Help us keep GDODF a free event – text DOORSOPEN to 70085 to donate £5.
Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message.

Strange Affray at Crosshill: architecture and social mobility in late-19th century Glasgow

Day: Thursday
Time: 6pm
Booking Necessary: Yes

A Zoom lecture by Dr Ailsa Boyd

When researching my own home in the Southside of Glasgow, I discovered that one of the first people to live in it had been the perpetrator of a fatal incident in 1897. After looking further into the family’s story, I discovered a fascinating tale of social mobility, from poverty in the industrial Gorbals to middle-class comfort in Pollokshields and a doctor’s surgery in the turreted tenements of Parkhead Cross. The Battersby family exemplify the social, economic and educational developments of the late nineteenth century, with six of the children, including girls, benefitting from a university education. But my semi-detached house is just one location in a network of built heritage across Glasgow. The architect was Robert Duncan (c.1840-1928), little known today, but architect of some of Glasgow’s most distinctive buildings. Not only did he build streets of terraces and tenements around Crosshill, but villas, churches, warehouses, a hospital, Cooper’s grocers and the building best known as the Locarno ballroom. People like the Battersbys and Duncan created the Victorian and Edwardian Glasgow still evident in the built heritage which we walk past every day. The houses we live in still have stories to be discovered, and I hope that the Doors Open Day audience will bring their own knowledge to my research.

Organisation Information:

Dr Ailsa Boyd is an independent writer and lecturer in 19th century art, design and literature, with a particular interest in the decoration of the homes we live in and imagined spaces.

Other Information


Parking: Yes


Physical Access to Building: Fully Accessible (access to all areas without trouble, including for someone using a wheelchair or mobility scooter)

Thursday @ 6pm

Duration: 1 hour