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Browsing Posts published in December, 2009



This afternoon, Glasgow was still very wintry with sub-zero temperatures. However, the sun was shining with a blue sky so I went off to photograph Pollock House which dates from the mid 18th century and sits on the bank of the White Cart Water (river). This is the third generation of castle or mansion built on or near this site in the past 1000 years.

Pollock House, a Palladian mansion. was begun by famous Scottish architect, William Adam and finished by his son, John. The patron/owner was John Maxwell.

The woodlands and walled garden date from 1741.

John Stirling Maxwell placed the house and estate ( 458 hectares) under control of the National Trust for Scotland. Since 1998 the house and gardens have been managed by Glasgow City Council and are open to the public.

Here is the front aspect of the house (facing the river) with a snowman.

A weir on the White Cart. At one stage there was a small hydro electric scheme here to provide power for the house.
A dash of bright colour. These primula (polyanthus?) were found outdoors but in a sheltered alcove.


The next two images show the Pollock Beech, a 250 year old veteran growing on the site of the site of the second castle dating from around 1270. The unusual shape may be attributable to pests and diseases over the years.
Practice of tying ribbons to trees dates back thousands of years.

Woodland scene near to the Pollock Beech.


Interesting photo looking through a garden doorway.


A small formal garden in the library parterre.


A video showing the river and weir.

Read more on Pollock House, Glasgow, Scotland in winter…



Scotland continues to suffer from an exceptionally harsh winter spell. Yesterday the daytime temperature in central Scotland (Perthshire) fell to an incredible minus 17 degrees centigrade which is on a par with places like Iceland. Many properties are suffering from burst water pipes and/or frozen water pipes. Glasgow ( S.W. Scotland) is slightly milder than some of the cold spots in the Highlands but, nevertheless, temperatures remain at or below freezing and there is a good layer of snow and ice around.

This morning, there were some slushy snow showers combined with low temperatures and overcast skies, conditions which are not ideal for photography. In the circumstances, I went to off on my bike to visit a nearby herd of Highland Cattle. These animals are actually ideally suited to the type of weather we are experiencing and seem totally non-plussed.

This breed of cattle is very docile which meant I was able to up right close without unnerving them. The images below show these attractive animals in their icy habitat.


Mother and calf.

This video shows the entire herd. I think they viewed me as a curiosity!

Read more on Scottish Highland Cows in Winter…



This morning, with relatively clear skies but still sub-zero temperatures, I went off on my bike to visit Glasgow’s Necropolis (City of the Dead) with two objects in mind: (a) to obtain information on various memorial stones for my Glasgow Ancestry blog and (b) to photograph some of the grander memorials in anticipation of setting up a new web page for this important site which is popular with visitors to Glasgow.

In essence the Necropolis was founded in the 19th century to house the remains of the wealthy and high status elite of Victorian Glasgow at a the time when the City was growing rapidly and aspired to the position of Second City of the (British) Empire.

This is an elevated site, conveniently close to the Cathedral, and as such affords a good panorama over Glasgow and environs.

The magnificent tombs and memorials now feature in a dedicated Heritage Trail for the benefit of interested visitors. In total there are 35 significant memorials which feature in the Trail. Below can be found a selection of relevant images. I aim to complete the set in due course.

This is the Major Archibald Douglas Monteath Mausoleum (1842). Monteath made his fortune in India. The design is based on the Knights Templar Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


This 35 ft high memorial to William McGavin dates from 1834. McGavin had a varied business career but was notable for his publication “The Protestant” which campaigned against Catholicism.


This is the Peter Lawrence Monument (1840). Lawrence was himself a sculptor of some note with examples of his work elsewhere in the Necropolis.

This is the Davidson of Ruchill Mausoleum and dates form 1851.

Davidson was a wealthy businessman whose wealth came from the lucrative muslin trade. The monument is modelled on a Greek temple.


Aitken of Dalmoak Mausoleum.

This grand and impressive building was designed by James Hamilton II and dates from 1875. Designed in Greek renaissance style it ranks as one of the largest mausolea on the site.
This is the William Miller Monument which dates from 1872. Miller was Glasgow born poet who lived 1810-1872. He died penniless but is remembered for for the poem ” Wee Willie Winkie runs through the toon.”


This is the entrance facade dating from 1836. Due to flooding and change of sentiment this subterranean crypt never achieved its original purpose.

This video clip provided a panoramic shot of the Necropolis including the nearby Cathedral. Included is the 70 ft. John Knox Monument (1825) which actually predates the Necropolis Cemetery. Knox was a famous Protestant reformer of the 16th century who is buried in St Giles Kirkyard, Edinburgh.

Read more on Glasgow Necropolis, Scotland…