Local History - The Walkway
Above: early 1970s looking to Rutherglen Bridge
Above: The Walkway of c.1800, still rural, fronting the small estate of Newhall and its mansion
Above: Detail from John McArthur's map of Glasgow 1778, showing the rural nature of the walkway and the Newhall estate of Mr David Allan, immediately behind. The Rutherglen Bridge, built 1774, is in green, the walkway in pale orange. This early map shows the small wood at the end of the walkway, with path uphill through trees, wherein lay a natural spring well, used by locals. The area was still much rural and not greatly populated. Barrownfield village (later renamed Bridgeton) can be seen laid out in plots not yet occupied.
Below: The Walkway today, tree-lined. The houses and factoriies long gone
Above: The original Rutherglen Bridge (constructed 1774-75) showing The Walkway on the far left of the image with its steep banking to the river, now tree covered. the Rutherglen horse-drawn bus on the bridge; and the Avalon Inn, hostelry at the end of the bridge on the far right of the sketch.
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The history of a short stretch of walkway by the river Clyde, Glasgow, from its past rural setting to its industrial years then
back to a semi rural situation, set off , at its eastern end,
from the rest of Glasgow Green.
A leisurely stroll of 5 minutes completes the walk yet stories
of lives and architectural history have been played out here.
At one end, the historic Rutherglen Bridge, spanning the
Clyde and a natural well of spring water used in times past by locals - the original bridge was designed in the 1770s by the famed
James Watt from his younger days as a civil engineer At the
other end of the path, a plaque is all that remains on a wall
to mark the existence of the Newhall mansion house and its
attendant story of its owner who greedily claimed the walkway as his own by enclosing it in a tunnell and turfing
over it to give unbroken access to 'his' stretch of the river.
But the local people and the river would have none of it and
his plan was ruined by the forces of nature. By the 1850s
industrial Glasgow was spreading and the Newhall grounds
were not immune - by the 1850s quality tenement properties
were erected along the pathway, populated by business owners, doctors, architects. Weaving, dyeing and thread factories sprung up along the remainder of the pathway.These too, like Newhall mansion,are long gone and the place again is a tree lined haven of nature- a little sanctuary on the verge of the city.
This is the story of The Walkway, its history, its buildings, its people who have used it and enjoyed it, from times past until the present day.
Below: The Walkway to Rutherglen Bridge c.1880