The Peel of Drumry

The Peel of Drumry

A place of attraction to the rows was a big building which stood in the stockyard of the farm of North Drumry, said to have been built after 1530.  This historic building was the Peel of Drumry.

For over four hundred years until 1956 it was one of Drumchapel’s most famous landmarks.  This stone building which was sixteen feet high, with walls two feet thick stood in the stockyard of the farm of North Drumry, (on a site between Abbotshall Avenue and Halgreen Avenue).

Apparently it had been built somewhere between 1530 and 1540 by Laurence Crawford who’s family originally came from Ayrshire, but it is quite possible that a similar building had stood on the same ground hundreds of years earlier.

The tower was built as a vantage point so that from the top one could see far distances from this drum or ridge where perhaps some ancient king had built his fort.  After all, the place name of Drumry means ridge of the king.

The Livingston’s, early landowners of Drumry in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries before the Crawfords, took possession of the land.  It does seem almost certain that the Peel which stood until 1956 was the work of Laurence Crawford, or at any rate a restoration by him of earlier work.

The tower had to be repaired twice in the nineteenth century, once by the Rev. J. Campbell Colqohoun.

The latter fitted up the upper portion of the tower as a bothy for the male servants employed on the farm, while the ground floor was used as a stable.  Mr.Veitch, the last farmer at North Drumry, used the Tower to store oats.  The famous building had become a barn.

With the building of the housing estate and the invasion of the “Townies” the Historical monument came under threat of demolition.  This despite pleas and offers of cash aid by the director of Museums and Art Galleries, the Glasgow Archaeological Society, the National Trust for Scotland, the Ministry of Works and the Glasgow Tree Lovers Society.  However, the Housing committee of the Glasgow Corporation had reached a decision which seemed immovable.

The Conservative M.P. also raised question in the House of Commons for Scotstoun, Sir James Hutchison inviting the Secretary of State to “Take steps to prevent the demolition of this Historic building”.

One of the main opponents to saving the Peel, was Peter G. Forrester, Convener of Glasgow Corporation Housing Committee.  He said at the time “that to say that the Peel of Drumry should be maintained is like saying that some of Glasgow’s ancient slums should be maintained for all time”.  We can’t agree.

So, despite offers of cash from various bodies interested in saving the Peel, the housing committee of the Glasgow Corporation upheld their decision on the 1st November 1956.  Work on the demolition began on the 6th November 1956 just five days later and was completed in a very short time.

The original stones from the Peel of Drumry can still be seen today as they form part of the rockery in the Garden of Remembrance at the rear of St.Mary’s Parish Church in Drumry Road.



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