Milbrae Crescent, Langside, Glasgow

Earlier today I encountered Millbrae Crescent in Glasgow’s Southside district.

Millbrae Crescent is, in fact, one of Glasgow’s top architectural heritage sites being attributed to the Victorian architect, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson (1817-1875).

Despite his ‘Greek’ sobriquet Thomson never actually departed the shores of Britain let alone visited Greece. He was a devout Christian and interested in philosophical ideas and in the ‘eternal laws’ which governed architecture and was influenced by images of Old Testament catastrophes by the painter John Martin.

As the City of Glasgow expanded, Thomson designed a wide range of buildings to accommodate the growth. His designs included commercial, warehouses, tenements, terraces of houses (row houses), villas and buildings for the United Presbyterian Church.

During his early career Thomson experimented with various styles including Italian Romanesque, Scottish Baronial and even Gothic. It was later in his career that Thomson championed the superiority of the Greek ideal over the Medievalism then fashionable in England.

In Glasgow, there exist about fifteen remaining examples of Thomson’s work of which Millbrae Crescent is one. Here is a record of a Greek Thomson architecture tour from 2015.

Millbrae Crescent  dates from 1876-77 with address being, 2-38 Millbrae Crescent, Langside. The Crescent ( row houses) was completed posthumously by Thomson’s partner, Robert Turnbull. However, flair and elegance and other clues suggest the design was by Thomson. The street/crescent comprises an elegant row of two-storey terraced houses built using blonde sandstone and exemplifying Thomson’s typical use of Egyptian-derived columns and ornamentation.

Be Sociable, Share!