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Buildings of Cambuslang

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Buildings of Cambuslang

The buildings of Cambuslang include the architecture, ancient sites, medieval castle ruins, 18th-century mansion remnants, churches, schools, public buildings, commercial and industrial premises and retail and leisure facilities in the Scottish town of Cambuslang. There are two, much modified, railway stations. The very diverse domestic architecture comprises 19th-century mansions, villas and tenements, and sheltered and nursing homes constructed from Victorian public buildings. Extensive 20th- and 21st-century housing estates include private and social housing and range from small terraces to high rise flats. The 1960s town centre has recently been redeveloped.


Ruins and remains

  • Remains of an Iron Age fort can be seen on top of Dechmont Hill
  • Drumsargard Castle near Hallside (now within the Drumsagard Village development). A circular mound is all that remains, though the stones were used c1775 to build Hallside Farm.
  • Gilbertfield Castle – a 17th-century fortified house now gently decaying.
  • Westburn House Do’cote (18th century) – now in the grounds of Cambuslang Golf Club. Westburn House was built in 1685 and demolished at the end of the 19th century. The dovecote is all that remains. It is octagonal, single chambered, with an ogee slate roof, two circular windows and a low door. Around the top, four dove holes and them a continuous stringcourse-cum-pen. Harled in 1978. Inside there are 488 nest-holes with slate perches.
  • Wellshot House – original early-19th-century mansion house of Thomas Gray Buchanan, on whose lands the late-19th-century villa suburb was built. This is now divided into flats. The walls to his orchard can be seen on Brownside Road, as well as (so it is claimed) the gatehouse.
  • Churches

  • Cambuslang Baptist Church (1895, by William Ferguson). New Testament Greek ‘classical style’ typical of Baptist churches, with an ‘ingeniously planned’ Memorial Hall at the rear (1932, by Millar and Black).
  • Cambuslang Flemington Hallside Church (1885, with halls of 1929) in simple lancet style. Located close to Halfway.
  • Cambuslang Old Parish Church (1839–41, by David Cousin; chancel rebuilt in 1919–22 to plans drawn up before the First World War in 1913 by MacGregor Chalmers; War Memorial 1921 by MacGregor Chalmers; Halls 1895–97 by A Lindsay Miller, extended 1968). This is the successor to the original and subsequent parish churches, with some memory of its medieval predecessors in its Transitional style, if a bit ‘English’ in perspective. A stone inscribed ‘AMT 1626’ inside the spire may be a relic of the first post-reformation kirk. The arms the Heritors are displayed on the walls of the kirk, with those of the Duke of Hamilton, as chief Heritor, appearing a dozen times. The current decorative scheme dates from 1957–58 includes stained glass windows (by Sadie McLellan) showing the Life and Works of St Cadoc, Christ as Head of the Church, symbols of the Passion and Angels. Tapestries, also by McLellan, include an Angus Dei, Burning Bush. The organ of 1896 is by Abbot & Smith of Leeds and was rebuilt in 1968 by Peter Conacher of Huddersfield. The bell is inscribed MIH 1612 (for John Houston, a heritor) and CH (Charles Hogg, an Edinburgh bell-founder). Located in the Kirkhill district of the town.
  • St Andrews Church of Scotland (1961–66, by Beveridge & Dallachy). This was part of the new town centre ‘with many popular mannerisms’. In one courtyard is a relief of 'Christ and St Andrew' (by Thomas Wallen, who also designed the font and chancel pavement). The furnishings and stained glass windows are 19th-century relics from the demolished Rosebank and West Parish churches. The organ is by Compton.
  • St Bride’s Catholic Church is a small church of 1902, possibly on the site of a medieval chapel dedicated to Our Lady. A stained glass window depicting the calling of Peter and Andrew by Gordon Webster stands near the new entrance.
  • St Cuthbert’s Episcopal Church is the hall of a church planned in 1909 by HD Walton but never built. Land was gifted by Anne, Duchess of Hamilton.
  • St Paul’s United Free Church (1904–05, by Alexander Petrie).
  • Trinity Parish Church (1897–99, by William Ferguson). Originally a United Presbyterian Church, it is of red Corncockle sandstone in a freely interpreted Perp style, advertising the wealth of the surrounding suburb. The stained glass windows show, in the gallery, the ‘Resurrection’ by Stephen Adam (after 1914) and, in the east aisle, ‘Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem’ by Gordon Webster (1947)
  • N.B. Trinity Parish Church and St Paul’s United Free Church are now amalgamated under the name Trinity St Paul's.
  • Cambuslang Parish Church (CPC) is the amalgamation of the Cambuslang Old Parish, St. Andrews and Trinity St. Paul's churches into one. The Trinity building was sold and plans for its use are being developed. The Old Parish building is used for functions and clubs that take place, and most church services take place in the St. Andrews Building.
  • Schools

