Glasgow Zoo Park
Glasgowzoo has now closed these pages are for information only

Calderpark Introduced Calderpark defined
Geology / geomorphology of area Prehistoric Animal Remains
Prehistoric Human Activities The Romans
Church Land and Farming Daldowie
Calderpark Wealthy Merchants of Glasgow
Walled Garden Glasgow Lunatic Asylum
Slavery in Scottish Coal Mines Menageries and Zoos

1 - Introduction to Calderpark

When walking through Glasgow Zoo with its slopes and the meandering river, one cannot help pondering over the changes that may have taken place on this land over thousands and millions of years.

It is fascinating to speculate, or indeed, to find out how the land was formed, or who lived on it, or passed over it during past centuries.

The following chapters will therefore help unfolding Calderpark's geological development and its history.

The name " Glasgow Zoo " is a fairly recent one, and - for most - it will be better known as " Calderpark Zoo ".

In 1936 the Zoological Society of Glasgow and the West of Scotland was formed, and a few years later, the Society bought the former Calderpark Estate with the intention of establishing a zoo on this land.

Just after the war, in 1947, which was a difficult perod for starting and obtaining things, Calderpark Zoo was opened.

The name " Calderpark " stems from the early 19th century and is quite easily explained:-

The first part, " Calder " is taken from the river Calder, or, more precisely, The North Calder Water, which winds its way right through the zoo. The river must have been witness - during its thousands of years of existence - of many changes and historical events that took place in and around the area.

Also " Park " as in Calderpark, can be explained:-

In the early 19th century, Mr James McNair , a wealthy Glasgow Sugar Refiner and merchant and - a descendant of a family of merchants and coalmasters - acquired the land on a feu from the Bogles of Daldowie

McNair built a handsome villa on the land thus acquired, and called his estate from then on " Calderpark ". Under this name the area was known for the best part of one and three quarter centuries.

When McNair acquired the land, Old Monklands - to which Calderpark belonged - was farmland. The farm that was replaced by the villa was called New Mill , as Forrester's Lanarkshire Map (1813) depicts.

Underground and hidden from the eye, the entire area was rich in coal measures, and it was therefore an inevitable development during the industrial era, that coal mines .sprung up all around the estate.

In order to hide the unattractive collieries, McNair arranged for trees to be planted. This gave the land a parklike appearance, and hence, was contributive in forming the name Calder park .

Many of the trees planted at that time, are still here today and help enhance the setting of Glasgow's zoo. The land with its slopes and hills, the river and woods at the far side, and the small loch, provides an ideal setting for a zoo.

In turn, the zoo provides enjoyment and education, not only for the people of Glasgow, but also draws interested groups from all over the West of Scotland.

2 - Geological and Geomorphological Formation of the Area

In geological terms, the Scottish Midland Valley spreads right across from the west coast to the east coast, within the Forth-Clyde isthmus.

In the north and south this rift valley is bounded by two parallel faults.

The Midland Valley possesses rich coal fields and coal has been mined in this area for centuries, but probably most intensely during the industrial era.

Within the Scottish Midland Valley are several carboniferous ( coal-bearing ) basins, and Calderpark is situated in the Lanarkshire Carboniferous Basin of Central Scotland.

The carboniferous succession is made up of lower carboniferous stratae and upper carboniferous stratae. These stratae, or layers, were deposited in the following succession (starting from the lowest group)

  • of cement stone
  • shale
  • calciferous sandstone,
and then in the upper group of various coal measures alternating with layers of limestone. This succession of layers is then finally topped by a layer of reddish sandstone, called red barren sandstone . The exposed sandstone layer is visible quite clearly along the North Calder Water.

Glacial drifts and alluvial deposits were, however, later responsible for shaping the topography within the basin.

To understand how it came to the many different layers of carboniferous deposits, one has to imagine what it may have been like around here, over 300 million years ago.

The area was covered with thickly forested swamps. In these, dead vegetable matter accumulated and formed thick beds of peat. Then, over thousands, or even millions of years, the peat layer carbonised, and changed into coal. Through fossils, which are frequently found in coal, the type of plant that was growing in these forests, can be established. They were fern-like plants, and judging by the fossilised trunk remains found, they must have been as high as our present forest trees; in some cases, probably even higher.

