Cathcart Heritage Trail

On Friday 10th June 2011, I was fortunate enough to meet a tourist holding a copy of this rare leaflet. The Cathcart Heritage Trail leaflet was published by Glasgow District Council circa 1990. Robert Paterson, a Canadian citizen whose family roots are in Glasgow, was over to see those roots. He was kind enough to lend it to me, so I rushed home and scanned it. This fortunate meeting was of course followed by a pint in the Old Smiddy ! 

Recently, remapping several of the paths, we decided to review the description of the Heritage Trail, splitting it into two sections, both of which start and finish at the Old Smiddy, where parking is usually easy.

The revised Cathcart Heritage Trail generally covers the same places of interest as before, but with a few additions. The original numbering of the places on the trail has been retained, but the route has been considerably revised into two distinct loops.

The first loop runs through old Cathcart to the Snuffmill Bridge, and then covers New Cathcart, before covering more of Old Cathcart. The second loop is a walk around Linn Park which again has old and new items. The descriptions are taken, mostly verbatim, from the original leaflet.

To see the map of the Heritage Trail - click here.

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Please also see the History section on this web site.

Please Note: this article is nearly complete ! Any comments to gents@linnpark.org.uk

Intoduction to The Villages of Cathcart - Old and New

The name Cathcart is thought to be derived from the Celtic 'caer' meaning 'fort' and 'cart' meaning a fenilising sffeam. Cathcart used to be a small village on the banks of the White Cart. Its history goes back to the times of King David I of Scotland (1124-1153). The king gave Cathcart to Walter Fitzalan, a loyal knight who was appointed Great Steward of Scotland. In his tum, Fitzalan, divided his lands amongst other knights and Renaldus was given Cathcart. The Cathcart lineage continued with Sir William de Ketkert who, in 1296, signed the Ragman Roll thus swearing allegiance to Edward I, King of England.

Cathcart, and its neighbouring village, New Cathcart, developed as business people were attracted to the area to use the river for its power and its clean water. Grain mills, paper mills, dye and carpet works and an iron foundry were built on the riverbanks. The Victorians brought railways and, later, trams were introduced and new tenemental streets were laid out. Wealthy city folk, atracted by the rural village charm, built fine new villas between the two villages.

The maps below show this change: on the left circa 1858 there are four large houses and two mills, whereas by 1896 the railway had arrived, and the "garden suburb" was developing.

Today Cathcart is a bustling suburb in a large modem city. Despite losing some of its old industries and buildings, Cathcart still retains much of its identity as a village in a City.

The Patron Saint of Cathcart was St Oswald - 604 to 642 AD.

The trail takes you through the 'Victorian parts of Cathcart showing where local industries developed, where the new tenemental city streets were laid out and where the 'garden suburbs' arose. In the older 'ancient' Cathcart, you are taken back to the time of Robert the Bruce, of castles, and hereditary annourers, old corn mills, ancient graveyard and the coming of Christianity. The trail takes the walker through the 'garden' suburb of Victorian villas.

Many of the images shown are taken from the original leaflet - which does not appear to include any copyright statements. Apparently it was first published by Glasgow District Council.

A marvellous source of information can be found at: http://www.scotcities.com/cathcart/cathcart.htm. The photographs are excellent and give a real feel of the architecture and heritage of Cathcart. 

Another source of information comes from Canmore Historic Environment Scotland, and is at https://canmore.org.uk/. The description od Cathcart is given as "A parish in Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire until 1975. A medieval parish and a parish for both civil and religious purposes from the sixteenth century until 1975. The boundaries of the civil parish were altered by the Boundary Commissioners in 1891."

The Old Smiddy pub makes a better place to Start and Finish both loops. Parking is available in the pub's car park or on Old Castle Road.

Part 1 of the Trail - The Villages

14: Cathcart Village Smiddy

The Smiddy has been an important part of the village. A local family called Peddie were hereditary armourers to the Earls of Cathcart. Upstairs there used to be a Dog Infirmary, run by one of the Peddie sons who became a vet. The Smiddy is on part of the site of Castle Mains Farm which was run by another branch of the Peddie family who moved from Aikenhead, a neighbouring estate, where they had been gardeners.

25: Granny Robertson's

From the Old Smiddy, Snuff Mill Road opposite leads to the bridge. This was once the main road from Glasgow to the south.

