Pollokshields Heritage  

DECORATIVE IRONWORK

In the original feu contracts agreed between the Maxwell Estate and the first residents of Pollokshields, there are strict guidelines as to the construction of villas on each allocated plot of ground.  A villa, for example, was required to be set back at least forty feet from the road, and be no higher that forty-five feet to the ridge of the roof.  Railings 2

Another stipulation was that on the frontage boundary to the roadway should be erected ‘a dwarf wall with neatly dressed cope andrailing of such height and design as shall be approved of by the superiors’, the trustees of the estate.

With the exception of rows of shops, every building in Pollokshields, villa or tenement terrace, was set back from the pavement and fronted with a low wall topped with cast- or wrought-iron railings.  Architects and builders had the advantage of being able to choose from a huge variety of patterns at that time, as Glasgow was the major centre of highly skilled and sophisticated foundry work such as that produced at Walter MacFarlane and Co.’s Saracen Works.

Sadly, the great majority of this decorative ironwork was removed during World War 2 to assist in the ‘war effort’, although there is some doubt as to whether it was actually used….Finial

Some railings survived, however.  Those around buildings with basement areas were spared since theywould prevent accidents to pedestrians in the ‘blackout’, and religious buildings were exempt. There are stories that some survived due to the dogged refusal of individual residents to allow their removal!

The villas and tenements were commonly adorned with additional iron balconettes, roof railings, turret ‘coronets’ and ridge finials. Many of these survive because of the damage to the properties their removal would have caused.

Try to visualise just how impressive Pollokshields would look had the unifying and forward-thinking conditions of the Maxwell Trustees been maintained.

 

                Gatepost 1                                  Gatepost2                              Gatepost 3

Stone retaining and boundary walls should be regularly checked for cracking and repairs carried out in stone to match existing.

The erection of gates, fences or boundary walls requires planning permission.