The Heritage Trail

Welcome to the Drumchapel Heritage Trail.

We hope you will enjoy our journey around Drumchapel. There are many interesting things to see, so, if you are ready to step back through time let’s begin.

Railway Station

The trail starts at Drumchapel Station. In the begining the North Railway Line was built through the parish of Drumchapel in 1858. It was only with the building of the station some years later that the district became attractive to commuters from Dumbarton and Glasgow.

It played an important part in the development of this area as the people moving into the area began to build houses in and around the station, this became the nucleus of a village.

We leave the station and turn left into Garscadden Road and proceed under the railway bridge. The school on the left side of the road at the corner of Kaystone Road is called Drumchapel Village School.

Drumchapel Village School 1905

The school replaced the first school building (which was south of the canal) in 1905. A model of the proposed building had been shown at the Glasgow Exhibition in 1901 to exemplify the best of school architecture. The School was later designated for children with severe learning difficulties.

It ceased to be a primary school in 1966 and was latterly used as the Thomas Fortune Centre a workshop for adults with physical or learning difficulties. We leave the school and retrace our footsteps back along Garscadden Road.

The corner house on the opposite side of Garscadden Road, South of the corner with Gowanlea Avenue, was the Clubhouse of a golf course which lay between the road and Garscadden Burn; it was converted into two semis after the club closed during the 1914-18 war.

The Post Office

Retracing our footsteps back to the bridge once more we pass the Tennis Club which was founded in 1904. Taking care, we cross the road to the left side where the post office was sited and is now the Ten ‘o’ Clock’ shop. A well known family in the Victorian era called the Goldies lived in Drumchapel, Mr Goldie, his wife, six sons and two daughters. The first Drumchapel Post Office and General Store opened in 1902.

At first the building was a Stationery and Newsagents and General Store. Today photographs can be seen in the Post Office section of the store showing how the building looked in the late 19th century. Mrs Goldie was later given the honour as the oldest inhabitant of the village, of naming Golf Drive adjacent to Garscadden Road.

St. Andrews Church

Just beyond the Post Office, on the corner formed by Garscadden Road and Drumchapel Road, is the White Church’ built in 1939 To replace the first Parish Church. The site was originally the West farm and many of the trees which surrounded the steading, are still standing. The bell which surmounts the East end is the oldest functioning artefact in Drumchapel, cast in 1782 for the parish church of East Kilpatrick (now New Kilpatrick, Bearsden).

The Church contains two stained glass windows of note. A window at the West end was designed by a local Resident to record the second night of the Clydebank Blitz of 1941, when a German bomb demolished the East gable end of the church, without injuring the ‘Bankies’ taking refuge in the cellars.

The restored East wall has a window by a famous Glasgow Artist, the late Alfredo Alvella. This is arguably the best work of art in Drumchapel. Turning the corner and walking along the Church railings, we see set into the lawn between the the church and the railings a memoria stone to Agnes Colquhoun.

Agnes was a daughter of the Laird of Garscadden House and died at the age of 22 in 1811. Although she died and was buried in Cornwall, the family placed this memorial stone in the grounds of Garscadden House. After the demolition of the house it was given into the safekeeping of the church.

Drumchapel Parish Church

This was the first post-reformation church in Drumchapel. It was built in 1901 at a cost of £1,300 as a mission church of the Parish of East Kilpatrick and became Drumchapel Parish Church when Drumchapel Parish was formed in 1923. After the building of the ’White Church’ (to which the bell was taken) it was used as a hall for youth organisations until a youth wing was added to the new church halls in 1966.

Thereafter it was sold for commercial use, first as a TV repair shop store and latterly as a bakery.

Drumchapel Hospital

We look across the road adjacent to the church; there is a driveway that leads up to The Drumchapel Sick Children’s Hospital. Built in the 1800’s as the Country Branch of the Glasgow Sick Children’s Hospital in Garnethill, Glasgow. later The Royal Hospital For Sick Children Yorkhill, it is now mainly a geriatric hospital.

On leaving the Old Church we head east along Drumchapel until we come to the signpost for Garscadden Way at the traffic lights at Kinfauns Drive. We cross at the lights and rejoin the trail. At different intervals along the way, we will see what looks like stone blocks.