The ground now occupied by villas at no 9 and I I was the site of Granny Robertson's, also known as the 'Wee thack hoos in the glen', a well known 'watering hole' said to have been frequent'd by Burns on his visits to Glasgow in search of a publisher.

Carry on down the road to Lindsay House. In the summer the sound of the bees in the Lime Trees can be astonishingly loud.

24: Lindsay House

Just before you reach the bridge on the right is Lindsay House, a four.storey tenemental building built in 1863 by David Lindsay as homes for himself and his workers. Lindsay's inonogram is carved in stone above the doorway to the left of the main building. On completion David Lindsay decided to stay in Mill Cottage.

Note the date of building above the main door and the Cathcart Heritage Trail Plaque.

23: The Snuff Mill and Mill House

To the left just before the bridge you will see the SnuffMill and Mill House.

The mill was built in the 18th Century to grind the local farmers' grain and was originally known as the Cathcart Meal Mill. It was converted to cardboard making in 1812 by Solomon Lindsay who came over from Cowan's Paper Woiks in Penicuik, south of Edinburgh. Snuff milling was added in 1814 and gives the mill its name although it was a small scale activity. Apparently Lindsay operated the mill on a cooperative basis and 'leased' parts of the mill to orher millers. Solomon's son David, was bom in 1817 and continued the family business. Mill 19, as it was also known, employed five men, each with an apprentice boy, operating two vats, two beating machines, two sets of collanders and a guillotine. The mill and Lindsay's cottage next to it, known as Mill Cottage, were sold in 1905 to a Mr Mclntosh. He demolished the cottage and built Mill House which remains today.

The plaque is on the corner of the building just to the left of the bridge.

22: The Snuffmill Bridge

Before you is the Netherlee Road bridge built in the 18th Century, although there is a datestone of '1624' which was reinserted at a reconstruction of the bridge. The two span rubble bridge has a main arch over the White Cart and the road is on an incline to the west bank. The bridge was at one time the only bridge crossing the River Cart when Netherlee Road was the main traffic route from Glasgow to Aytshire and the south.

Walk across the bridge enjoying the views along the river on both sides. Dippers, Wagtail, Kingfishers, and Herons can often be seen.

As you proceed up toward Rhannan Road, not the doorways and windows in the stone wall on your right.

27: View of the Garden Suburb

As you reach Rhannan Road at the top turn right and pause to take in the view along it towards Cathcart station. The area in front of you was laid out by wealthy Victorians for their villas. New Cathcart lies to your left and the old village of Cathcart lies to your right. Rhannan Road and Holmhead Road, which you will walk along next, were the first streets laid out for this 'garden' suburb.

Proceed to your right down Rhannan Road, and after a few steps turn right into Rhannan Terrace.

26: Holmhead House

Holmhead House is at the end of the street.

It was once occupied by the second of the Geddes Brothers (see below for the Geddes Carpet and Dye Works).

To proceed to Cathcart TrinityChurch, and the Couper Institute walk down Rhannan Road, tum left into Holmhead Road at the bottom of the hill and walk along to the end of the road.

You will see many fine houses as you walk along Holmhead Road. Go right to the end along the dead end to traffic. Turn right into Clarkson Road: the church is o the opposite side of the road.

Cross over the often busy Clarkston Road.

Some photographs taken on 9th August 2018.

1: Cathcart Trinity Church and Couper Institute

The foundation stone for Cathcart South Church was laid in 1893. The church was designed by W. G. Rowan.

The Couper Institute was erected in 1887 to provide a public hall, a reading room and a library. £8,000 was provided from a bequest by Robert Couper (see Millholm Paper Mill & Holmwood House) to buy books and pay the wages of a librarian cum caretaker. In 1912, after Cathcart became part of the City, Glasgow Corporation altered the Institute and took responsibility for it.

Miss Marion Couper, the last member of the family, carried on the tradition of local benefaction when she launched a fund raising campaign to build what was until recently the Victoria Infirmary at Battlefield. Health services were  virtually non-existent at that time on the south side of the City. The Couper family is buried in the old parish graveyard (See 13: The Graveyard below).

Walk down Clarkston Road past the Institute and on your left just beyond the Bus Stop, you will see some modem flats.

2: Thornbank House

The modem flats were built in the grounds of Thornbank House. This was a modest mansion and a home of one of the Geddes Brothers who owned the Carpet and Dye Works not far away on the southern bank of the White Cart (see below).

