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Where is/was Egypt?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 9:41 am
by Seamey
I remember there was a place in the east end called Egypt, I tried looking in a street directory for it, but couldn't find it - anyone?


Little Egypt

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:43 pm
by escotregen
Seamey, The place your thinking of is 'Little Egypt' in Tollcross. It's located in the area just behind Wellshot and Tollcross Roads. It was originally a farm in Victorian/Edwardian times and was managed by an ex soldier who had done service in Egypt; hence the name. Tollcross is a fascinating area of under appreciated history. Right up until the early 20th century it was an affluent small-borough-type place. The lower middle and middle classes employed in the great industries of East Glasgow and Lanarkshire lived there. The poorer working classes were more likely to end up in nearby settlements such as Parkhead and Shettleston. Consequently there were many houses and public buildings of some substance. Many of the houses remain in strets such as Drumover Drive, but unfortunatly long past their greatness.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 12:07 pm
by Seamey
my thanks for the excellent reply

Re: Where is/was Egypt?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:20 pm
by crusty_bint
Seamey wrote:I remember there was a place in the east end called Egypt, I tried looking in a street directory for it, but couldn't find it - anyone?

Living in Shettleston (although I've moved on since... far away ...far, far away!) I recall in a local freepaper (the Gen or East End Independant) printing a story of a competition; probably ten years ago now, held in the local primary schools of the Tolcross area.

The area in question was undergoing the project of regeneration and the kids of the area were asked to choose a new name for it. A little girl (local herry) won, but never gave her reasons mysteriously... :D

Undoubtably, the ex-serviceman with his Fondness for Egypt (which I'd never heard about) and even more probably her Grannies auld stories, were the "wee lassie's" inspiration. that really tied up a loose end! ::): ...for me anyway :oops:

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:33 pm
by escotregen
Another one for your memory banks... do you remember the magnificant "Tollcross Mansions" House in Tollcross park? More importantly do you remember the legendary 'Cock Robbins' display kept in the folk museum in the House until the 1970s? When I worked in the local housing association in the 1990s we discovered that the Mansion (then in an appalling state after many decades of 'care' under the Council) was just about the only surviving example in the west of Scotland of the Baronial style of 18th century architect Bryce whose work is much better known in the east of Scotland. We launched an initiative with the aim of adapting the Mansion to a mix of community and commercial use that would retain/restore many of the original interiors and facilities. Unfortunatly, another developer moved in and converted it into a special residential care facility; I leave you to decide whether the result has been better than what we had intended. And the Cock Robin display?... it is now housed in the Forge Shopping mall at Parkhead Cross

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:08 am
by crusty_bint
I was thinking about that as I was writing my last reply.
I remember playing round about it as a child in the eighties . It was boarded up then and being built atop the steep west embankment with all those old trees. The burn there also emerged from a tunnel (which seems to be a popular theme in the forum) that runs under Wellshot Rd and Sandyhills (I think).

Anywho, my mother told me of a visit the Queen made to the museum in he fifties (I think) and I actually came across a book of Tollcross with a photo of the queen admiring the cock robin display.

I think I also remeber reading about the patron. If I'm not totlly trippin, he owned the lands and mining rights of Carntyne and made a huge fortune from it and built Tollcross House with it. Apperently, eager to impress with his new found wealth, he splashed out laying out the grounds, building bridges and improving Tollcross Rd (then The Great Eastern Rd). Unfortunately, by the time it was finished Scots Baronial was considered "sooooooo de passe" and the poor sod was ridiculed!

I remember the development too. Church of Scotland wasn't it? I'm studying architectural conservation at the mo and I remember seeing the new development at an open day... "uninspiring" were my young thoughts! I take it you've seen the Ladywell Church and School Board redevopments?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:46 pm
by escotregen
Crusty; a bit odd this... I thought I had replied earlier to your last message but my message has not appeared. Anyway; the tunnel you mentioned was part of the burn that ran behind the Mansion and was culverted underground as it made its way down the park and under Tollcross Road towards the Clyde. In the mid 1990s I headed up the staff team at Tollcrosss Housing Association and we built the new development just oppposite the Park on Tollcross Road. Our architects, Elder & Cannon of Glasgow (an impressive team), tried to incorporate the burn into the development scheme but the burn was so polluted that the only option was to fully culvert it underground. Local grapevine had it that 'It was Stakis that causes the pollution (allegedly)' Stakis being the-then hotels and pubs group. I never could figure out the veracity of this grapevine gossip, the pollution was said to start in Sandyhills. The patrons of the Mansion was the Dunlop family; as you say they 'were big' in local coal and minerals. I think this was the family that Dunlop Street in Glasgow was named after and that a Dunlop became a Lord Provost of Glasgow in early 20th century (when it really meant something). However, I maybe could be correcxted on these points.
I don't know if you recall the old red sandstone Methodist church in Tollcross village main street? It was being demolished just as I started work at Tollcross, so I "liberated" a block of the original red sandstone. The block is now my very own 'Stone of Destiny' from old Tollcross!

Heyyyyyy... whered my reply go?!?!?!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:11 pm
by crusty_bint
Thats a shame you weren't able to incorporate the burn into your development. I have never heard the Stakis goss... will endeavor to find out more tho! I'm familiar with some of E&C's work, there are some flats of theirs in Landgside Rd and I think the Bank of Pakistan was theirs too.