Then, over a long period, water washed over the peat layer depositing sand and shells of water-borne animals. Again, fossils found in limestone can tell us about their shape, size and nature.

After the water receded, over a considerable period, new swamps and forest grew up one more, and the previous process of the plant and forest stage repeated itself. Over millions of years, this resulted in coal measures alternating with layers of limestone.

This is roughly what happened - and judging by the many layers - one period succeeded the other several times.

Eventually, indeed far more recently, the last ice age of the Pleistocene period, was responsible for shaping the topography of Scotland, and of course, of the Calderpark area.

About 12,000 years ago, large ice sheets covered the northern continents, which included also most of Britain. These ice sheets advanced from the north and moved in a south-easterly direction. In the process the ice sheets were grinding down rough rocky areas and were depositing, on the other hand, till ( or boulder clay ) obliterating former drainage patterns, and filling in pre-glacial rock basins. Alluvial deposits reaching far beyond present river systems are proof of such changes in drainage patterns.

Calderpark offers a good example of most of these geological and geomorphological processes:-

Undergound - as we have learned - the site was rich in coal measures; and the hills at Calderpark are the result of boulder clay deposition. The deposits were then gradually cut down and shaped by succeeding meltwaters.

Geological maps of the site show that alluvial deposits are covering a much wider area than that of the present North Calder Water. It can therefore be assumed that the river changed its path more than once, to take eventually, its meandering course cutting through softer ground and thus avoiding harder substances of a basaltic rock nature.

The winding river adds to the beauty of Calderpark as we know it today.

3 - Readvance of Ice Sheets

Animal Remains Embedded in Gravel and Sand

Glacial drifts and alluvial deposits are - as we know from the previous section - responsible for the topography of the Calderpark area.

One has to consider here, however, that ice sheets were not a static feature. After once ice sheet had moved away into a south-easterly direction, the Clyde area remained ice free for a while. Consequently, animal life, as well as plant life, began to re-establish itself, although the climate must have been considerably colder than experienced by us at present.

Animals, such as reindeer, rhinoceros, and mammoth lived alongside the newly formed rivers. As a consequence, some of their remains have been found in gravel and sand - often under 50 feet of till ( boulder clay ).

What had happened was, that another ice sheet ( known as the Perth Re-advance ) made its way into the area from the north-east, thus burying the surprised mammoth together with the other animals. Now their remains are found under a thick layer of till, deposited by the re-advance ice sheet.

Fairly recent excavations into and below the glacial till - during building operations - south and east of Glasgow, have revealed interesting animal finds of the type described above.

  • At Queen's Park, remains of reindeer have been found during sewer excavations.

  • Near Carluke a reindeer antler has been dug out, with clear signs of glacial abrasion on its antler.

  • However, much nearer to Calderpark, at Baillieston, remains of mammoth have been discovered

  • and at Chapelhall, near Airdrie, similar mammoth finds have been made.

Proof that plant life was also existent during the ice-free period, was the discovery of peat layers in the vicinity of Airdrie. Embedded in this peat were twigs and branches, and several species of beetle. Again these finds were made underneath a thick sheet of till.

More such discoveries were obviously made, and probably many more will be made, but those known to us were further afield - and therefore not of immediate interest to the area of Calderpark.

4 - Indications of Prehistoric Activities in the Area

When remains of mammoth, reindeer and the like were discovered, they had been embedded in sands and gravel of river beds and flood plains. This also happened with Neolithic finds - many of them have been recovered from the beds of flood plains of the River Clyde.

Near St. Enoch's church in Glasgow, a dug-out canoe has been found at a depth of 25 feet.

At Castlemilk a longboat - made of oak - has been found. This has also been dated back to the Neolithic period.

Somewhat nearer in time and space, Bronze and Iron Age burial grounds have been discovered - all not very far from Calderpark. The findings were generally " accidental , because they were made during the working of gravel pits, within the last century.

Often an unsuspecting workman came across a pottery vessel, or an urn by mere chance while hired to dig sand or gravel.

Unfortunately, such discoveries of " old pots and bones " often remained unrecorded, due to sheer ignorance of the finders concerned. People were generally unaware of the great pre-historic value of such finds.

