Dowanhill House, Byres Road

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Dowanhill House, Byres Road

Postby Len » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:44 pm

I've been passing this doorway for years, and always vaguely wondered about its history.

Google gives me a pic from Pat's West End site, and, well, not much else that's relevant, but when I spoke to Sharon for work purposes last week, I thought I'd ask her, and she suggested trying here. A special prize for anyone with ideas ...

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Postby The Voyageur » Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:10 pm

Did a wee google search ....... and preety much found what you found. There was a property website which quotes the following:

Dowanhill House was one of the first developments in what was then known as the new estate of Dowanhill, and what we now of course know as Glasgow's West End


Presumably, the doorway is the last remnants of this building, but going from the doorway, it must have looked pretty grand on it's own.
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Postby Ronnie » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:21 pm

The doorway looks 1930s, so it is likely younger than the building. The original Dowanhill House - the mansion house of an estate called Dowanhill - was a good bit further south. Other than that ...
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Postby Vladimir » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:32 pm

Is that an architectural feature or a drainpipe up there 8O
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Postby HollowHorn » Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:42 pm

Vladimir wrote:Is that an architectural feature or a drainpipe up there 8O

I thought that it was a stone carved detail, due to the colour, now it looks a bit like a metal fixture?
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Postby Len » Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:03 pm

It's definitely not a drainpipe; it's made of stone. And to concur with what Ronnie said, I'd date the doorway to 1920s or 1930s, long after what would have been the "first developments" on the estate known as Dowanhill. (I used to live in Bowmont Gardens, and that certainly pre-dates this feature; it was also – presumably, given its location – not anywhere near the first developments on Dowanhill.)
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Postby dazza » Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:44 am

As far as i can gather, 219 Byres Road has always been the entrance to residential property.

"Dowanhill House was one of the first developments in what was then known as the new estate of Dowanhill, and what we now of course know as Glasgow's West End" is purely an error, as they refer to it in the previous paragraph as Dowanside House, and the property is not on, or directly adjacent to, Byres Road.

From the picture it looks like the stone "pole" once held a sign of some description. A sign that said "Dowanhill House" no doubt.
Why a lackluster tenement block dating from the 1870's would suddenly proclaim itself as "Dowanhill House" in the 1930's is a mystery. Perhaps some photos of 219 Byres Road circa 1930/40's would help?
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Postby johnnyanglia » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:07 pm

Purely conjecture !. Is the sign maybe a reference to a business or lodge that may have operated out of a converted flat in the close ?
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Postby ColinC » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:04 pm

Dowanhill House was a restaurant and dining rooms located above the entrance that is in the photograph above, you used to climb the stairs, to the first landing, where the entrance to the Kelvin Rooms was, Toilets and the cashiers position, there was a short flight of stairs then to the main dining room. This overlooked Byres road and was all very formal, oak panelling, silver service, staff formally dressed etc. On Byers road, underneath and to the south, was the Talisman, a more informal coffee house, high stools and counters in orange and brown, it was converted to a “City Bakeries” sometime around 1974 and I don’t think the dining room or the Kelvin rooms opened again. My sister had her Wedding reception in the Kelvin Rooms in 1972, it was a large set of rooms with partition dividers that covered the area front to back, except the dining room and north and south to the next closes where there were exits, these looked like regular entrances to flats from the outside. My mother worked there as the cashier in the sixties and seventies, after they closed down the place got cleared out and as well as some spectacular mirrors she has still got some bits and bobs with “DH” on them kicking around. I will ask her what the architectural feature above the front door is next time we speak, I remember there being some type of sign but I can’t quite remember what.

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Postby Len » Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:16 pm

Colin C:

You're a star, thank you very much. And I'd love to see pics of any of the old signs and so on that your mother still has ...
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Postby Ronnie » Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:33 am

ColinC wrote:Dowanhill House was a restaurant and dining rooms located above the entrance that is in the photograph above


Hmm ... I think this was immediately to the north, above the Oxfam shop and currently home to the Click/ Munro empire, which had a City Bakeries beneath. I think the very narrow close mouth we are talking about has always been residential. But, since the Mitchell is closed, I can't drop in and verify.

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Mitchell re opens

Postby Dexter St. Clair » Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:20 am

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Re: Mitchell re opens

Postby Timchilli » Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:17 am


I’ve been calling the general enquiries line all this morning; does anyone know if the Mitchell is completely open today? I quite fancy a bit of a shift in the Glasgow room after work.

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Postby DickyHart » Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:45 pm

I heard on the news this morning it is open tim!!
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The Mitchell is Open

Postby Dexter St. Clair » Mon Sep 05, 2005 3:31 pm

It's a bit dusty but it is open.
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