  • West Coats Primary School. Cambuslang's first school after Cambuslang Public School. During the war it was transformed into a hospital.
  • St Bride’s Primary School (1936, by John Stewart of the county council). Built as an RC Advanced Division school, in his ‘ particularly severe stripped classical manner’. The school was rebuilt in the 2010s.
  • James Aiton Primary School (a county council erection of 1974, by Edward Allan) This was part of the post-tenement developments. It is one story, circular, open planned and pre-fabricated. The school was rebuilt in the 2010s.
  • St. Charles Primary School in Newton was demolished and rebuilt in a new location (several hundred yards further up Westburn road) in the 2010s. The original building followed the same wooden-fronted architecture as the first buildings in Westburn village.
  • Public buildings

  • Cambuslang Institute was erected1892-8, by A Lindsay Miller; extended in 1906 and 1910. Interior modernised in 1978–83. It carries on the work started by 19th-century weavers and miners determined to educate themselves.
  • Cambuslang Public Library – a county council erection by John Stewart in 1936–38 – ‘one long range with stripped classical detail’. Now closed and demolished (April 2007).
  • Health Institute (1926, by John Stewart, Lanarkshire County Council architect). It is similar in style to his other buildings if a little more domestic.
  • New town centre (completed in 1965) had a fine public square in modernist style, surrounded by two stories of shops and high blocks of flats, all forming a pleasing whole. More brutalist blocks are further to the west. More recent development includes local offices for South Lanarkshire Council and Cambuslang Public Library. A small plaque marks the 2001 renovation of the pedestrian precinct, featuring new landscaping and a mural depicting key scenes and figures in the town's history.
  • Domestic architecture

  • Social housing is pleasant and varied – cottage-flats ‘fit for heroes’ (1920s); Art Deco brick trim on whitened render (1930s); ‘modernist’ (1950’s and 60s) and brutalist (1960s and 1970s).
  • Suburban villas in various styles, but mostly standard Scottish Victorian (with a hint of the Italianate).
  • Classic Scottish tenements in honey-coloured and red sandstone.
  • Police Barracks (1911, converted into sheltered housing in 1982) has an attractive 17th-century doorcase enclosing the arms of Lanarkshire Constabulary.
  • Cambuslang Public School (1882–83, by A Lindsay Miller; later an annex of Cambuslang College of the Building Trades; presently a nursing home). Has a decorative façade of Tudor-Gothic style, and plainer extensions of pre-1910 nearby. Now a nursing home.
  • Leisure buildings

  • Cambuslang Bowling Club, founded in 1874, when this suburb was laid out, has a classical gateway and pavilion with a miniature Baronial tower (all of which may be later).
  • Cinemas