Discoveries nearest to Calderpark were less than a mile away to the west, between Calderpark and Mount Vernon. Several burial grounds were found in this area. There were other discoveries recorded from:

  • Rutherglen
  • Cambuslang
  • Uddingston
  • Baillieston (at Springhills Nurseries and Camp Farm)
  • Old Monklands, near Old Monklands church.
The latter site revealed crouched inhumations, tools and coins, which were discovered when workmen were levelling a small mound.

In most cases, either urns or wooden remains of coffins, pottery vessels, carbonised remains of food and tools have been dug out.

The human remains were almost always found in a crouched position, whether they were bones of old people, or skeletons of youngsters.

Even parts of garments, which were - in one instance - described as being made of a hair-moss type of material , have been found.

Some of these exhibits can now be seen at Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove; the Old Glasgow Museum, People's Palace Glasgow Green; or the Airdrie Public Library.

Although no direct proof has come forth of a hidden burial ground directly on the Calderpark site - an assumption that there may well be such evidence, is not too far fetched.

From geological charts it is known that there are alluvial deposits at Calderpark and - as most discoveries in the vicinity were made in sand and gravel of river beds - one could speculate that some Neolithic, or Bronze Age, or for that matter Iron Age remains may well lie undiscovered under the frounds of Calderpark.

However, it may be advisable to wait until such a find were brought to light " accidentally ".

The Romans

Then, there were the Romans, who left their mark by building forts, fortlets and - to connect them - roads.

In the 80s (AD) Agricola was in charge of the advance into lowland Scotland, as governor of the Flavian period. Under his command, gradually more forts and roads were built - on the way north - and these road links formed an intricate road network. Initially, the forts were built at intervals of one-day marches, but were subsequently built at half-day intervals.

It was Agricola's plan to incorporate Scotland into the province. This idea, however, had never been realised. It would have been economical from the point of view that the size of the occupying garrison could have been diminished, on the other hand, however, Scotland did not offer any economic value at that time. The line of the Clyde and Forth isthmus, which Agricola had established, remained the boundary of Roman rule until Hadrian's time.

Emperor Hadrian has made a name for himself by having a rampart built, which is known to this day as Hadrian's Wall . What caused Hadrian to take this action is not really known. It is assumed that he feared disasters coming from barbaric raiding parties from the north.

The wall was intended as a continuation of look-out posts from which to watch for raiders. It is unlikely that it was meant to be a fortification, or defensive shelters, behind which the garrison was to fight. Hadrian's garrison consisted of approximately 15,000 troops drawn from all over the Roman Empire

Considering the existence of such a wall, it seems surprising that Hadrian's successor, Antoninus Pius moved forward into Scotland once more - after the gradual retreat of previous troops led by Agricola. Antoninus pushed forward to the line of Clyde to Forth to build another line of defence, namely the Antonine Wall .

Titus Aurelius Antoninus was a middle-aged senator when appointed by Hadrian to be his successor. Antoninus was described as " an amicable soul, an exemplary character and generous to his friends ". Everyone like him, and the Senate bestowed him with the name of Pius, hence he was known as Antoninus Pius .

The road which led past and partly through Calderpark was thus the work of the Antoninus - as Antoninus Pius and his troops were called - during the period 138 - 161 AD.Remains of a Roman station at Bothwellhaugh, at the junction of South Calder with the Clyde, was discovered in 1937.

Bothwellhaugh is approximately the centre point on the road, frequently mentioned as Watling Street, which leads from Castledykes (Lanark) to Balmuidy and Castlehill on the Antonine Wall.

Going in a north-westerly direction from Bothwellhaugh, the road passes Birkenshaw and must have been an ideal foundation for the Old Edinburgh Road; then it goes in a generally westerly direction along a slope lined by a row of trees, just alongside Calderpark.

The North Calder Water was then forded at a shallow point near the zoo and, from there the road went straight to Tollcross, again probably right through the southern borders of Calderpark.

It is assumed that from Tollcross, Glasgow would have been entered on the route which is now the Great Eastern Road, i.e. Drygate, Port Dundas, Possilpark to the fort of Balmuidy on the Antonine Wall. Thus Bulmuidy and Castlecarry on the Antonine Wall became the northern terminals on the communication line from Castledykes at the southern end of Watling Street.


