"Barrowfield Brig", a song preserved in a scrapbook entitled Old Glasgow Street Songs etc, 1850 which is held at the Mitchell Library.
This song describes scenes of drunkenness and violence around Barrowfield Brig, the bridge across the Camlachie Burn at the junction of Dalmarnock Road and Main Street (London Road) near the site on which Bridgeton Cross was subsequently laid out. The village of Bridgeton had expanded rapidly during the 19th century, and from the 1850s the handloom weavers were joined by thousands of people, many from Ireland and the Highlands, who came to work in the new spinning and weaving mills and in related industries. The area near the bridge was notoriously a haunt for gangs of young men.
Two separate Irish communities grew up in Bridgeton - a largely Roman Catholic community around "Dublin's Land" and the (largely Protestant) weavers from the north of Ireland around "Wee Belfast", both in the vicinity of the bridge. The area was a notorious night-time haunt for young men looking for a drink and for trouble.
The Highland drover in the song was probably on his way south, intending to take his cattle across the River Clyde at Dalmarnock Bridge.
Reference: GC 398.5 GLA
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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