Category Archives: Buildings

Lunchtime Walk – Linn Park, Glasgow

One of the advantages of working in the South Side of Glasgow is the number of lovely parks within a short distance from my office. Last week I had walked with a colleague through Queens Park and this week we went to Linn Park.

I had been on a walk in the Linn Park in August 2012 (which can be viewed here ) so I was familiar with many of the paths in the park. 

Holmwood House

One of the first places we visited on the walk was Holmwood House which was designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s and is regarded as his finest domestic design. It was built in 1857-8 for James Couper, a local businessman. The house is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and is only open from April to September. We were able to walk round the house and its grounds.

Holmwood House 


After walking round the grounds of Holmwood House, we found a walk beside White Cart Water and arrived at Snuffmill Bridge. The original mill was built in the18th century as Cathcart Meal Mill and became a cardboard mill in 1812 for Solomon Lindsay of Penicuik. In 1814 a snuff mill was added. The River Cart was an important river for industrial use.  

Snuffmill Bridge

The view from the bridge was very pleasant as the photographs below show.

View from Snuffmill Bridge
View from Snuffmill Bridge

The path along the river was quite muddy, but we had walking shoes on and not office ones!   

 In some places there were steep steps, but they were easy to climb.

White Cart Water

Linn Park Waterfall
We came to a waterfall, which is the most popular feature in the park. When I were last in this area in August 2012 the waterfall was disappointing, but today it had plenty of water cascading over it. Linn is the Scottish word for waterfall.

Waterfall in Linn Park February, 2014

In August 2012 the waterfall was less spectacular.

Waterfall August 2012

We had time to admire the waterfall before making our way back to the office. It has been a pleasant walk.


Filed under Buildings, General, Glasgow City, Scotland, Short Walks, strathclyde

Holding the Rock for Scotland – Dumbarton Castle

At the weekend Historic Scotland held a re-enactment of the defence of Dumbarton Castle during the Scottish Civil War. It was a cold, wet and windy day, but it was still very entertaining and the Castle was very busy.

Dumbarton Castle is situated on an extinct volcano and there are 540 steps to climb to get to the top of it. We did it twice. It is not too difficult for a reasonably fit person.
Dumbarton Castle
On March 26th,1639 the Covenanters seized Dumbarton Castle. Dumbarton Castle was located on the River Clyde and controlling it would prevent unauthorised access to Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
Who Were ‘The Covenanters’?
These were the Scottish Presbyterians who in 1638 signed the “National Covenant” to uphold the Presbyterian religion and the “Solemn League and Covenant” of 1643, which was a treaty with the English Parliamentarians.
Covenanters flag
The Covenanters made a stand for political and religious liberty that led to almost a century of persecution and their widespread migration to Ulster and the American colonies.
Covenanters used the base of  muskets to attack the enemy
The Covenanters sought to have the church organised as written in the  Scriptures. There was only one Head of the Kirk – Jesus Christ  and they refused to accept the King in that role. Charles I was a Stuart King who believed in the divine right of kings.
Firing muskets
Close-up of an officer refilling his musket with gunpowder
The muskets were filled with gunpowder and lit by a rope soaked in saltpeter. If it was wet, the muskets often misfired. The gunpower was kept in small wooden containers worn on a belt across the body.
The Covenanters were not taught swordfighting
The Covenanters were issued with a short sword but were not taught to swordfight. Only gentlemen were taught this. They preferred to use the end of their muskets or a small dagger to attack the enemy.
The officer on the right in the above photograph is a man of substance as he can afford boots. Ordinary soldiers wore shoes instead.
Clothing of the Covenanters
The Covenanters wore clothing which they could get a hold of and did not have an official uniform. They mostly wore grey. The gentleman in red is a man of substance as he can afford better quality cloth.
A seargent
A seargent could be identified by the long wooded pole he held with a curved dagger at the top. 
Blowing the doors of the castle open
Using a charge to open the doors
To open the doors of the castle, a tripod was used to hold a charge which caused a small explosion.
Making the lead pellets for the muskets
The Covenanters had a few watchwords including ‘Jesus and no quarter’ and ‘God is with us’.  On entering the Castle we had to say these words.
It was a very interesting day and we learned a lot about this important period in Scottish history.
Further Information
Grid reference: NS 398 744.

Historic Scotland:



Filed under Buildings, Castles, General, Scotland, strathclyde

Buchanan Street, Glasgow

Glasgow is one of the top shopping centres in Europe and most of the up-market stores and brands are found in Buchanan Street. Brands such as Karen Millen, Apple, Omega, Rolex, Hermes, Prada, Gucci etc are sold in the shops in this famous street. 

It is the 6th most expensive street in the UK with regard to retail rents (the first five are in London).

Buchanan Street dates from the late 18th century and is named after Andrew Buchanan of Buchanan, Hastie, & Co who was a wealthy tobacco lord. He was the owner of the ground on which the current street is located.

In keeping with a city which became very wealthy through trading with the Americas and West Indies, many of the buildings are very ornate and beautiful both externally and internally.

While I was there recently I spent some time looking at the buildings as I walked from the top of the street, just outside Glasgow Concert Hall, to Argyle Street at the bottom.

 Concert Hall

It is not unusual to find an opera singer or band performing outside the Concert Hall and on the day I was there Canadian opera singer Kyla Lingley was singing some well-known operatic arias to raise money for breast cancer. Many of the other shoppers stopped to listen to a wonderful singing voice. 

Walking down the street, the beautiful carvings on many of the buildings are testament to the wealth of the City which was once known as the ‘Second City of the British Empire’ in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

 Below shows some photographs of Buchanan Street.

Outside the North Face Shop
Outside the Royal Bank of Scotland

St George’s Tron Church
Urban Outfitters
Frasers Department Store

Nationwide Building Society

As the above photographs show, Buchanan Street has some of the most beautiful Victorian architecture in Glasgow

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Filed under Buildings, Lanarkshire, Scotland, strathclyde