Bygone Bungo

A Strathbungo History, & More

Month: February 2017

The Railway Boundary at Moray Place


The line of the boundary between the railway line (Network Rail’s property) and Moray Place has been an issue of debate for some time, most notably when Network Rail began clearing vegetation from the line in 2004-05.

18-25 Moray Place 2004

18-25 Moray Place 2004

Same view, 2005 after vegetation management

Same view, 2005 after vegetation management. The one remaining tree was removed shortly after.

More recently they proposed further vegetation clearance to renew the boundary fence in January 2015. They planned to remove the metal hooped fence and replace it with a 1.8m high weldmesh fence in the same location. However residents suspected the hooped fence was not on Network Rail’s land.


Railings after fence and concrete repair and painting, circa 1990

Negotiations led by the Strathbungo Society centered on two points; firstly the need for a more appropriate fence design, and secondly that it needed to be on their land, further back than the existing fence. Eventually Network Rail conceded, leading to the new fence design erected in February 2017. The following is the historical research that led to their concession regarding the position of the fence. It is recorded here for posterity.

The Land Register

Title is currently defined by a map kept in the Land Registry, for any purchase made since 1981. This title map is an extract of an OS Map, with the subject of the title outlined, often in red. An example is shown below.

Sample land registry entry

Sample land registry entry

Network Rail used these maps to argue the fence was on their land. The map is the Keeper’s one off interpretation of the original deeds, but is not thought legally binding, as it is only representative of the deeds. The deeds, however, were often destroyed once the entry had been made. Experience suggests these title maps are inconsistent, and have often just been drawn to the edge of the road on the modern map, as in this example, suggesting the hooped metal fence is the boundary, and leaving it unclear who owns it. Review of the collective title maps provided by Network Rail supported this; every one was different, despite every property being derived from a single land purchase and deed.

It is likely the railway itself is not entered in the Land Registry as it has not changed hands since it was built.

The Evidence

Several residents provided Land Registry Title maps for properties on Moray Place. Some use the current fence as the boundary (e.g. 15, 23 & 30 Moray Place), others extend just beyond it (e.g. 22 Moray Place). These maps are therefore inconsistent.

So can we define the original boundary? Well, yes, from old documents, we can.

The railway line opened in 1848, before any building in Strathbungo.

A proposed but unexecuted feuing map from 1859 for the land now known as Strathbungo clearly shows the stone wall boundary to the line, extending from the road bridge at Nithsdale Road to approximately where Marywood Square is now, with a hedge extending along the remainder of the boundary.

Unexecuted feuing plan 1859

Unexecuted feuing plan 1859; wall (red) and hedge (green).

The original feu disposition between Sir John Maxwell and the developer William Stevenson and others in 1860 for the building of what we now consider Strathbungo defines the boundary as “…on the north west by north by the property of the Glasgow Barrhead and Neilston direct Railway Company along which it extends one thousand seven hundred and seventy one feet or thereby on a line parallel to and situated at the distance of three feet southeast by southward from the centre of the present thorn hedge and from the southeast by south face of the present stonewall …” Thus the boundary is three feet on the South East, residential, side of the original stone wall or hedge.

The original deeds and plan for No 13 confirm the boundary as three feet from the wall. The current title of 22 Moray Place includes a note referencing the three feet distance, but in the absence of the original deeds the note makes no sense in relation to the Land Registry title map.

The wall still exists from 1 to 6 Moray Place.

The feu to the builder of 18-25 Moray Place in 1874 states the building line must be 46 feet from the boundary to ensure the building 18-25 Moray Place is exactly in line with the previous two terraces, 1-10 and 11-17. It was built thus, and so the boundary can be calculated back 46 feet from the building.

A further map prepared by the railway company c. 1875 to acquire additional land on the other side of the line for the construction of Strathbungo Station again shows the stone wall, but also the first three terraces along Moray Place, thus allowing us to measure the distance from the building line to the stone wall to within a foot or so, and this measures approximately 50 feet. Thus the boundary would be 3 feet from the wall, and so 47 feet from the building line. This is in reasonable agreement with the 46 feet calculated above.

The stone wall no longer exists from 7 Moray Place onwards, and has been replaced by a hooped metal fence, erected probably 1870-1890. This was perhaps when Strathbungo Station was built, the station opening in 1877, and the platforms extending as far as Marywood Square.

