Maryhill (Scottish Gaelic: Cnoc Màiri)[1] is an area of the City of Glasgow in Scotland. Maryhill is a former burgh. Maryhill stretches over 7 miles (11 km) along Maryhill Road. The Maryhill district has several sub-districts, such as Acre, Botany, Dawsholm Park, Firhill, Gairbraid, Gilshochill, Maryhill Park, North Kelvinside, Queen's Cross, St George's Cross, Cadder, Summerston, Woodside and Wyndford.[citation needed]


Shakespeare Street
Location within Glasgow
OS grid referenceNS563691
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic county
Post townGLASGOW
Postcode districtG20
Dialling code0141 945/946
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55.8941°N 4.2944°W / 55.8941; -4.2944

The far north west of the area is served by Maryhill railway station.


Map of the Maryhill area, circa 1923.

Hew Hill, the Laird, or Lord, of Gairbraid, had no male heir and so he left his estate to his daughter, Mary Hill (1730-1809). She married Robert Graham of Dawsholm in 1763, but they had no income from trade or commerce and had to make what they could from the estate. They founded coalmines on the estate but they proved to be wet and unprofitable, and their property ventures are best known for an acre of ground they did not sell. It is still known as Acre today.

On 8 March 1768 Parliament approved the cutting of the Forth and Clyde Canal through their estate, which provided some much-needed money. The canal reached the estate in 1775, but the canal company had run out of money and work stopped for eight years. The Government granted funds from forfeited Jacobite estates to start it again and the crossing of the River Kelvin became the focus for massive construction activity. Five locks, the great Kelvin Aqueduct and, between two of the locks, a dry dock boatyard were built. A village too began to grow up and the Grahams provided more land for its development; Robert Graham attached one condition that was to immortalise the heiress of Gairbraid, his wife and the last in line of centuries of Hills of Gairbraid after the death of her father Hew Hill. The then village was to be "in all times called the town of MaryHill".

The new canal waterway attracted industries including boat-building, saw-milling and ironfounding to its banks within Mary's estate. By 1830 the scattered houses had grown to form a large village with a population of 3000. The building of the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway passing through Maryhill in the 1850s. The proximity of the Loch Katrine pipeline led to further growth, and in 1856 Maryhill became a burgh in its own right. It was absorbed into the boundaries of the city of Glasgow in 1891.

Part of the Antonine Wall runs through Maryhill, in the Maryhill Park area, where there is the site of a Roman fort adjoining the wall in nearby Bearsden. A Roman bath-house may still be seen there.[2]

Maryhill had the first Temperance Society in the United Kingdom after lawlessness filled the streets in the Victorian era.

Maryhill also boasts one of Glasgow's original Carnegie libraries, designed by the Inverness architect James Robert Rhind.

Maryhill Barracks was opened in 1872 and once dominated the area that is now the Wyndford housing estate. It was home to the Scots Greys and the Highland Light Infantry, and held Adolf Hitler's second-in-command Rudolf Hess during World War II after his supposed "peace" flight to the UK.

The barracks were decommissioned in the early 1960s. However the Territorial Army unit, the 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland continues to be based at the adjacent Walcheren Barracks. 32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment is also based near Kelvinside, with 105th Regiment Royal Artillery in nearby Partick.

Maryhill was known as the Venice of the North for its canals and also for being the centre of the glass industry, with its Caledonia Works and Glasgow Works.

The Glasgow Industrial School for Girls moved to Maryhill in 1882.[3]


Maryhill is part of the Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn constituency in the Scottish Parliament and of Maryhill Ward (Ward 15) on Glasgow City Council. Glasgow Maryhill was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1918 until 2005 when it was subsumed into the new Glasgow North constituency.

Maryhill Ward is a multi-member Ward and has three Councillors: John Letford (Alba), Jane Morgan (Labour) and Franny Scally (SNP).[4] The MSP for Maryhill and Springburn is Bob Doris[5] and the MP for Glasgow North is Patrick Grady.[6]


The population of the Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn constituency was 73,493 as of 2015[7] and the population as of 2013 of the Maryhill/Kelvin Ward was 27,125. Although the population is predominantly White Scottish/British (22,784), Maryhill is ethnically diverse. The largest of the other ethnic groups are Chinese and African (664 and 660 respectively).[4]


Although historically a working class area, as of 2013 there are more people employed in professional services than in manufacturing, construction and utilities in Maryhill. In 2011, the working-age population (16-64) was 18,770. Of these, 13,237 were economically active.[4]

According to the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, the level of income deprivation in Glasgow North West is 24%, while the figure for Maryhill is slightly higher at 25%.[8]


Many areas in the north of Glasgow are below the normal UK standard of living. However, not all areas of North Glasgow are in poor condition. Maryhill is in the north west of the city, and consists of well maintained traditionally "Glaswegian" sandstone tenements with the traditional high ceilings as well as many large Victorian town houses. There are also large housing association-run housing estates.

The district contains the Wyndford and Gairbraid estate, a housing estate with a population of almost 5,000, containing a number of high-rise housing blocks, the highest four reaching heights of 26 storeys. These are intermixed with lower residences to create an estate of significant housing contrast and variety.


Maryhill is the home of Firhill Stadium, which has been the home ground of Scottish League One club Partick Thistle since 1909. Originally from the burgh of Partick, the club moved to the Maryhill area in 1909, after struggling to find a new home nearer Partick.