Note: searching Canmore for more information yields nothing ....

Cross the turning up to the left [Menreith Road East], walk under the railway bridge and tum left into Newlands Road, or optionally divert via Cathcart Station and look up Berridale Avenue

8a: Berridale Avenue - Garden Suburb

To look up Berridale Avenue, cross over Clarkston Road at the traffic lights, and walk along Delvin Road. It is opposite the entrance to the staion. The terraced houses of Berridale Avenue are typical of why more and more people were attracted by the rural charm of the area, and they decided to build their villas on the land between the two older settlements. Cathcart expanded very quickly in the late 19th Century and the population increased from some 3,000 persons to over 27,000 in the 20 years from 1861.

8: Cathcart Station

The station entrance is via the walkway under the railway. The actual station building is worth a quick look. 

Continue out the other side. As you emerge, on your right is a new block of flats built on what was once a bronze foundry presumambly making bearings for Weirs. Turn left and go back to Clarkston Road. Cross over opposite the Post Office, and tyrn left and right back to Newlands Road.

For more information see the second section 8 below on the Cathcart Circle and Cathcart Station.

3: New Cathcart Church

Soon on your left you will pass New Cathcart Church, designed bv I. B. Wilson, and built in 1907.

It is a late Gothic church with a 'pencil' tower.

It was converted into flats some years ago.

4: The Holm Foundry

Across the road now you will se the large building with an 'Art Deco' clock tower.

This is the headquarters of what was originally Weir Pumps, later part of the Weir Group - now Clyde Union Pumps. The western part of the office block was built in 1912 and is an early example of a reinforced concrete building.

The Weir brothers, George and John, established the Holm Foundry here in 1886.

The company they started became world famous for manufacturing pumps of all shapes and sizes. Originally occupying only half an acre, the company bought out smaller local companies in order to expand.

J. Weir (1843-1920) served his apprenticeship by working as a ship's engineer and later with marine engineering firms. His brother George was working in Liverpool. It was not until 1871 that the brothers went into partnership and eventually moved to Glasgow in 1873. They had no premises of their own and had their machine parts and pumps made by foundries at Hydepark in Springbum which were already making steam locomotives for the railways.

The Weir brothers estabished their reputation as engineers when ritish shipbuilders were moving from sail to steam. The problem at the time was how to make steam with less coal and use its power more efficiently. The Weir partnership invented the 'Hydrokineter', a device for raising steam more cheaply, and pioneered 'regenerative feed heating' as a technique whereby cold water coming into a boiler was preheated by hot expanded steam coming out of the boiler.

The biggest development in steam power at the time was the compound engine which used the power of the expanding steam twice. Boilers were able to be operated at higher and higher pressures and the problems of corrosion of the boilers by hot sea water was reduced

The Holm Foundry also made pumps for many other installations including steam locomotives. The pumps were always noticeable for their 'wheeze and thump'.

Turn about and go back down Newlands Road.

5: The Geddes Carpet and Dye Works

From Newlands Road turn left into Holmhead Place. You are now passing traditional Victorian tenements. The blocks of four storey properties to the right were erected on the site of the Geddes Brothers Carpet and Dye Works. Nearby there were cottages for their workers.

When you get to the river, turn right alongside the River Cart into Holmhead Crescent to rejoin Clarkston Road.

Keep a look out for the difierent 'Wally Close' tiles in the tenements both here and elsewhere on the trail.

Note: A 'Wally Close' has ceramic tiles on the walls, and a Close is a passage way giving access to the uppper storeys via a common, shared stairway.

Note: There is a map showing the location of Geddes Carpet Factory on Scotcities.

7: Cathcart New Bridge, Holmlea Road / Clarkston Road

Turn left at Clarkston Road and walk over the bridge.  

Before 1800 there was only a ford. Cathcart New Bridge was erected in 1901 to replace a humpback bndge that was so narrow that two farm carts could only just pass each other.

At about the same time Clarkston Rood was widened and Holmlea Road was built allowing Glasgow's trams to come into the area.

As you walk along the street try to imagine the White No 19 trams rattling their way between Cathcart and Springburn and the Yellow No 5's plying between Nethetlee and Kirklee. 

The trams were competing for passengers with the horse drawn omnibuses. At one time some 900 journeys a day were made between Cathcart and the City.

