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Scottish Musical Review 1896
Scottish Musical Review 1896

Gas worker
Gas worker

Babbity Bowster

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Bulletin Photographs

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Babbity Bowster

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

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