Firhill Stadium in Maryhill, during a Scottish Premiership football match

During 2005-2012, Firhill was also the home of professional Rugby Union team, Glasgow Warriors. The junior team, Maryhill F.C. and Glasgow's oldest athletic club (Maryhill Harriers) are also located in Maryhill.

Architecture, canalside and modernisation

A branch of the Forth and Clyde Canal runs south from Gilshochill in Maryhill through Ruchill to Port Dundas: Ruchill Church stands beside the canal.
Maryhill Burgh Halls

Ruchill Church Hall was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The Forth and Clyde Canal flows through Maryhill, at one stage forming a vital part of the local economy. It was for many years polluted and largely unused after the decline of heavy industry, but recent efforts to regenerate and re-open the canal to navigation have seen it rejuvenated.[citation needed] Along the canalside, from the city centre along into Maryhill: plans for canalside flats, similar to the rejuvenation of old industrial warehouses in Manchester, have been granted.[citation needed]

Twenty unique stained glass windows were produced by Stephen Adam in 1878 for the Maryhill Burgh Halls, depicting the many varied industries and occupations of Maryhill's inhabitants. The Burgh Halls, part of a complex of listed buildings including the former Baths & Wash-houses, the former Fire Station, and former Police Station, were restored in a £9.2M regeneration project, and a number of the original stained glass windows have been on display since late 2011.[9]

The Maryhill Lochs were the venue for the 2017 Red Bull Neptune Race on 18 March that year.[10]



Botany (55.8909°N 4.2929°W / 55.8909; -4.2929) is an area in Maryhill. One explanation for the name of the area that it was viewed as a rougher part of the then village of Maryhill, with many rough-and-tumble lodging houses and public houses, and many of its residents were expected to be deported to Botany Bay in Australia, then acting as a penal colony. However, a more prosaic explanation is that there was a school in the area known as the Botany School, now long closed, but the name survived.[11]

This reputation for being a rough area did not lessen over the years, with Botany (commonly referred to as 'The Butney' by local people) having many social problems of deprivation, unemployment and drug abuse. The local gang was known as "The Butny".[11]

The area has been completely cleared by the city council and is under construction for new modern apartment flats along with many other areas of Maryhill.

The area's name is preserved by a local bar which has been named The Botany.

Maryhill Park

Maryhill Park (55.9025°N 4.3016°W / 55.9025; -4.3016) is an area of Maryhill. Unlike much of the rest of Maryhill, the population is predominantly middle-class and the property type in the area consists mainly of Victorian semi-detached town houses. The Maryhill Locks, a steeply-descending series of pools on the Forth & Clyde Canal are nearby.

The present day Maryhill railway station was at one stage called Maryhill Park to distinguish it from the Maryhill railway station that then existed further down Maryhill Road (near the Wyndford area of Maryhill). Both stations were closed as part of the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, and when the former Maryhill Park station was reopened in the 1990s the "Park" part of the title was dropped as the other station was not reopened. The area is also served by numerous bus routes along Maryhill Road.

Queen's Cross

Queen's Cross is a neighbourhood in the area of Maryhill mostly made up of working class social housing, mainly owned by Queens Cross Housing Association, the local housing authority named for the area.

The cross is the junction where Maryhill Road and Garscube Road meet extending south to the neighbouring areas of St George's Cross and Cowcaddens respectively. The area's Queen's Cross Church designed by Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh also serves as the headquarters of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society.

Maryhill in the media

Maryhill has been the location for a number of television programmes and films, namely:

  • A short-lived 1960s TV soap High Living created by (then) Cowcaddens-based Scottish Television was set in a tower block in the Wyndford area of Maryhill, however as a totally studio-based drama, it relied of pictures of the flats as part of the opening and closing title sequences.
  • Taggart, an internationally famous Glaswegian detective television programme, which is translated into many languages including German and Japanese is set and filmed in Maryhill. Fans and tourists still come to the Maryhill Police Station to take photographs.
  • Trainspotting, A cafe in Maryhill was used as a set in Trainspotting, Jaconelli's at the Queens Cross area.[12] Also, Crosslands on Queen Margaret Drive was the pub where Begbie started a fight by throwing a glass over his head into a crowded bar.[13]
  • The hit BBC television comedy series Chewin' the Fat was filmed in the area, a precedent followed by its successor the sitcom Still Game. They often showed local features including the Forth and Clyde Canal in the background and several other areas and landmarks of Maryhill in outdoor shots.

Notable people

See also


  1. "Maryhill". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. [email protected], Undiscovered Scotland. "Bearsden Roman Baths Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland".
  3. "Children's Homes".
  4. "List of Glasgow Councillors". Glasgow City Council. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  5. "Bob Doris". 5 June 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  6. "Patrick Grady MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  7. "Scottish Parliamentary Constituency Population Estimates". 31 May 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  8. "GCPH - Glasgow City Profile" (PDF). Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  9. "Maryhill Burgh Halls".
  10. Richardson, Liz (23 March 2017). "Red Bull Neptune Steps". Going the (middle) distance. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  11. James Patrick A Glasgow Gang Observed
  12. "Cafe D'Jaconelli, 570 Maryhill Road, Glasgow". eggbaconchipsandbeans.
  13. Reeves, Tony. "Filming Locations for Danny Boyle's Trainspotting (1996), in Scotland and London".