Some examples of the trams and omnibuses are on display in the Museum of Transport - now a substantial part of the Riverside Museum and Transport on the Clyde riverside at Partick. It is well worth a visit. 

On some of the red sandstone tenements you can still see the hooks which held wires across then road from which the tram wires were suspended - as in the photograph.

Canmore quotes as follows:

New Bridge, Holmlea Road, Glasgow This single-span masonry arch bridge was built in 1900-02, to replace an earlier hump-backed structure, over the White Cart Water. It was part of a major road-improvement scheme to bring electric tram services to Cathcart and Netherlee. This [the picture in the link] shows the flat single-segmental span, faced in red sandstone, with polished red granite balustraded parapet. The White Cart is liable to sudden spates, hence the size of the water way.

Behind the bridge are tenements built to accommodate workers in G & J Weir's Holm Foundry.

The construction of the Cathcart District Railway, opened in 1886 and completed as the Cathcart Circle, and of the electric tramway had turned Cathcart from a quiet, old-fashioned estate and mill village into a busy industrial and residential suburb of Glasgow by 1914.

Scotcities quotes as follows:

The “New Bridge” shown in the map had opened in 1800, facilitating development of the land on the other side of the river from the old settlement of Cathcart. It was replaced with the present day polished granite bridge in 1901, allowing the extension of the tram routes all the way to Netherlee.

6: Holmlea Public School

Once over the bridge, on your left, you will see Holmlea Primary School. Carry on past it and turn left into Tulloch Street. As you walk down toward the river, the architecture is worth noting:

  • The railings around the school, although corroded, have a distinctive modernistic design.
  • The Tenements are four storeys, but tall and elegant. Note the features on the facing stones. 
  • At the end, where there was obviously another close, the design of the modern flats leave a lot to be desired. One wonders how Glasgow Council gave itself planning permission to "plonk" this unattractive specimen just here.

Walk to the end and turn left at the end into Spean Street, and follow the river back to Clarkston Road. You have circumnavigated the old school.

It was originally called Holmlea Public School (see the inscription on the wall facing you). It was opened by the Cathcart Parish School Board on 4th September 1908 for 500 children, to replace the overcrowded parish school at Craig Road.

Local school boards were set up under the Education Act of 1872 to replace the 'parish school' system. By the 1950's there were nearly 1,000 children here and the Couper Institute was pressed into service as a school until new schools could be built in the 60's. The building is a fine example of an Edwardian school. There are many interesting features about its architecture, including the detailing on the playground railings and the design of the janitor's house.

Scotcities notes as follows:

Holmlea School, which was designed by A. Balfour, opened in 1908. It has a symmetrical Renaissance style frontage with modernistic Art-nouveau decoration to both the stonework and the fencing surrounding the playground. The red sandstone façade has more elaborate features than is usual for schools of this time.

Holmlea served as a local primary school for nearly 100 years, until June 2005, when the last pupils crossed its doors. The costs of repairs and renovation, required to bring the building up to the same standard as modern custom-built schools will mean that if an alternative use cannot be economically found, demolition will be the eventual fate of this fine old structure.

Cathcart is the nearest station to this building.

It is understood that the current plan is conversion into flats.

8: Cathcart Circle, Cathcart Station

At the end of Spean Street, cross over into Old Castle Road, and walk under the railway bridge. Just before you have pass under the first railway bridge, peer across the river and you can see the foot bridge hanging below the main bridge. Note the blocked up entrance to the station on your right as you pass under the bridge. You vcan peer through the ventilation hole and asee the steps leading up to the bridge. [Where does that come out on the other side ?]

Railways came to Cathcart in 1886 with the Cathcart & District Railway Co. Later the Lanarkshire & Ayrshire Railway Co. developed their line from Newton westwatds to the Ayrshire coast to link to ports such as Saltcoats and Ardrossan with the Lanarkshire coalfields. The existing station is the second one in Cathcart. The first was a terminus on the other side of the Cart.

If you walk to the end of the platform you will see the site of the original terminus station. It was used later as a Goods and Coal Depot for Cathcart. It is now a large estate of flats.

The current station was opened in 1894 on completion of the 'Cathcart Circle'. The station, at an important railway junction, was also used by other railway companies to run holiday specials and boat trains to the coast, as more and more City folk took holidays by the sea at Bute, Cumbrae, Largs, Ardrossan, and Arran.

The usual sources are as follows:

As you approach the roundabout cross over and go up into Old Castle Road.