For some hundred years after the Roman occupation of Scotland, very little has been recorded about the native people and their way of life.

It is known, however, that around the time of the Roman occupation, and probably long before, the area that is now Glasgow, was covered by immense oak forests. We also read that the small community living there, was still in the state of barbarism.

One name ' St Ninian ' - the Apostle of the Picts, appears in the 4th century. He was trained in Rome in the doctrine and discipline of the Western Church, and was attracted to the area.

Glasgow was then called ' Cathures ', and St Ninian lived at the banks of the Molendinar burn, a contributory of the River Clyde.

After St Ninian, Cathures and its people fell into oblivion, except for a reference of heathen people living in the area.

The next recording comes from the middle of the 6th century, when St Kentigern (which means ' High Lord ') or MUNGO (Patron Saint of Glasgow and means ' my dear friend ') founded the Bishopric of Glasgow. He lived until 603.

Another 500 years had to pass until Glasgow reappeared in the Scottish records, and this brings us to the 12th century. From this time onwards, some special references have been made to various districts. We learn of the Monklands district, to which the site of the present zoo belonged.

The name ' Monklands ' was in use before 1323, and its meaning is:-

The Monklands, formerly constituting a third part of the domain of the Abbacy of Newbottle (sometimes also recorded as Newbattle) were for many ages the property of a company of Cistercian or Bernhardine monks of this abbacy.

The name 'The Monklands' was given to all their ecclesiastic domains in this part of the country.

One recording in ' The Statistical Account of Scotland ' (1845) states that there were remains of a Roman Catholic chapel at a place called Kipps , which was destroyed at the reformation. At this chapel, the Abbots of Newbottle held annual courts for levying rents and feus of the 100 pound land of the barony of Monkland. It goes to say that now only fields and, upon a rising ground, an upright granite stone, are left. This stone was believed to have been the only remainder of the chapel and legends were told about witches that were buried underneath it.

In the year 1640, the Monklands district was divided into two parishes; one was called OLD or West Monkland, the other NEW or East Monkland. Later, they were popularly known as Old and New Monklands. The area of Calderpark belonged to the parish of Old Monkland .

There are indications that the land of Old Monkland was fertile farmland. In the same Statistical Account of Scotland, a Rev. Bower is quoted as saying " ... one is struck with the view of this parish. It has the appearance of an immense garden..." He also refers to the Monks "... who usually fixed upon a pleasant situation, had residence here. "

The Abbacy of Newbottle also had possession of part of Daldowie, and the site of Calderpark belonged, in the form of farmland, to Daldowie. Its history is well-recorded and therefore deserves a chapter of its own .

The monks of the abbacy worked the land for a considerable time, at least since the recordings started in 1323, and probably up to the reformation.

Farming methods were, of course, primitive, and a large extent of the land was rented out to farmers. There are signs in the area of open rig systems. These were raised mounds of earth. The resultant ditches between the rigs were filled with rubble and served as a source of drainage. These rigs were about 15 feet wide, which enabled the farmer to walk up the centre, and to sow the seeds by hand from side to side.

It seems that the rig systems were mostly evident in poorer boggy soils, probably for reasons of drainage, and probably also, because only the land that yielded poor harvests, was available for rent.

Farming methods developed with the times. The first stage of development was, that single furrow ploughs were used with one horse. Sowing was still done by hand. Grain, particularly oats, was the staple food, up to a time when potatoes were introduced to the area.

Unfortunately, as with the famous potato famine in Ireland, failure of potato crops was not unknown in the 19th century and led to great hardships amongst the poor.

As time went on, farming became more specialised. With the growth of urban Glasgow, demands began to grow and this inturn improved both prospects and methods of farming.

Crop rotation was introduced. This meant that cereal crops were grown one year and were alternated the following year by root crops. The advantage of this system is that, as some plants exhaust the nutrients in the soil, others replace them. For example, cereal crops drain nutrients from the soil, whereas root crops or clover restore them to the soil.

Also other methods were developed to save time in cultivation and harvesting. The four-furrow ploughs; and a team of horses (often Clydesdales ) was employed to help cultivating the fields.

By the end of the 19th century, with the invention of the car and the compression ignition engine, better known as the Diesel engine, the development to replace horse power - as in horses - began. This was a loss for the nostalgic-minded, and with the advent of traction engines the beauty of teamwork between man and his horses began to disappear.

