Rev William Rattray

The Rev William Rattray (1866-1942) was the owner and occupier of 21 (then 33) Queen Square between 1905 and 1925. The previous occupier had been the builder of the terrace, Alexander Thomson.

William was the minister at Abbotsford Parish Church on Devon Street, a church founded by a previous Strathbungo resident James McNaught, who lived at 7 Moray Place. William probably succeeded him on his death in 1894. At the time William was living in Leven Street, then Glencairn Drive.

Abbotsford Parish Church, Devon St, 1973. Credit: Streapadair

He then went on to become minister at the Tron Parish Church in Trongate, now the Tron Theatre, sometime around 1900-05, and around the same time moved to Strathbungo. He married Catherine Stevenson in 1897 and had two children. He retired to Blairmore on the Cowal peninsula, but died in Pollokshields.

Tron Church

The Tron Church of 1793, tucked behind the Tron Steeple of 1628. Credit: Google Earth

In 1933 Abbotsford Parish Church merged with its neighbour Chalmers South Church, to form Abbotsford Chalmers Church; the Abbotsford Church was closed and became a cash-and-carry, before being demolished in the 1970s. Abbotsford Chalmers Church closed in the 1970s, but the building survives as a unit for the young homeless, next to the old Abbotsford School, now a Islamic college .

In 1940 the Tron Church merged with St George’s to form St Georges Tron; the Tron Church closed, and was later used for the Tron Theatre.

Ex Abbotsford Chalmers Church 2018

Ex Abbotsford Chalmers Church 2018 (Google StreetView)

Abbotsford Public School, 1916

Abbotsford Public School, 1916. Church visible behind. (TheGlasgowStory)

By co-incidence, or perhaps not, Alexander Thomson the brickmaker, contractor and builder of Queen Square, had been based almost next door at 138 Pollokshaws Road, directly under the the adjacent M74 flyover.

(Article extensively updated & corrected Jan 2021).


TheGlasgowStory: Abbotsford Public School [Internet]. [cited 2018 Sep 27]. Available from:


  1. I wonder if the Rev.’s house in Queens Square would have been considered as the church manse. I think it was less common in those days for a minister to have provided himself with a private dwelling, relying on the church manse for accommodation and after retirement, on the often austere provision of the church.

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