9: Edith Cottage

The corner to your right was once the site of a steading called Kilmailing. It was until recently occupied by a small white house called Edith Cottage. It was originally built as an Old Men's Club and was opened on 14th September 1935 bv Mrs Edith Shoesmith, the wife of a local councillor. 

After it was demolished, the ground was turned over to being a Community Garden. As from April 2018 the area was taken over for the site compound for the second phase of the White Cart Flood Prevention scheme. It will be returned to a community garden at the completion of the works.

Retrace your steps and turn right up Manse Brae with the new flats on your left.

10: The Parish Manse

The first manse at the top of the Brae occupied ground to your left. It was eventually vacated when a new manse was built not far away (see 12: Old Cathcart Parish Church Tower below). Effectively much of its ground is under the railway.

The house and its ground were then occupied by the Mclndoe family. J Mclndoe had been a carter, carrying loads by horse and cart for his many cliens who included R & J Couper at Millholm (see 17: Millholm Paper Mill below in Part 2 of the trail) and C & J Weir (see 4: The Holm Foundry above). The place was a hive of activity, being home for his wife, their seven children, eight horses, three cows, and an assortment of pigs, chickens and ducks !

11: The Parish School

Walk up Manse Brae to the top of the hill - before you get to Manse Brae Garage. The first parish school was built across the road on a site now undemeath the railway. A larger schoolhouse replaced it where Atholl and Knowe Terraces are today.

Quite where these two terraces were is not currently clear. A post in the Dundee Evening Post [last entry] reads:

BIRTHS. Fulton.—At Knowe Terrace, Cathcart, the 7th inst., the wife of Alexander Fulton, of a daughter.

The single teacher was called a 'dominie'. Andrew Camduff was dominie for thiny years from 1846. In 1876 the parish school system ended and the building became a Sunday School.

Pictures of the old schools are available on Scotcities. Search for "school" using Ctrl and F keys together. Take the 6th one. You may be lucky, and this link might work "oldest of the schools".

12: Old Cathcart Parish Church Tower

Turn hard right at the top of the 'brae' into Kilmailing Road and you will see a Belfry Tower. This is all that remains of the Parish Church built in 1831. You need to peer over the wall as the gates are all pad-locked.

Walk back and turn right along the graveyard boundary wall. First you pass the new manse.

If you look across Carmunnock Road from here you will see the new Cathcart Old Parish Church and its manse [see 10: The Parish Manse above]. Its foundation stone was laid in 1928, and together with the manse, it replaced the older church. The old parish bell was moved to the new church in 1958 and still rings today.

The 1831 church is thought to be the fifth on this site since 1707. There is reason to believe that the site of St. Oswald's Well is near here, the place where Christianity was declared in Cathcart some 1,000 years ago.

St Oswald was the King of Northumbria, an area which included Strathclyde. The Church was referred to as St Oswald's prior to the Reformation and the name of St Oswald is still used for a local school. In 1160, Walter Fitzalan, who founded Paisley Abbey, bestowed upon it, thirteen churches, one of which was Cathcart.

More on the church here: https://www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSE00968

13: The Graveyard and the Polmadie Martyrs

Surrounding the tower is the graveyard. One used to be able to enter through a gate in the wall alongside the main road. It is now locked. It is understood that the key is with Glasgow Council, and the best place to request it is at the Parks Department's depot in Kings Park.

Laid at rest here are the rich, the famous and the poor; the parish minister, the local blacksmith, the Halls, the Lindsays, and the Coupers.

If you mangae to get in the gate, follow the path towards the tower and you will discover the tomb of the Polmadie Manyrs; Roben Thome, Thomas Cooke, and John Urie. These men were under suspicion of signing the National Covenant to restore Presbyterianism to Scotland against the proclamations of Charles I.

The men were apprehended on the 11th May 1685 at Polmadie Mill and shot by soldiers from a local garrison, led by a Major J Balfour.

More information on the Polmadie Martyrs can be found at: http://www.covenanter.org.uk/cathcart.html

There is also a watch house and mortsafe here, both being devices whereby relatives could protect newly interred bodies from the growing trade in body-snatching.

The current Cathcart Old Parish Church also has a heritage exhibition. The church is usually open between 10 am and 3pm via the Haven cafe.

Return to the main road [Carmunock Road] and carry on till you reach Crompton Avenue. Turn down it and walk to the end.