The proposal for Strathbungo Station, 1875

The proposal for Strathbungo Station, 1875, again shows the wall, 49-50ft from the building line of the houses on Moray Place. The original boundary was 46ft from the building line, and the current hooped fence is 45ft from the building line, and so on residents’ property.

The distance from the hooped metal fence to the face of the buildings was estimated by laser measure in March 2015 at seven different points along Moray Place, and it is on average 45 feet from the building line, placing the boundary one foot on the railway side of the metal fence, and implying the original stone wall was some 4 feet further back on the embankment than the hooped metal fence.

Thus the hooped metal fence is on residents’ property, their boundary extending 1 foot the other side of it.

The Gardens

When the houses were built between Vennard and Carswell Gardens, in 1927, the feu disposition defines the properties as three feet southeast by south of a sleeper fence erected along the railway. While the position of the fence is not defined, it presumably lies along the line of the original hedge, as this land was included in the original feu disposition of Sir John Maxwell to William Stevenson in 1860, and that boundary would still apply when the land was feued by William Stevenson’s trustees to the builder.

The sleeper fence is clearly visible in contemporary photographs c. 1930, some 5 feet from the kerb. The sleeper fence appears to correspond fairly accurately to the more modern post and wire fence, which replaced it in the 1960s or 1970s. Thus the boundary along this section likely lies three feet to the South East, residential side, of the current fence.

sleeper fence

Moray Place c 1930 showing sleeper fence

End of sleeper fence

End of sleeper fence, start of hooped railings. c 1930

Network Rail view

In correspondence, Network Rail officials initially claimed the land to the metal hooped fence, and the fence itself, as their own. They based their claim on a supplied copy of the Disposition of land to the Glasgow & Barrhead Direct Railway Company of 1858, but this has insufficient detail to determine any boundary accurately, as there is no detailed description and only a small scale map with no geographical features. One thing to note from the 1858 Disposition is the comment on the small scale maps that the boundary at a number of points extends three feet beyond the boundary feature (railings, etc). While this is not mentioned on the Strathbungo section, it would appear to confirm the three feet beyond the original wall & hedge does belong to Network Rail, and that it was standard practice of the Barrhead & Neilston Direct Railway Company to erect their boundary markers three feet inside their land boundary. Indeed later Network Rail conceded this remains normal practice; they now normally place fences 1 metre inside their boundary.


The original boundary was three feet South East of the railway boundary wall and hedge.

While only a short section of wall remains, the line of the boundary can be clearly seen on old plans, and determined from measurements included in the original feu documents.

The boundary is 3 feet from the stone wall at 1-6 Moray Place, and thus 47 feet from the building line there, by laser measure. The boundary is likely the same for 7-10, and thus at the wooden fence, which is 47 feet from the building line.

Beyond the footbridge at Regent Park Square, a more recent metal hooped fence ran to Vennard Gardens, replacing the original stone wall, but closer to the buildings by 4 feet. This lay 45 feet from the building line, and therefore 1 or 2 feet inside the residents’ boundary, which is stated in the feu documents as 46 feet from the building line.

Beyond Vennard Gardens, the wire and post fence likely followed the line of the previous sleeper fence, and the hedge before it, and thus the boundary lies 3 feet South East of the post and wire fence.

The following illustrates the pre 2017 fences, and the line of the proposed replacement.

Railway boundaries, proposed changes

Railway boundaries, proposed changes

2017 Update

The replacement fence is now in (March 2017), and set well back from the road edge. The depth varies, but in some places it is even further back than the original fence line. This is well illustrated below, where during vegetation clearance, the remains of the old sleeper fence has emerged from beneath the shrubbery, and the new fence is even further behind it.

The new railway fence, March 2017

The new railway fence, March 2017. Note the stumps of the old sleeper fence in the centreground.

NLS Overlay Map

Ordnance Survey 1:500 Town Plan of Glasgow mosaic, 1892-94 showing Strathbungo developing into the area we are currently familiar with.

