; and the family are now represented by the Houldsworths of Coltness, which estate they purchased in 1836.

HOWARD STREET (City), opened 1798, and named after the famous philanthropist. This street was in great part formed upon the line of the old rope walk, which extended at one time from Ropework Lane to Oswald Street. The eastern part of the street from Maxwell Street to Stockwell Street is called East Howard Street, and it occupies to a considerable extent the grave yard of the old Town's Hospital, which stood a few yards east of Saint Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral

HOZIER STREET (Bridgeton) was named for James Hozier of Mauldslie, who was Superior of the Barrowfield estate. The name was originally McIlhose. His grandfather was a maltman in Gallowgate Street, and built the tenement at the south-west corner of Candleriggs Street. The family are now represented by Lord Newlands.

HUTCHESON STREET, opened 1790, occupies the site of the first Hutchesons' Hospital. George Hutcheson the founder, was born sometime between 1550 and 1560. He was joined in the work by his brother Thomas. Their father was Thomas Hutcheson of Lambhill. George was a lawyer and money lender. His office and house were on the north side of Trongate Street, near the site of the Tontine. In 1611 he built a house in Partick on the banks of the Kelvin. He died in 1639

HYDE PARK STREET was formed through the demesne of Hyde Park, whereon were a mansion-house, a tan-yard and its adjuncts.


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