14: The Village Smiddy and Castle Mains Farm

When you reach Old Castle Road, the Smiddy, now a public house and restaurant, is on your left.

The Smiddy has always been, and still is, an important part of the village - especially to the Gentlemen Walkers ....

A local family called Peddie were hereditary armourers to the Earls of Cathcart. Upstairs there used to be a Dog Infirmary, run by one of the Peddie sons who became a vet.

The Smiddy is on part of the site of Castle Mains Farm which was run by another branch of the Peddie family who moved from Aikenhead, a neighbouring estate, where they had been garrdeners.

Visit Scot cities for some great pictures.

Time for a break. Beware the "oaky beams" are actually plastic - but the food, ale, and service are all fantastic.

Part 2 of the Trail - Linn Park

15: Court Knowe

Come out of the Old Smiddy, and turn right up the hill on the left keeping to the pavement of Old Castle Road, and take the steps up the hill.

The Cathcart Heritage Trail plaque is set into the wall on the wall at the bottom of the steps.

As you near the top you will notice that the road is in a cutting, reputedly dug out as the defensive ditch, 7 metres wide and 3.5 metres deep, for Cathcart Castle the ruins of which are to your right - see 16: Cathcart Castle below.

On the left is a path which takes you up to Court Knowe, where on the hill top there is a memorial stone to Mary Queen of Scots.

Looking north and to your left you may notice the hilltop at Battle Place, Langside, and Queens Park. The Court Knowe is reputedly the vantage point from which Mary Queen of Scots watched her troops, led by Lord Claude Hamilton, being defeated, in the Battle of Langside, by the smaller army led by the Regent Moray.

Bearing in mind that Cathcart Castle was occupied by the enemy, and is in cross bow range it is an unlikely spot for Mary to be. Indeed there are other plaques claiming she was elsewhere - e.g. Langside College. Best guess is Prospect Hill.

The area was recently restored after the community [based on the Old Smiddy] won a "Bovril award". A view point was established and a lovely wooden bench procured. Unfortunately the area is not well maintained by the council, and recently an attempt to set fire to the bench was made, resulting in it being scorched. It was removed by the council, and has not been seen since.

Follow the path through the scrub [in which there is an old quarry to your left] to where it meets the tarmac path from Court Hill. Turn right down the path. You will see another old quarry on your right. You then emerge onto Old Castle Road - supposedly a 20 mph zone - Cross it and enter Linn Park through the gates [one fell off a few years ago].

16: Cathcart Castle

Once in the park, within a few yards of the gate, on the right [just opposite the sign post which does NOT have a sign to the Castle] is an overgrown tarmac path. The very overgrown castle remains are at the top of it. All that remains is the U-Shaped part of the basement. Please do not be disappointed. Nor can you enjoy the view due to lack of maintenance.

This castle is the old seat of the Earls of Cathcart. The Cathcart family has a long military tradition. The son of Sir William de Ketkert, Sir Alan of Cathcart, fought alongside Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Loudon Hill in 1307. The heir to the family died at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. ln 1807 the 10th Baron was created. 

Viscount Cathcart and Baron Greenock. The present Earl, the 6th, retired from the army having been a Brigadier commanding the 152nd Highland Brigade. On retirement, he held the rank of Major General and resided in London. His son and heir inherited in 1999. [This paragraph had to be updated - as it was written originally prior to 1990]. The son was commissioned 2nd Lieut, Scots Guards 1973-75; He has served as Councillor, Brecknock District Council since 1998; is a Member, Royal Company of Archers; and was elected to the House of Lords (Conservative) 2007.

The family history is here: http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/cathcart1814.htm

The ruins of the Castle occupy a rectangular site on high ground above the White Cart. The castle was erected as a five storey rectangular keep surrounded by a 'barmkin', a defensive enclosure, which had corner turrets to give added protection. The accomodation comprised a cellar on the ground floor, a hall on the first floor, two large chambers on the second floor, a kitchen on the third, and garrets in the attic. By the l7th Century the rising standards of living meant that the castle no longer provided the best form of residence, so the interior was remodelled in brick decorated with plaster. However, by the 18th Century, the castle was abandoned and sold to a builder.

