Pollokshields Burgh Hall
The Pollokshields Burgh Hall stands at the edge of Maxwell Park, Glasgow, Scotland. Designed by Henry Edward Clifford and constructed in 17th-century Scottish Renaissance style, this was opened in 1890 by Sir John Stirling Maxwell as a Masonic Meeting Place and for the use of the community but served the independent burgh of Pollokshields only until 1891 when the rapidly expanding city swallowed up the area. The hall contained various council offices and a courtroom. It continues to this day as a Masonic meeting place, hence the numerous Masonic symbols in the carvings (especially at the back of the building) and in the stained-glass windows. The first lodge to meet there was Pollokshields No 772 on 25 October 1890. On that occasion the Foundation Stone was laid in the vestibule by Bro. Sir John Stirling Maxwell of Pollok, Bart., who with others were made Honorary Affiliates. Sir John donated the land for Maxwell Park and the Burgh Halls in 1888. The hall is built of dark red sandstone from Ballochmyle in Ayrshire, which contrasts quite starkly with the blond sandstone used to build many of the surrounding villas. The Maxwell family coat of arms is carved above the entrance porch of the Hall, flanked by two Scottish lions; and recorded in marble in the vestibule floor. The dominant external feature of the building is the 60-foot (18 m) high tower, housing a turret stair, corbelled balcony and vigil windows. To the left of the hall is the Lodge House comprising two flats, originally for the Burgh Sanitary Inspector and the Park Gardener. In 1938 the back of the building was enlarged but with the loss of the end gallery in the large hall. By 1975 it was being used by the Social Work Department of Strathclyde Regional Council as an occupational day centre. In 1982 it was declared surplus to requirements and for sale on the open market. After local protest, a charitable trust was formed to ensure that the building would continue to serve the public. The Pollokshields Burgh Hall Trust Ltd acquired the building for £1 with missives being concluded in 1986. Only in 1991 was the title transferred with the condition that the derelict lodge house be restored within five years. With the support of generous funding from Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Glasgow City Council, the Glasgow Development Agency and the local community, the lodge house and the ground floor of the Hall were completely restored and reopened in 1997. The lower ground floor has since attracted further funding and what was once little more than cellar space has been converted into an inspired, magnificent and contemporary conference or function amenity, with its own catering facilities, directly accessed through the rear loggia which opens on to Maxwell Park. After over one hundred and sixteen years Pollokshields Burgh Hall continues to cater for business, weddings, family functions, meetings and mini conferences. This magnificent 19th century building continues in the 21st century to provide the services for which it was originally designed. Further details of the Hall and lettings can be found on the Trust's website.