However, increased demand had to be matched with faster and more productive methods of farming.

To close this chapter, an old story from the last century, referring to the Monklands, might be of interest:-

" It is of a large artificial cave, dug out of a bold rocky imminence on the banks of the River Calder, in the estate of Monklands, in a most romantic and sequestered spot. This seems to have been a most labourious undertaking. But whether it has been intended as an asylum in barbarous times, or the abode of the melancholy hermit, is left to the imagination of the individual reader. "

(From the statistical Account of Scotland (1945) )


"How fair appear the rural scene
for thou, O Clyde, has never been
Beneficent as strong;

Pleased in refreshing dews to steep
The little trembling flowers that peep
Thy shelving rocks among!"

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

In all probability this poem depicts Daldowie and its surrounding landscape, for Wordsworth, together with his sister, travelled on this route to Hamilton during his journey through Scotland.

Before the reformation, the Daldowie estate with all its land belonged to the church, in part to the bishopric of Glasgow and, the lands to the north-east of Daldowie, which later became CALDERPARK , were in the possession of the Abbacy of Newbottle.

An entry into the rental book of the diocese informs us that " in 1521 Robert Stuart of Mynto rented the land of Daldui ".

The Stewarts of Minto, an influential Glasgow family, were said to have ruled Glasgow for nearly two centuries. They settled in Glasgow before 1472, the year in which Sir Thomas Stewart was Provost of Glasgow. Later, many of his descendants also held prominent civil posts. As a consequence of their influence, the Stewarts became Lairds of Daldowie after the reformation.

In 1653, during the protectorate of Cromwell, Sir Ludovic Stewart sold the lands and mansion of Daldowie to James Woodrop, Younger of Dalmarnock. However, 18 years after the acquisition of the estate, Mr Woodrop parted with Daldowie to James Muirhead of Bredisholm, whose grandson, John sold the lands in 1724 to Robert Bogle, merchant in Glasgow. He, Robert Bogle, was the son of George Bogle, a wealthy Glasgow merchant, who died in 1707.

The following references have been made, and are recorded in Old Country Houses of Glasgow (1898), to the Minto residence:-

  • 1654: In Blaeu's map of Lanarkshire by Timothy Pont, published in Amsterdam in 1654, a house is represented on Daldowie.

  • In the early 18th century, Hamilton of Wishaw wrote ".... and more downward, where Calder falls into Clyde, is Daldui, an ancient seat of the Lairds of the Minto Stewarts - a most pleasant dwelling, if the seat, gardens and planting has are house upon it ."

  • This indicates that, when Robert Bogle bought Daldowie in 1724, the Minto Stewarts' residence was in ruins, and at that time no other house had been built to replace it.

  • Another entry from the same source says that " when Robert Bogle bought the place, there was no house upon it, the old residence of the Minto Stewarts', which stood on the hill immediately behind the present house, and of which traces remained till modern times (1878) having been allowed to fall to ruins. "

  • It is estimated that George Bogle, Robert Bogle's successor, built a house on the Daldowie estate before 1745, because one of his children was born there that year.

  • George Bogle of Daldowie died in 1872 and was succeeded by his son Robert, who remained unmarried and died at Daldowie in 1808. After his death the property came into the hands of his two sister, one of them was Mrs Brown. Her son, George Brown of Langside, inherited Daldowie after his mother's and aunt's death.

  • The property has been in the Bogles' possession for just over 100 years, and the Daldowie residence had not seen many alterations during this time.

  • In 1825 George Brown sold Daldowie to John Dixon from Calder Iron Works, who 5 years later, sold it to Mr James McCall, a respected Glasgow merchant. According to the records, Mr McCall changed and extended the house considerably between the years of 1830 and 1837.

Hugh McDonald (1950) had the following to say about Daldowie:-

"... Ascending to the brow of the bank, a prospect of great beauty meets our gaze. Far below, the Clyde is seen between the ivied trunks, which bristle the steep, quivering in a sunny ripple, or stretching in wandering loveliness around the green trees, studded haughs of Daldowie on the one hand, and towards the wood-fringed banks of Carmyle on the other. That spacious mansion to the left, couching upon its own verdant lawn, is the residence of Mr McCall of Daldowie, and certainly the more desirable place of abode it would be difficult to imagine... "

The house and its beautiful gardens are remembered to this day by older folks, who may well have strolled through those well-kept gardens in their childhood.