Strathbungo’s Sharpshooters: Third Lanark

This is the remarkable story of a bunch of army reservists who set up a volunteer rifle corps in Strathbungo, and within a few years had won both Britain’s greatest trophy for marksmanship, The Queen’s Prize at Bisley, and Scotland’s greatest football trophy, the FA Cup, twice. Oh, and the football league. Sharpshooters indeed!

The 3rd Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers

In 1859-60, fear of war with France led to the development of the Rifle Volunteer movement, the forerunners of today’s Territorial Army. A group of veteran volunteers (of the Glasgow Light Horse of 1796, volunteers of 1803 and Sharpshooters of 1819) formed the 78th Corps, and styled themselves the “Old Guard of Glasgow”. Their most senior member, Robert Reid, was 88 years old! One of the first corps to form, they served mainly to show the youngsters of the day how it should be done, although they appear never to have actually drilled or appeared in uniform.

A number of other Volunteer Corps were then raised locally, including the 3rd, 10th & 14th Corps, at Messrs Cogan’s Spinning Factory (22nd Corps), a number of temperance societies (54th & 82nd Corps), Messrs Inglis & Wakefield’s at Busby (87th Corps), and Etna Foundry (8th Company), manufacturers of fine cast iron grave memorials, on Lilybank Road (later the gasworks off Maxwell Road).

The first public appearance of any Scottish volunteers was on 14 October 1859, when volunteers from the south Glasgow corps collectively provided Queen Victoria with a guard of honour at the opening of Glasgow’s new water works at Loch Katrine. On 7th August 1860 they took part in a Royal Review in Edinburgh, again before Queen Victoria, 730 men strong. In total, 21,514 Scottish volunteers paraded in front of 200,000 spectators on Arthur’s Seat. Illustrations from the time, including Samuel Bough’s painting in the National Gallery, and an engraving from the Illustrated London News, show how seriously the volunteer movement was being taken.

Samuel Bough, Royal Volunteer Review, 7 August 1860

Samuel Bough, Royal Volunteer Review, 7 August 1860 – click for original

1860 Royal Review, Edinburgh

1860 Royal Review, Edinburgh – Illustrated London News

The following day, 8th August, the south Glasgow corps were incorporated together into the 3rd Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers (3rd LRV), and the corps was based in the southside of Glasgow, around the village of Strathbungo.

3rd Lanark badge

3rd LRV badge

In 1860, Strathbungo was a weavers’ village, centred on Pollokshaws Road and Allison Street, and surrounded by fields and nurseries, such as the nursery at Coplawhill, and with Little Govan Colliery to the east. The volunteers used the ground north of the village as their base.

The map below shows the area north of Strathbungo village circa 1858, just before major development began. The parade ground (and first football pitch) would have been roughly in the centre of the map, east of the main road and south of the nursery at Coplawhill.

Strathbungo Map 1858

1858 OS Map of Strathbungo (Composite).

The Glasgow Herald of 27 May 1862 described the Corps’ first camp, when 692 men were under canvas for a week. The account includes the tale of a drunken bet to steal the regiment’s colours, which was foiled by the guard.

Glasgow Herald - Third LRV article

Glasgow Herald – click for pdf

This photograph is from another such camp, taken in Queens Park, dated 1873.

3rd LRV Camp, Queens Park, 1873

3rd LRV Camp, Queens Park, 1873

3rd LRV uniforms

3rd LRV uniforms (on the right)

The Queen’s Prize

The 3rd LRV shared a rifle range with the 1st LRV at Darnley. The thirds were known as excellent shots – two members won the highest accolade in marksmanship, the Queen’s Prize at the National Rifle Association meeting at Bisley; Private Malcolm Stark Rennie in 1894 and Lieutenant David Yates in 1898.

While the prize may not be known to many, it is the ultimate sporting accolade for a marksman. Despite almost not making it to the start, Private Rennie won it for the Third Lanark, and the story featured in all the papers. He returned to Glasgow to a hero’s welcome, being carried in a chair from Central Station to the Drill Hall through a thronging crowd. What is more, Third Lanark won second and fourth place, and placed nine men in the Queen’s Hundred, a massive achievement.

Private Rennie arrives in Glasgow

Private Rennie arrives in Glasgow – available from AllPosters

Rennie was even awarded the much cherished Sloper’s Award of Merit. Ally Sloper was the world’s first fictional comicstrip (anti)hero, and a huge phenomenon in late 19th Century Britain, and his joke awards were given out to those who made it big in the news.