  • The Savoy Cinema was built in 1929 for a local company primarily with facilities for theatre use. The architect was John Fairweather, who was the house architect for the Green's cinema chain, although this particular cinema did not initially have any link with that chain. Fairweather was responsible for designing the two largest cinemas built in Britain, the Green’s Playhouses in Dundee and Glasgow. Fairweather's influences were more neo-classical than art deco, and his cinema interiors, including the Cambuslang Savoy, usually had giant columns along the sidewalls. The classical, monumental facade is a landmark on the Main Street, and was for many years a rather garish shade of yellow. It became a bingo hall around the early 1960s, and was renamed Vogue, although it has since reverted to the Savoy name. The building was run by an independent bingo company, the interior is relatively unspoiled. The building is now transformed into a Wetherspoon's pub, named The John Fairweather and was externally repainted November 2014, and opened Feb 2015. The building has been restored, maintaining original features, and now functions as a classic backdrop, to a modern pub and restaurant.
  • The Empire was on the corner of Hamilton Road and Clydeford Road, next to the former gas works, between St Andrew's Church and the bus terminus. The exact opening and closing dates of this cinema are not known, but it seems likely it dates from around the 1920s and was closed as a cinema in the 1950s or 1960s. The building remained in increasing dereliction until demolition around 1986.
  • The Ritz cinema was built for the ABC chain in 1930 on the site of the current Spar shop. It was designed by William Beresford Inglis, the architect and businessman who later designed and ran the Beresford Hotel in Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street. The Ritz was unusual in that it was an atmospheric cinema, a particular type of design that Beresford specialised in - this meant that the auditorium created the impression of sitting in an outdoor setting, with an open sky above and pseudo-3D buildings along the sidewalls. Inglis generally created these with a Spanish theme, and the Ritz followed this by having its entrance in the form of a large white archway. It was a short-lived cinema, and was closed and demolished in 1960. The Ritz Bar is named after it, and occupies a corner of the site where it once stood.
  • Industrial buildings

  • Rosebank Dyeworks (1881 until 1945) banded with Greek key pattern in white brick on red and visually very striking, with a double pitched roof and bell turret.
  • Hoover factory (1946 and later) is large and modern and now being emptied.
  • Bridges

    There have been three bridges of different types over the River Clyde north of Cambuslang Main Street. In the early 21st century there is a large supermarket on the Cambuslang side of the bridges, and on the other side is an industrial suburb which is administered by the City of Glasgow.

    Orion/Rosebank Bridge

    The earliest crossing over the river (other than informal fords at crossing points which were unsafe when the water levels rose) was a 19th century wooden mineral railway bridge. It was constructed in the 1850s and named Orion Bridge in commemoration of a naval tragedy involving a paddle steamer of that name which had occurred a few years earlier. The bridge was also known as Rosebank Bridge after Rosebank House, the nearby mansion on the Cambuslang side. For a time the Dunlop Family, operators of the Clyde Iron Works around a mile to the north on the opposite side of the river, were also the owners of Rosebank House, explaining the reason for the desire to link the sites. The private railway linked the iron works to the main Clydesdale Junction Railway lines and also provided a source of fuel from local collieries. The Orion connection would appear to stem from the fact that another previous owner of Rosebank, shipping magnate Sir George Burns, had a brother who died in the Orion incident. The wooden bridge eventually burned down in a fire in 1919, by which time the iron works were linked to the closer Rutherglen and Coatbridge Railway lines and most of the local coal had been exhausted.

    Cambuslang/Orion Bridge

    Cambuslang Bridge which has been referred to as Clyde Bridge and also came to be known as Orion Bridge, was built in 1892 by Crouch and Hogg. It was built using the steel lattice girder structure commonly used in rail bridges of the time (see Westburn Viaduct, Dalmarnock Railway Bridge 1897 in the vicinity) but historical maps do not show it ever having been used by a railway. For 80 years it carried the main road north towards Tollcross in the East End of Glasgow but weight restrictions meant it became unsuitable for such heavy use, and in 1976 a replacement was built downstream. Vehicles continued to use the Cambuslang Bridge until 1986 when the Bogleshole Road Bridge was built around half a mile to the north.


    Cambuslang Footbridge (constructed by Strathclyde Regional Council in 1977) is the point where the Clyde Walkway and the National Cycle Route 75 cross from the north to the south bank of the Clyde. In 2015 a feasibility study was conducted on creating a new cycling and walking route which would run along the south (Cambuslang) river bank to Farme Cross in Rutherglen via the Clydebridge Steelworks site. The footbridge is just downstream from the original Cambuslang Bridge, and although becoming overgrown and blocked off from vehicular traffic the older structure is still in place and can be used freely by pedestrians, meaning that for several years there have been two crossings serving the same function only a few yards from one another.


    Buildings of Cambuslang Wikipedia

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