A few decades ago, Lanarkshire Council acquired the Daldowie property and had a crematorium erected on the site.


In the early 19th century, the Bogles of Daldowie feued the lands of CALDERPARK to Mr James McNair. To be precise, the estate only received the name CALDERPARK after McNair had a handsome villa built on these grounds, in about 1815.

Mr James McNair was a member of a well-known Glasgow family. He and brother Robert were at that time engaged in the business of sugar refining. Their sugar house stood at the corner of Ingram Street and Queen Street. (See also Chapter 9, Of Wealthy Merchants and Their Properties )

During the middle of the 19th century, Calderpark changed hands and Mr Theodore Walrond became proprietor. He was a descendent of an old Devonshire family. Mr Walrond, an East India Proprietor and Merchant in Glasgow, was for many years one of the most respected members of the community, and was said to have been one of " the finest specimens of a Glasgow merchant of the olden time ". His death was a great loss for the city. Mr Walrond had a large family, and his eldest son, also Theodore, finished his education at Oxford and became a reputed classical scholar. Another son, Francis Charles, became a merchant in Glasgow.

After Mr Walrond's death, Calderpark was sold to Mr James Reid Stewart, Iron Merchant of Glasgow. In 1875, Mr Reid Stewart sold his estate for 35,000 to Mr John Hendrie, a Glasgow coalmaster. A few years later, Mr Hendrie sold part of the land to the " Hamilton, Bothwell and Coatbridge Railway Company ".

It is not known whether Mr Hendrie ever lived at the villa himself. What is known, however is that he leased the property in the early 20th century.

The last family to live at CALDERPARK were the Websters. Mr Webster was a well-known cattle breeder and dealer in Glasgow.

It is recorded that the Websters lived at Calderpark during the First World War and probably right to the end of the villa's existence.

During the last century and the beginning of this one, coal had been excavated from underneath the Calderpark estate. Also, some seams were mined right underneath the house, Unfortunately, this eventually caused subsidence. The damage to the building structure was said to have been so severe that the villa had to be demolished some time during the 1920's.

However, before its unhappy fate, the villa has been described as a strong and gracious building of three stories. Its front entrance was flanked by twin columns.

Inside, it must have been bright and airy, with plenty of windows and the front hall led into a second or inner hall, from which the public rooms opened. Its ceiling was the full height of the house and was crowned by a glass dome. Many a hunt ball or other social occasions were held at Calderpark House.

The view from the villa was said to have been exquisite. From the drawing room and sitting room windows, steps led onto a flag stone terrace, from where one could overlook the part that was fringed with trees. Its lawns sloped to a small plateau and then slanted down to the North Calder Water.

A description of the drive into Calderpark has been given by Mr Webster's daughter, and this captures the atmosphere of this epoch, and the beauty of the park vividly.

" To enter by the lodge gates and walk up the long avenue bordered by daffodils and backed by deep purple rhododendrons, was like stepping into another world, a world of beauty and tranquillity. The avenue ended in a wide sweep at the front of the house curving round in a sloping lawn circled by massed rhododendrons and backed by a small wood. "

For those interested to know where the house stood - it was opposite the present lions' enclosures - at the site of the little round pond.


Although Calderpark House had its own garden nearby, the chapter on CALDERPARK would be incomplete, if the Walled Garden were to remain unmentioned.

Now only parts of the gate are standing upright, and bricks strewn about in the high grass bear witness to a once fine establishment, for the rest of the site has became overgrown with high grass and weeds - even the bridge that once led to it no longer exists.

However, once upon a time, there stood a very attractive walled garden, with a gardener's lodge attached to its north-westerly corner. The map excerpts of an 1860 Ordnance Survey map shows the garden wall, as well as the photo that fortunately survived.

The walls were said to have been about 12 feet high. Judging by the photo, it is difficult to say whether it was really as high as that. The garden was protected from the north and east against the cold winds by the hills and high trees. With the Calder Water running along its south and west side, the garden was ideally situated, so much so that peaches were grown there.

