Hidden Glasgow

Single-Malt Whiskies of Scotland

George Square, and the Growth of the City,
page 4 of 9

to Miller Street, was the house of John Miller, the maltster, of Westerton. When Barry, the architect, laid out these new streets, he was permitted by Miller to utilise his garden and part of his house as he liked, but not to encroach on the main rooms; hence the narrowness of Miller Street. Nearly opposite Miller’s house was that of Provost Colin Dunlop of Carmyle in Argyle Street. He opened up Dunlop Street. Dr. Moore, the father of Sir John, was one of his first feuars. His house was No. 42, now covered by the railway station. The upper part of Dunlop’s house, with the curious facade and urns, may still be seen in the tenement, 51 Argyle Street. The grand panelled drawing-room, with its elaborate chimney-piece, is now a restaurant. It is worth visiting in order to see one of the few bits of the old Glasgow gentry houses that remain. Provost John Murdoch of Rosebank bought land from Dunlop, and built his house at the corner of Dunlop Street. This became the Buck’s Head Hotel in after years. In its place there is now the Clothing Company, 59 Argyle Street. A little further west, about Io1Argyle Street, was the house of Alexander Houston of Jordanhill, one of the first partners in the famous Ship Bank. Maxwell Street very narrowly missed the name, Houston Street. At the south-east corner of Queen Street was the house of M’Call of Belvidere. It was built of black stone, and hence familiarly called “McCall’s Black House.” Further west, at the south-east corner of Buchanan Street, where is now the warehouse of Messrs. Fraser & Co., stood the house of George Buchanan, maltster, brother of Provost Andrew Buchanan of Drumpellier. At the corner of Jamaica Street was the house of their nephew, George Buchanan of Auchintorlie. These Buchanans did very well on their own account, and better still when the fortune of Robin Carrick, the banker, was divided among them, the Moores, and a few others, who were all bound to incorporate the name Carrick with their own. On the west side of Queen Street was the house of James Ritchie of Craigton, who had come to Glasgow a plain Ayrshire lad. This afterwards became the counting-house of Kirkman Finlay & Co., and finally gave place to the National Bank. These houses were all nearly of the same pattern brought in by Deacon Craig — a big square connecting with abutting wings. In front of the hall door there were stairs leading down on right and left to the street. They each cost about £2,000, a large sum considering the price of labour and material in these times. They were built to last for ages, but they were not permitted to live out half their days. Commerce, with its imperative demands, speedily overtook them. With the exception of Dunlop’s, they have been demolished, and given place to large mercantile warehouses. Lawrie of Lauriston’s house, a later erection, still standing —No. 8 Carlton Place, occupied by Mr. Robb, the banker — is one of the most elaborately and beautifully finished houses in Glasgow. Italian workmen were brought from Windsor to do it.

When the American war closed and prospects brightened, there were two others built, grander than any of these. The first was the “Lainshaw mansion,” built by William Cunninghame on the site of the old thatched house in Queen Street, and, as stated by Mr. J. Oswald Mitchell in the paper in the “Regality Club” already referred to, “was the stateliest townhouse of its day in Scotland; it would have been in the first rank in London then; and it would grace Piccadilly now. It survives, embedded in the buildings of the Royal Exchange, between the portico and the news-room, and one may still form some idea of what


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