It proved to be too well built and was therefore only partly taken down to provide building materials! There were also rwo servants cottages on ground between the castle and Old Castle Road, one for the family's coachman, and the other for the lord's butler and grieve. The Cathcarts moved nearby to a new mansion called Cathcart House (See 21: Cathcart House below). The cottages and Cathcart House were all demolished in the 1920's. The remains of the castle itself were demolished in 1980.

Page 3 of Canmore has several photos, as does of course Scotcities.

Return back down the path, and instead of going down the steep path to the river, keep left.

21: Cathcart House

Past the children's playground, behind the bench to your right is a large depression cut into the steep slope. This was the site of Cathcart House was built in the 18th century, in a parkland setting below the old castle for the Cathcart family. 

As Scotcities comment:

Cathcart House was built around 1740 but was demolished in 1927 after Glasgow Corporation had acquired the estate.

Canmore has a litho showing both the House and the Castle.

Due to the growth of then trees around the remains of the Castle you can no longer see the rocky promontory on which it sits.

If you had looked toward where the house used to be from the Seil Drive Entrance you would see the curve of the path. The bench is in effect where the front door was. If you imagine the curve carrying on, there is still a gate post in the fence along Linnpark Avenue.

Standing at the bench and looking over the depression in the steep bank, at the bottom adjacent to the river, you can see what might have been a tennis court or a croquet lawn.

On the other side of river, at the top of the high river bank is Cartbank House. Scotcities has some good stuff - on their White Cart Walkway page.

Carry on along the tarmac path, keeping to the left, where the path then runs alongsiode a military specification green chain link fence.

19: Linn House [The Mansion House, Linn Park]

As you walk along the path, where the green fence suddenly ends, on the opposite side of the river is Millholm Mill and it's Weir. It used to be clearly visible from the path, but is now obscured by trees and vegetation.

This is also where there was a small landslip into the river. It took with it a short section of one of the nicest paths in the park. 

When you meet the main access road into the park, keep right, and beware the traffic to the Mansion House flats and the Stables. The pine wood was a plantation that was never cropped. You are now in the "back drive" to the house, and it was a lime tree avenue, that went on past the Mansion house down to and across the White Bridge to the Park Entrance as the "front drive". Many of the trees have fallen over the years - simply too tall for the roots which have been tarmacced over in many cases.

Linn House was built as a summer residence for the 'Sugar'Campbells between 1820 and 1840. The grounds extend to over 200 acres and were first opened to the public in 1921. Linn House is seen to its best advantage from the Lime Avenue. This was planted to commemorate a family occasion, as was the fashion at the tlme.

Some years ago, the house was sold for £1 to a developer, who turned it into flats.

See also the History of the Sugar Campbells on this web site: it's in: About Linn Park, Some History.

In the summer, the noise of the bees in the lime trees on a quiet day is simply amazing.

To the south of the Mansion House is the stables, and what remains of the farm buildings. Glasgow Council are simply allowing them to fall down.

Canmore refers to the house as "Legburn House". See ScotCities page on the White Cart Walkway.

Continue down the path to the White Bridge.

The White Bridge [or the Halfpenny Bridge]

When you get opposite the waterfall, you are on the site of yet another mill ! The weir is concrete and can be seen on your side of the river.

The 'Halfpenny Bridge' is an elegant cast iron bridge. It was built in 1835 and is the oldest cast iron bridge in the City (made of four single cast spans). Its odd name may have been derived from the 'holes' in the cast iron spans. It is better known as the White Bridge.

If you have time, divert to "The Beach" to see the waterfall from below. It is also the best spot to watch Salmon jumping the falls from mid September to the end of October - depending on the weather providing enough water over the falls ....

Follow the path to the left and proceed up to the front entrance to the park. Note the imposing gateway. Turn right along Clarkston Road, and after a few yards turn right into Netherlee Road.

Follow the road between the cemeteries, down the hill where you join cross over a roundabout. After passing the entrance to an estate of falts yopu come to the entrance to Holmwood House.

18: Holmwood House and Sunnyside

Holmwood House is run by the National Trust for Scotland; entry to the gardens is free but not the house, which is only open in the Summer.

'Holmwood' was built in 1859 and designed by Alexander 'Greek'Thomson.  It was occupied at one time by J Couper (see 17: Millholm Paper Mill below).

The house is a particularly fine example of Greek Thomson's domestic architecture and both its interior and exterior remain unaltered despite the building's use as a school.

Scotcities comments: 

Holmwood shows a novel adaptation of Classical Greek styling to fit in with mid-19th Century Scottish taste. 

