19th Century


The old farmhouse at Parklea, on the southern bank of the River Clyde, next to Port Glasgow is marked on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map in 1857. Although heavily altered, two of the farm buildings still survive, as does the garden that extended to the south of the farmhouse. Although owned by the Trust it is manged by Inverclyde Council and is used as a sports changing facility. No archaeological work has been undertaken there, although the timber ponds, used for storing ship-building timber, are located on the mudflats to the north, these seem to have expanded along here before the 1890s.  There is likely to have been a farm on the site prior to the early 19th century and the spelling on the OS maps is ‘Parklee’. 

The main building at Parklea Farm © Thomas Nugent (CC BY-SA)

Hutcheson’s Hall 

The current Hutcheson’s Hall building was built between 1802-5 as replacement hospital for a similarly named building in the Trongate of Glasgow.  It is a grade A-Listed Building. The two statues set into alcoves on the main façade came from the earlier building and are of the brothers Thomas and George Hutcheson and date to 1649.

Hutcheson’s Hall © Brainiac Blink (CC BY-SA)

The property which had been used as a shop and a the first floor hall as a function venue for many years was converted into a restaurant in 2014. During the building works the water tank froze and burst, and the plasterboard lining of the rear of the building had to be removed. With much of the interior laid bare a quick historic building survey was undertaken, including laser scanning of the interior, by Northlight Archaeology (Francoz 2013).  

Standing building survey drawings of the tower at Hutcheson’s Hall © NTS

Holmwood House 

Holmwood House sits above the River White Cart, in the southside of Glasgow, and above the ruins of Millholm paper mill (Alexander and McCrae 2012, 250-1). The mill which was founded in 1730 continued in use until the 1930s. In the 19th century the mill owners, brothers James and Robert Couper lived in two villas, Holmwood and Sunnyside overlooking their business premises. Sunnyside was demolished in the 1960s, but James’s house still survives. Holmwood was designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson and is considered by many to be his finest domestic work. It was built in 1858 but by the mid-20th century it had been converted into a convent school with numerous extensions and additions. The house was acquired by the Trust in 1994 and underwent a detailed programme of conservation works, including the removal of the later additions and the revealing and restoration of the internal decorative schemes.  

During this major work, archaeological excavations were undertaken in the kitchen garden to the north of the house by CFA Archaeology (Neighbour and Glendinning 1997; Glendinning and Neighbour 1998). This revealed five phases of garden development including paths, beds and a greenhouse. The later 1920s garden had a large central pond which was subsequently filled in. The location of Sunnyside villa was turned into a tennis court and is now covered in poorly drained grass, but it is possible that foundations survive below this. 

Plans of Holmwood House © HES

Tenement House 

Built in 1892 The Tenement House flat, in Garnet Hill, Glasgow, is a typical middle-class tenement of the late 19th and early 20th century. It was lived in by Miss Agnes Toward from 1911 until 1965 and includes many of the period fixtures and fittings. No archaeological recording work has been undertaken at this property although there is always potential for material to be concealed behind wall coverings and under floorboards.  

Tenement House, Garnet Hill (No author, CCBY-SA 3.0)