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Provanmill and Blackhill

From left to right:
Provanmill before 1914, Provanmill terminus, No. 6 Provanmill to Crow Road

Up until the 1920’s this was still a semi-rural area. There were coal pits at Riddrie, Hogganfield, Robroyston and Lumloch (just beyond Wallace’s Well). To the west of the present Shields Bar, there was Ranza Place with some two or three storey houses beside the old Provanmill Inn. Opposite there was a whisky distillery. Garngad Rd continued over the ‘Three Hills’ to Millerston. Where the present day Hogganfield Estate lies was Pinkerton’s rhubarb fields and the Pinkerton family owned the big house at the end of Garngad Rd going on to Cumbernauld Rd. This house is now a nursing home. The surrounding area was mostly farms around Robroyston. Robroyston Pit lay to the left of the Provanmill - Robroyston Rd and the old pit bing was still there when I was a boy.

There was a miner’s welfare hall at the corner of Garngad Rd and Provanmill Rd opposite the present Provanmill Inn. This later became a community centre.

We often used to take the tram to Provanmill terminus which was where Shields Bar now stands. There were a line of older self-contained houses here and on Provanmill Rd. There were several favourite walks from here. We would often go over the three hills to Hogganfield Loch or walk to Millerstown tram terminus. There was a café called ‘The Cosy Neuk’ where ‘The New Inn’ now stands. We would then walk to the old Robroyston station and back to Robroyston Rd via the ‘Half Mile Bridge’. Old Robroyston consisted of the steel houses at Zena Street, Earnock St, Olive St, Winifred St, Sheila St, Hilda St and Hilda Crescent and Robroyston Rd. Like the steel houses at Forrestfield St, Carbrook St, Kilberry St, Dunlly St, Hollybank St and Kintyre St, Garngad. The only other houses were the three which stand on the hill beyond the steel houses. Robroyston Hospital, Wallace’s Well were surrounded by farms. Fairly recent developments have seen Robroyston grow like topsy.

Robroyston Hospital was built in 1917 and closed in 1977. Beyond the hospital lay the monument to William Wallace, the Scottish patriot. Beyond that was Wallace’s Well, where Wallace is reputed to have taken a drink before his capture by the English in a nearby house. We all swore in those days there was a tree soaked with Wallace’s blood.

The interim advisory committee of the Molendinar Community Council, 1975

Robroyston has changed out of all recognition now as it is one of Glasgow’s fastest growing suburbs. Most of the houses in Provanmill and Blackhill would be built from the 1920’s onwards. Blackhill has a fine new estate now with much of the old scheme gone. In older times there would be a few cottages for lock-keepers around the canal. There was also a golf course at Blackhill and a large mansion at Provanmill.

Millerston (3 hills circa 1850)


Read about Germiston
Read about Garngad and Royston
Read about Garngad characters (Mick McLaughlan by Michael Keenan)
Read about politics in the area
Read about entertainment in the area
Read about sports in the area
Read about schools in the area
Read about churches and religion in the area
Read the 'Farewell to Garngad'
Read about a poet from 'Little Ireland'
Read the conclusion by writer James Friel


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