Whether the garden originally belonged to Calderpark cannot be traced clearly, it may have been part of the Calderbank estate, or, it was leased out to this property. May this be as it may, a garden like this one must have been the envy of every keen gardener.


It seems that the rich merchants, mentioned in previous chapters, either married each others' daughters, or bought each others' property.

There are the:

  • Bogles,
  • the McCalls and
  • the McNairs,
and we are speaking of properties like:
  • Shettleston,
  • Greenfield House,
  • Jeanfield
  • and Belvidere.

Although these are not in the immediate vicinity of CALDERPARK, their owners were once connected with the Daldowie lands, in one way or another. It is worth noting that all these properties were east of Glasgow - an area that in later years was not much favoured by those wishing to invest in properties.

In chronological order the properties and their owners were connected as follows:-

  • Beginning of 16th Century:

    The Bogles had farms in Carmyle; in Shettleston [ 1 ] and Daldowie they became prominent, one of the Bogles, namely George Bogle, who died in 1707, is said to have been buried under a stone placed against the East End of Glasgow. Its inscription read


    George Bogle was married to Jean Park and had 3 sons.

  • 1724 : His eldest son, Robert, acquired Daldowie in 1724.

  • 1731 : In 1731 Robert Bogle's eldest sons, George married Ann Sinclair (of Stevenstown).

  • 1745 : One of George Bogle's children was born at the Daldowie house in 1745.

  • 1751 : JEANFIELD has been occupied as a farm and nursery at that time.

  • 1758 : In this year Jeanfield fell into the hands of Robert McNair (for 100).

    Note : Shettleston had been mentioned in 1170 in documents from Pope Alexander as Schedinestun .

    McNair was a well known eccentric and built a mansion, which was said to have been so ugly that it became the laughing stock of all those who saw it. It was called JEANFIELD after McNair's wife, Jean.
    In 1847 the house was demolished.

    These exists an anecdote about McNair's eccentricity:

    Apparently Robert McNair brought about a change in the legal customs of Scotland.

    It had been common practice that the defendant should - when successful in a court trial - give each juryman one guinea and supper. When McNair was involved in a court case against him, the jury was again expecting the usual ' perks ', however, Mr McNair promised them 2 guineas, a dinner and as much wine as they could drink, if the verdict were in his favour. He won the case !

  • 1759 : GREENFIELD HOUSE Robert Bogle/James McNair.
    The lands and the mansion house of Greenfield was purchased by James McNair. (Probably brother of Jeanfield and great uncle of James McNair of CALDERPARK.) This purchase took place in the year 1759.

    McNair acquired the property from Isabel Luke (daughter of Robert Luke, Goldsmith in Glasgow), then wife of Robert Bogle.

    James McNair was described as a Glasgow coalmaster of great importance, a man with interests in the malt as well as mining, and either he or his son was still engaged in the coal industry in the 1790's.

  • 1762 : SHETTLESTON Mansion - Robert Bogle/James McNair The adjoining lands and mansion house of Shettleston were purchased by James McNair from Robert Bogle in that year.

  • 1760 : BELVIDERE HOUSE - John McCall/Robert McNair The lands of Belvidere are situated about 2 miles east of Glasgow. Belvidere is not the old name. The lands were composed of several lots, which previously formed part of Wester Dalbeth and of Westhorn. The largest of these plots was called " The little Newlands ", which was bought by Mr John McCall (brother of James McCall of DALDOWIE) in the 1760.

    One of Mr McCall's daughters was married to Robert McNair of Jeanfield - in the immediate vicinity of Belvidere.

  • 1790 : When Mr McCall died in 1790, the property was sold to his son-in-law, Robert McNair. This Robert McNair was presumably the grandson of the first Robert McNair of Jeanfield.

The same Robert McNair, was a sugar refiner in Glasgow and was partner with his father (also Robert) in the concern of ROBERT MCNAIR & SON of Gallowpark Sugar Works. But after the death of Robert, the father in 1787, the son got together with his younger brother James (later the owner of CALDERPARK).

The two brothers named their sugar house ROBERT AND JAMES MCNAIR. They purchased a piece of land for this purpose, which was situated at the south-west corner of Ingram Street and Queen Street - opposite the Royal Exchange.