Sloper Award of Merit to Pte Rennie

Sloper Award of Merit to Pte Rennie

All the more remarkable then, when Lt Yates won it again four years later. He too returned to Glasgow to a hero’s welcome.

In 1881 the four Lanarkshire volunteer regiments were attached to the newly formed Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) regiment as part of army reforms, and went on to fight both in the Boer War, and at Gallipoli in the Great War, where they suffered massive casualties.

The Drill Hall

John Bennie Wilson was a member of the regiment who gradually rose up the ranks. He was also an architect, and designed a new Headquarters and Drill Hall for the volunteers in Coplaw Street. The drill hall, built 1884-5, and extended by the same architect in 1904, is still there, converted in 2001 to private flats. During the conversion some of the original 1884 building was taken down, and a time capsule from 1884 was discovered. Wilson also designed the extension to 1 Moray Place, and lived himself at one point in Regent Park Square. He rose to become honorary colonel of the corps in 1905.

Regimental Drill Hall, Coplaw Street

Regimental Drill Hall, Coplaw Street

Drill Hall Crest

Drill Hall Crest: 7th Battalion Cameronians Scottish Rifles, “Defence not Defiance”

The corps were only renamed the 7th Battalion of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in 1908, so the crest at the Drill Hall must have been a later alteration or addition.

A Football Club is Born

The first ever international football match, Scotland vs England, was played at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick on St Andrew’s Day, 1872. The match was organised by Queen’s Park, FC who provided the entire team, although several of the players, such as Billy Dickson, Joseph Taylor and Pte William McKinnon, were also members of the 3rd LRV.

Inspired by the match, the regiment decided to set up its own football team twelve days later. The Third Lanark Rifle Volunteers Football Club was born on 12th December 1872, at a meeting in the Regimental Orderly Room in East Howard Street, in the centre of Glasgow, with the support of Lieutenant Colonel Humphry Ewing Crum-Ewing, the majority of officers and 25 men.

Captain John Inglis was elected president, and much of the initial organisation was down to John Wallace, the goalkeeper, and the aforementioned Colonel John Wilson, their striker, who was later to score Third Lanark’s first ever league goal. Practice was undertaken at the regimental parade ground just north of Strathbungo village.

In 1875 the club moved to Old Cathkin Park in Govanhill, a site provided by Dixon’s Blazes, the famous iron foundry. The site corresponds to the south west corner of the current Govanhill Park. A grandstand was built, and a Scotland-England international was played there in 1884. Scotland won 1-0, watched by a crowd of 10,000.

1894 OS Map Strathbungo & Coplawhill

1894 OS Map Strathbungo & Coplawhill, showing the new football ground in Govanhill, bottom right.

Strathbungo 2 Old Firm 0

As a football team, the regiment fared surprisingly well. They won the FA Cup twice, scoring notable victories over both Celtic (1889) and Rangers (1905), as well as winning the football league in 1904.

Scottish FA Cup

The Scottish FA Cup, won twice by Third Lanark

The Thirds also have a claim to one of the world’s first black footballers, Robert Walker, and the first to play in a major competition, the Scottish Cup Final of 1876.

If football wasn’t spectacle enough, the regiment’s parade ground also hosted Buffalo Bill’s Wild West touring show for 6 days in 1904.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Poster

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Poster

"Red Indian" in Glasgow 1904

“Red Indian” in Glasgow 1904

The football club finally severed its ties to the regiment in 1903, when it became Third Lanark Athletic Club. That year Queen’s Park moved to their third (and current) Hampden Park. Third Lanark bought second Hampden Park, and renamed it New Cathkin Park. There they stayed, until their demise under dubious financial circumstances in 1967.

Thirds v Aberdeen 2 Feb 1960

Thirds v Aberdeen 2 Feb 1960

Cathkin Park is now owned by the Council. The football pitch is still there, a most curious sight, where trees grow out of the terraces that once held 45,000 people, the day the Thirds played Rangers in 1954.

Cathkin Park

Cathkin Park

Cathkin Park sign

Cathkin Park

So there you have it, Strathbungo – one of the great pioneers of the beautiful game. Sort of.


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