The Maxwell family have owned and lived at Pollok since the 13th century. The original dwellings and settlement were on the White Cart where the river could be forded. The current site of Pollok House, chosen in the mid 18th century, avoided the recurring flooding. Planning began in the 1730s and there is a tradition that the architect, William Adam (1689-1748), was consulted and provided an initial plan. Construction was delayed until 1747 and completed by 1753, but the actual architect remains unknown. The house was built on a compact scale with four floors in an austere, sober, classical style. The interior is much more exuberant with ornate plasterwork in the principal rooms.
When Sir John Stirling Maxwell, 10th Baronet (1866-1956), inherited the house and estate in 1887 little had changed. The diminutive Georgian size was not conducive to late Victorian ideas of comfort and entertaining. An expansion to its present form began in 1890. The fashionable architect Robert Rowand Anderson (1834-1921) was commissioned to provide an entrance hall, servants' quarters and additional accommodation using single storey pavilions linked to the main house. This was arrived at after several plans for much more inflated additions. The final effect was to provide an extremely fashionable Edwardian country house while retaining the charm and scale of the original Georgian building. This work is important because, with unusual thoroughness, Sir John Anderson and Robert Rowand Anderson pioneered a taste for neo-Georgian style in Scotland.
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