Blackfriars Street, named after the Dominicans or "black friars" who established a convent in the area. It is now a trendy part of the Merchant City, with pubs and restaurants such as Babbity Bowster, pictured here c 1990, and converted warehouses like the adjacent red sandstone property.
The building now known as Babbity Bowster was erected in the 18th-century as a town house. It has been attributed to both Robert and James Adam. Like many properties in the area, it lay derelict for many years before it was converted to a hotel and pub, opening in 1986. The original Roman Doric doorway has been retained, with the rest of the building restored in the style of the original house.
"Babbity Bowster" was an old Scottish country dance which was often used to finish off a ball; it also became a children's game with different rules in various parts of the country. "Babbity" means "bob" and "bowster" was the wheel-shaft in a watermill.
Reference: Bulletin photographs, Box 1, Restaurants
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
apartments, Babbity Bowster, bars, black friars, children's games, dances, Dominicans, doorways, hotels, public houses, pubs, restaurants, town houses, urban regeneration, warehouses