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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
George Hutchinson and Traditions of Partick Castle


THE formerly finely wooded vale of the Kelvin was one of the most favourite haunts conveniently accessible to our citizens; many of the older inhabitants, we have no doubt, must find its name a talisman capable of exciting their sweetest langsyne memories. The former village of Partick was pleasantly and romantically situated on the western bank of the Kelvin, at its junction with the Clyde.

In the immediate vicinity of Partick, and also on the western hank of the Kelvin, until the past few years, there stood a ruinous edifice of no great extent, which by some was supposed to have been erected as a country residence at an early date, by one of the bishops of the See of Glasgow. Around the spot a number of fine old trees were scattered, the scene altogether was just such a one as a dreamy poet or painter would have loved to linger by, peopling the desested walls with the forms of other days.

The appearance of the venerable structure has been preserved by a loving pencil; and a goodly number of years ago a poet of considerable merit was addressed to it by some nameless bard in one of the local periodicals. The following verse of the production is all that we have been able to recover from the leaky memory of a friend who committed it to heart in his boyhood, and who thinks that it was in a number of the Bee or the Glasgow Magazine that he must have seen it originally :—

Lo, Partick Castle, drear and lone,
Stands like a silent looker-on,
Where Clyde and Kelvin meet;
The long rank grass waves o’er its walls;
No sound is heard within its halls,
Save noise ot distant waterfalls,
Where children lavo their feet."

The great antiqiuity of this building, we may mention has been recently denied, on the authority of certain papers preserved by a descendant of Mr. George Hutcheson, one of the brothers who founded the hospital of that name in the city, and who, according to these papers, also erected the house in question. One of the documents alluded to is a contract with William Miller, mason in Kilwinning, for the erection of the stonework of the aforesaid house, wherein the standard of measurement is pawkily stated to be according to the length of

"Ye said George’s ain fute."

In corroboration of this statement also, we find in Hamilton of Wishaw’s Description of Lanarkshire a passage to the following effect: "Above this, where Kelvin falls into Clyde, is the house of Pertique, a well-built and convenient house, well planted with barren timber and large gardens, which are enclosed with stone walls, and which formerly belonged to George Hutcheson in Glasgow, but now to John Crawford of Myltoun."

It would therefore seem that The Castle, as it was generally called, was not of so ancient a date as was traditionally supposed. It is certain, however, that the proud prelates of Glasgow had for many years a favourite rural residence in the vicinity of Partick and nothing is more probable than that it was situated at this spot, which in those days must have been invested with a landscape beauty of no ordinary kind.


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