Holmwood House, Glasgow, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Holmwood House in Cathcart, Glasgow, an important example of Scotland’s architectural heritage.

The house, a large suburban villa, was built for James Couper, a businessman who owned Millholm Paper Mill which was located a few hundred metres from the house on the White Cart (river). In addition to being a high status residence the building doubled as a showroom for the Mill’s paper products.

Design was the work of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson ( 1817-1875), Glasgow’s leading architect of the 19th century who has left a considerable legacy of his work in the Glasgow conurbation. Thomson was strongly influenced by the style of ancient Greece but never visited the country. He seems to have been the first modern architect to design houses in the Greek style, asymmetrically according to Picturesque principles.

Key Architectural Information

  • Consists of picturesquely massed single and two-story elements with deep-eaved, shallow pitched roofs and a solid masonry tower topped by a delicate cupola.
  • A link wall connects the house to a Stable Lodge.
  • Exterior decoration includes incised and sculptured detail.

Internally, the rooms are richly ornamented in wood, plaster and marble. Polychromatic decoration by Thomson was executed by Campbell Tait Bowie.

Holmwood House experienced a number of ownership changes in the 20th century culminating in the National Trust for Scotland. Restoration work was undertaken in 1997-98 using services of Page & Page, architects.

The property is open to the public.

A version of the property exists at North Walkerville, South Australia. This was built in 1885 using the Thomson design as a reference source.

Stable Lodge, Holmwood House, Glasgow, Scotland

Design detail at Holmwood House, Glasgow, Scotland

Side elevation, Holmwood House, Glasgow, Scotland

Rear Elevation of Holmwood House, Glasgow, Scotland

Holmwood House, Glasgow, Scotland

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