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No Mean City: 1914 to 1950s



By Ron Fleming

Pollok House From 1914 and before, the Pollok area consisted of fields and farms that included dairy farming, potatoes, wheat, turnips and other crops. The Macusville, or Maxwell, family had occupied Pollok since the twelfth century and, in 1747, a descendent, Sir John Stirling Maxwell built the manor of Pollok House that still exists today. Also extant are the remains of Crookston Castle, built in the thirteen century and associated with Henry Darnley, son of the Earl of Lennox, and Mary Queen of Scots.

Pollok Housing In 1934 as part of a plan to re-house people from Glasgow's slums, Glasgow Corporation purchased land from Sir John Stirling Maxwell (1886-1956) to build a housing estate. Maxwell laid down stringent conditions on the form the estate must take, resulting in what is today called Old Pollok. The houses with gardens, three bedrooms, separate kitchen and toilet were like a new world compared to the overcrowded single-end type tenements of Glasgow from which most of the new residents came.

Calfhill Court The remainder of the housing estate was built after 1944 and German and Italian prisoners of war supplemented the local labour used in its construction. However the type and layout of this housing development was not as attractive as that in the original estate. This was largely due to the urgency of providing adequate housing for a large number of people who needed to be re-housed after the Second World War.

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