Kilpatrick’s Trail or Garscadden Walkway

The trail now takes us along a very pleasant stretch of woodland which has a dense growth of bracken and rose bay willow herb. The woodland comprises mainly oak dominated, scarce trees in the the west and mixed woods in the east. Commonly known as the bluebell woods due to the abundance of bluebells that grow there in the summer, it is also good habitat for woodland birds such as the Grey Tit, the Blue Tit and Chaffinch and for mammals, the grey squirrel and the vole. Before leaving the woods it is worth while putting in a little extra effort to walk up the new path network recently opened by the well known TV Celebrity and Author Magnus Magnuson and view Drumchapel from Hutchison Hill.

Antonine Wall

As we leave the wood we make our way to Monymusk Place where we turn right and walk to the end of the road (sadly this part of the road is being used as an illegal tip).

There is a gate leading into a field; if we go into this field and look up the hill to the right we will be able to see the line of the Antonine Wall. We next visit St. Laurence Chapel.

St. Laurence R.C. Church

This hacienda type building was given a ‘B’ Category listing in 1996 More details of this and the other Drumchapel Churches are given ir the Drumchapel Story.

We continue along Kinfauns Drive, turn right at Howgate Avenue to Dunkenny Road again until we reach Drumry Road and Drumry St Mary’s Primary School. Within the playground adjacent to Abbotshall Drive is the site of the Peel of Drumry.

The Peel of Drumry was one of the most famous landmarks in Drumchapel, built about the time of the Baronies over four hundred years ago but eventually demolished by the Glasgow Corporation

North Lodge Gate Wall

We leave Dunkenny and proceed down through the Shopping Centre. Crossing at the traffic lights, we turn left and make our way to Linkwood Crescent. About a third of the way up we come to The Northgate Lodge Wall. This wall is all that remains as a reminder of Garscadden Estate when Garscadden House once stood in its grounds. This wall was once part of the North Lodge; although of solid Castilian build it was not as ornate as the South Lodge with its ‘Girnin Gates’.

Burial Crypt

We now walk over toward the high- flats at Linkwood Crescent and we will come to a curious stone structure surrounded with iron railings. This strange building was not, as some would have us believe, an altar for satanic rites, but probably built as a burial cryp for the Colquhoun Family. Although it is uncertain if it was ever used, there are some engravings on the stonework, which give indication to when it was built. On leaving the crypt we take a stroll down the pathway of the estate and head south for Garscadden Road. To the left of the path you will see a large green mound and a twisted tree stump with parts of the tree lying beside it. This is all that remains of Garscadden House and the once great trees that flanked it: now all that is left are those which are growing through the pavement adjacent to the White Church in Garscadden Road.

Behind the remains of the House, in Southdeen Playpark, a rather amazing discovery was made – the ’Southdeen Canon’; the story of this canon is given in more detail in the Drumchapel Story.

We now near the end of the trail as we make our way to Garscadden Road at the new entrance to the estate which, incidentally, is the old site of the Girnin Gates.

Garscadden Estate

On leaving Garscadden Wood we head down to Garscadden Road, on the right of the burn. We will then proceed along a pathway which will take us through the site of where the Girnin Gates once stood.

The Gates are described in more detail in the ‘Drumchapel Story’. They were part of the Garscadden Estates South Lodge. The name ’Girnin’ was due to a strange phenomenon; when it rained water would run down on to the iron gargoyles’ heads and would run down over their eyes giving the appearance of crying or girnin. There are some rumours that a little girl was murdered in the locality but research has disproved this.

We now reach the final stage of the trail; as we turn left into Garscadden Road we come to the burn where it passes under the road. We have been informed that many years ago there was an old mill lade situated where the water runs under the road but was demolished when the road was built and the ruins eventually disappeared. We now proceed along Garscadden Road to the village, where we come to the end of the trail.

We hope you enjoyed it!

Additional Information

It is the aim of Drumchapel Heritage Group, to have Marker Stones with name plaques and dates, to mark and commemorate the sites of those buildings on the trail, some of which are no longer in existence.





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