This blog is me visiting buildings on my motorcycle. I bore you with my travels by motorcycle in my other blogs "Tales from the Road " & "Images from the Road". But at times of the year when the weather makes going far on two wheels uncomfortable I thought I'd visit buildings in the local area (Glasgow, West & Central Scotland and beyond)
This is an impressive building in
Hamilton, just south of Glasgow. But it was merely the hunting lodge of a much
bigger property, Hamilton Palace. It is located within the former estate of the
Dukes of Hamilton. They were hugely wealthy and built the hunting lodge in
1734. The lodge consists of a pair of pavilions linked by a wall. It
was intended to be an impressive sight against the skyline when viewed from the
palace a mile away and linked by a tree lined avenue. When I add that the lodge
had a leopard house you'll get an idea of the extravagant luxury here.
The Dukes' wealth came
from their ownership of the Lanarkshire coal mines. But the mines caused
subsidence which, in part, led to the demolition of the palace in 1929. The
palace was the largest non-royal residence in Britain and perhaps Europe. The
lodge was abandoned at that time and fell into disrepair. It was restored by
the local council in the 1980's and the lodge and grounds is now a well-visited
lodge was so named because the Duke also held the French title of duc de
Burns is Scotland's national poet and there are many statues
and memorials to him. The National Monument was built in the Scottish
style in 1889 to commemorate the centenary of his death. It was a museum
and later a tourist information office but now seems closed to the
public. Built at the same time
were cottages for the elderly.
This is one of the best known
"follies" in Scotland. It was built in 1761 as part of a six acre
walled garden by the Earl of Dunmore. At the time pineapples were an exotic and
rare fruit and a symbol of wealth and generosity.
Amazingly this tropical fruit was
grown here in the 18th century in hothouses that used to exist at the front of
the building. On the day I visited it was cool but sunny. In front of the
building it was pleasantly warm because the building faces south and is in an elevated
position to catch the sun. In addition the buildings on either side of the
Pineapple contained furnaces that heated the walls and therefore the hothouses.
The chimneys of the furnaces are disguised as urns at eaves level.
The effort in cultivating
pineapples in a cool climate was huge. They had to be heated and tended for
three years to obtain the fruit. At the time this building was constructed a
pineapple in Britain would cost £5,000 at today's prices. I bought one on
Monday from Lidl, it cost 50p. Not grown in Scotland, of course, but Costa
I couldn't find a photo of the hothouses but here they are in an old map
This is a very rare example of an early multi-storey car
park (parking garage). It's located in Glasgow's West End and takes its name
from the nearby Botanic Gardens. The front is clad in terracotta tiles. The
building was built in parts between 1906 & 1912 and may be oldest building
of its type in the UK. Wikipedia claims that the first multi-storey car park
in the world was built in Chicago in 1918, so they're not always correct.
It was built in the early days of the motor car for the
occupants of the nearby tenement buildings to park their new contraptions.
There are pumps inside so it must have been used as a filling station in the
recent past. The building is currently unused but in reasonable condition and there are
plans to covert it into a gymnasium.
building dates from 1865 and has a striking appearance from the use of
contrasting grey whin & painted masonry. The clock tower can be seen from
anywhere in this small village and thus gave the schoolchildren no excuse for
being late for class.
One of my old watering holes. The first home I owned was a
flat near this famous Southside pub.
On a corner site bounded by a dance hall (The Malborough in
my day, the Shed now) the pub was built in 1913 and is a slightly garish
building set amongst the uniform Victorian sandstone of the area. The pub had a
strange setting as a "pub within a pub". In my day
"Maxwells" was an "L" shaped establishment in the
Malborough building surrounding the Corona. When I drank there
it was probably pretty much as the Edwardian original.
So if you want to visit an old fashioned Glasgow boozer…forget
it, you're too late. Some time ago the Corona was opened out and joined with
Maxwells to form a soulless barn of a pub - part of the John Barras pub chain, I
I read in my local newspaper that the west end bar & restaurant "The Butterfly and the Pig" is taking over the Corona. They are planning to "restore many original features".
I stuck my head in the door of "The Butterfly and the Pig" and it's still a dump.