The house has been acquired by the National Trust for Scotland, and the original internal decoration restored. Fortunately the stencilled decoration by C.T. Bowie was left intact under layers of wallpaper during the period when the house was used as Our Lady of the Missions School by an order of religous sisters.

Close by to Holmwood, but now unfortunately demolished, stood Sunnyside, another magnificent villa occupied by John's brother Robert.

It's site seems to be in the garden to the south east, about half way between Holmwood and the Weir.

Canmore has some information about Holmwood, but nothing on Sunnyside.

Return to the entrance, and turn right to continue down Netherlee Road. After a few yards take Millholm Road to the right through the flats, and carry on across the White Cart Walkway. There are a set of huge gates in front of you. You may be lucky enough to be able to get through, or if young and fit enough, to climb through the hole in the fence. 

17: Millholm Paper Mill

Contrary to the rules for the Green Flag award, Glasgow Council have done nothing to preserve the mill heritage: indeed they are attempting it would seem to destroy this industrial master piece.

The remains of the mill are on the river bank. Papermaking is thought to have been innoduced into Glasgow in 1690 by Hugenot refugees fleeing religious pe$ecution on the continent.

The Deschamps were one of these families. They set up a mill at Langside. Deschamp's daughter Elise married J Hall, the local farmer's son, and he carried on the papermaking business.

Millholm Mill was built by Mr Hamilton of Aikenhead and leased to J Hall. His own son carried on till his death in 1800. Mill No 18, as it was also known, was worked in 1790 by eight men making coarse paper. By 1850 machines were being introduced as the demand for good quality paper increased.

In 1873 the mill was sold by the Halls to Robert Couper, who had been a tenant for several years. Robert Couper was later joined by his brother John, who died in 1877. In 1884 the mill was sold to a Mr Steel who in turn sold the mill to Wiggins Teape in 1906. New 'Bells' filters and pumps were installed to provide an endless supply of clean water but by 1921 papermaking had stopped and in 1934 the mill was partly destroyed by fire.

Return to the road, and carry on down the road turning right into Snuffmill road, across the bridge, and back to the Smiddy for a well earned pint !

Some photographs taken on 22nd April 2018 by one of the Gentlemen. As a Chartered Engineer, he comments that the area closed off is no more dangerous than many open areas in the park.

Place Listing from the original Leaflet

The Cathcart Heritage Trail covers the following places of interest:

  1. Couper Institute, 84-86 Clarkston Road, and Cathcart South Church, 90-92 Clarkston Road.
  2. Site of Thornbank House
  3. New Cathcart Church, 212-214 Newlands Road
  4. The Holm Foundary, 147-149 Newlands Road
  5. Site of the Geddes Carpet and Dye Works
  6. Holmlea Public School, 352-362 Holmlea Road 
  7. Cathcart New Bridge, Holmlea Road / Clarkston Road
  8. Cathcart Circle, Cathcart Station
  9. Site of Edith Cottage (demolished)
  10. Site of the Parish Manse (demolished)
  11. Site of the Parish School (demolished)
  12. Old Cathcart Parish Church Tower, 118 Carmunnock Road
  13. Old Cathcart Graveyard, 118 Carmunnock Road
  14. Cathcart Village Smiddy, 123-131 Old Castle Road - Castle Mains Farm
  15. Court Knowe
  16. Site of Cathcart Castle (remains)
  17. Site of Millholm Paper Mill
  18. ‘Holmwood’ 63 Netherlee Road
  19. Linn House, 20 Linn Park
  20. The ‘Halfpenny’ Bridge, [better known as The White Bridge] Linn Park
  21. Site of Cathcart House (demolished)
  22. The Netherlee Road Bridge
  23. The Snuff Mill and Mill House
  24. Lindsay House
  25. Site of Granny Robertson’s
  26. Holmhead House, 7 Rhannan Terrace
  27. Garden Suburb

Oval Bronze Plaques can be found at a few locations including 15, 25, and 26.

Note: numbers 6 and 7 are reversed on the final page of the leaflet in the Key to the Map - thought correct on the map.

View the original leaflet. Please note that when scanning in the leaflet, it appears that one page was omitted which covered the Cathcart New Bridge and the Station and part of Holmlea School. Amazingly, a neighbour who arrived several years ago found a copy in a drawer - so we now have a complete leaflet.