I was reading about Tollcross yesterday and came across the Corbet family, a noble family that moved here from Normandy in the early 11th Century. A James Corbet occupiedan and farmed the area from around 1751 and was weaving in Larkhall around 1784.

Tollcross remained in the hands of the Corbets until the beginning of the 19th Century when it was sold to James Dunlop of Garnkirk who died there in 1816. There was a Colin Dunlop who had a building erected in Dunlop St in 1757 (the blonde sandstone building beside Thomsons Bucks Head Building) and later went on to become Chief Magistrate of the city.

It wasn't until 1847 that the estate moved from Janefield (now a cemetary) to the newly built Tollcross Mansion. It was built in the Scots Jacobean style ("Baronial" being reserved for the the more grandiose forms) by David Bryce (who was also the architect of Fettes College in Edinburgh).

I think thats dispelled the myth of the house being ridiculed (I checked up on David Bryce too... he is VERY much appreciated!)!

I remember a story of a bomber plane (Nazi or Ally I couldnt say) crash landing in Tollcross park, opposite Muiryfauld Dr and St Marks Primary but I havent been able to find anything about it.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:15 pm
by escotregen
This information helps clarify/correct some of mine, for example I did not realise the Tollcross mansion was was of such modern vintage as mid 19th century (I also referred I think to William rather than David Bryce. Around the Corbet Street area you can still pick the remants of original estate farm buildings etc. For the housing association I tried hard to realise some major redevelopment on the vacant sites bounded by Corbet Street, Easterhill Street (named after the long-gone Easterhill House) and Causwayside (?) Street. However, the whole collection of sites was a geological nightmare, in particular old unmapped mineworks riddled the land. There had been a substantial old convent on much of this land but the ground was so unstable that it had to be demolished (in the 1980s I think). Another interesting remnant of times back to at least early 19th century is the old inn marked on maps at the junction of Easterhill Street and Causwayside Street. There is an old still-used pub building on this spot and I'm pretty certain this is the original building. I always did want to go into the pub and suss out the interior and maybe its oral-held history... but it's not the most salubrious looking place from the outside and I didn't fancy my chances. I suppose I am now philisophical about the lack of success in securing housing redevelopment; at least it does mean that much of the remnants are still there albeit due to benign neglect.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:39 pm
by crusty_bint
Food for thought there... Causewayside St... obviously a remnant from Tollcross' industrial past? Theres a "back causeway" (tee-hee :oops: ) off Westmuir St in Parkhead. I think this requires further research, you've sparked me interest on this'un!

I've also been considering taking a trip to the inn you mentioned, although, I don't think I've retained enough of my east-end savvy to swagger in and ask the humble folks' life story!

I've also been asking around for any elaborations on the Stakis rumour but don't seem to be able to come up with anything. I've found records of the mining operations in the area and what they were mining for (some sites are still identifiable)... don't suppose you know what the Tollcross burn was/is polluted with?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:00 pm
by escotregen
Yes, Causwayside Street is intriguing. It's an unusually absolutely straight line. I have traced on old maps that a Smithy was located at the northern tip of it. It seemed to run south from there to link up with the London Road... maybe something was being transported down it to the main arterial route? There are some other short streets within the locality running roughly parallel to Causewayside, and they mostly seem to date from the early local industrialisation period. Another interesting detail is the existence of a long-established freemasonary lodge near the middle of Causewayside Street. Older established lodges of this sort were often erected at a significant or prestigous location, and membership was often derived from the industrialised or early industrialising workforce.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:29 pm
by crusty_bint
I've been looking at a map of 1864/65 ( search "shettleston") and Causewayside St is there, although un-named.
I've also been looking through old records of mining operations in the area and have found several references to James Dunlop & Co Ltd in partnership with Clyde Iron Works at Bogleshole and Easterhill. Presumably they were operating from the smithy you mentioned. Notice on the map that Causewayside St continues south from Tollcross Rd to the Clyde Iron Works site (now Cambuslang Industrial Estate) on the banks of the Clyde... could even be some tunnels down there :roll: ::):

Something else I discovered that I thought might interest you is that George Buchannan (one of the Virginia Merchants after which Buchannan St is named and also built Virginia Mansions in town) purchased the area known as "Windyedge", renaming it "Mount Vernon" after the estate of his friend George Washington. Apparently they were neighbours in Virginia!

Also, a Mr Roxburgh who owned the Brittania (panoptican) Theatre lived in the last house on Mount Vernon Ave. An account of Shettleston written by an elderly man in 1931 states that no-one in Eastmuir could remember the proper name of the Tollcross burn as it had been colloquially called "the bloody burn" for several generations... don't think we'll ever know now!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 11:12 pm
by crusty_bint
Looked at that map again... forget what I said about Tollcross Burn :oops:

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 10:38 am
by Kirsty
THANK YOU so much for this topic. I have just finished an Alistair Campbell book called the "last Darkness" and the policeman in it lives in Egypt in the East End. No one I asked had a clue. Thanks again


PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 9:22 pm
by BrianCharlton
Here is an old map of the East End of Glasgow from around the mid 1950s
And you can clearly see Egypt marked between Shettleston and Tollcross.


Regards, Brian C.