Robert McNair sold Belvidere in 1813 and became Collector of his Majesty's Customs in Leith.

This same Robert McNair projected the idea of establishing a Lunatic Asylum in the north-west of Glasgow. He is said to have zealously promoted its interests - and even after his move to Leith he continued to take an interest in the success of the Asylum.

It consisted of a central building, crowned by a dome. Four divisions of wards were arranged diagonally from the central building. The asylum was said to have been surrounded by ample gardens and greens and the whole area was enclosed by a high stone wall.

Class distinction played an important role in the arrangements of the wards, and Swan's Views of Glasgow (originally 1829) states that " ...the utmost discrimination was used. The higher and lower classes had their distinctive wards, so that the unhappy sufferers may not be obliged to associate with a class different from what they have been accustomed to in the world. "

Apart from the classes, the sexes were of course kept apart, and the furious, the moderate and the convalescent patients were all carefully separated.

We have come across Robert's brother, James, in Chapter 8 CALDERPARK . He is the same person who acquired the land of Easter Daldowie (initially on a feu), had a handsome villa built on its grounds in 1815, and called the estate from then on CALDERPARK.

His further activities or the whereabouts of any of his descendants were not recorded.


It may be disputed whether such a chapter as this is of relevance, but in justification it can be said that it involves an industry which was going on in and around CALDERPARK . It can even be taken a step further as, indeed, great uncle James McNair seems to have been involved in keeping slaves, when he was coalmaster at Greenfields.

At anecdote, which appeared as a footnote in Old Country Houses of Glasgow (1878), can highlight this point. A man called Rogers is mentioned, who had the following story to tell about ' Greenfield Coals ':-

" In the year 1820, the story goes, Mr Robert Bold of Alloa was on visit to his friend, Mr Colin Dunlop - a representative of Glasgow at Parliament - living at Clyde.

Mr Dunlop called up one of the workers, an old man, who went by the name of Moss Nook, and bade him tell the gentleman how he came to Clyde. Moss Nook explained that he had " belonged " as a boy to McNair of Greenfield, and that Greenfield that taken a fancy to a pony of James Dunlop's father (Colin's father) and had " niffered him for the beast "; and that he had been sent over, there and then, and had been at Clyde ever since. "

This must thus have taken place in the latter half of the 18th century, because we know that James McNair of Greenfield bought that property in 1759 and became coalmaster there.

Seeing such an incident in the perspective of emancipation and enlightenment, which we 20th century citizens, at least of the Western World, are taking for granted, this story does not do much to endear great uncle McNair to us. It is also strange to hear that man and beast were of similar value to their masters, and could thus be exchanged at random.

We should, perhaps, not be too critical of James McNair, because " serfdom " and/or " slavery " had been common practice in the Scottish Coalmining Industry at that time.

It was probably more a matter of fate, whether one was born into the wealthy ruling classes, or whether one had the bad fortune of belonging to the poorer classes.

What seems quite astonishing about this anecdote though is, that " enslavement " was still in practice as late as the latter half of the 18th century.

In investigating this problem more closely one finds, that references to " slavery " were made as late as the 19th century, long after the OFFICIAL ACT OF THE ABOLISHMENT OF SLAVERY was passed in 1775.

The preamble to this act said that " ... many colliers and coalbearers and salters are in a state of delivery and bondage, bound to the collieries or saltworks, where they work for life, transferable with the collieries or saltworks. "

However, such an Act did not seem to have deterred coalmasters from their practices. In 1799, another Act came into force, and it was mentioned " that many colliers and coalbearers still continued in a state of bondage. "

There exists another story of a slave, from a family of slaves, which happened as late as 1842:-

A collier from Musselburgh gave evidence before the Scottish Mining Commission , that he had wrought for years as a slave, and that he, his father and his grandfather had been born slaves.

A little later still, reference has been made to a period AFTER 1843, of a Dalkeith woman who had been a born slave.

The reasons for slavery to have existed was obviously a question of too much power, as a consequence of wealth on the one hand, and absolute powerlessness, in the form of poverty, on the other hand.

Even if he had wanted to, a collier bound to a coalmaster would neither have had the means, nor the education to transfer on his own account to some other place. The resulting inflexibility was therefore responsible for the worker and his family to be bound to one place for generations.

The following will support this statement:-

In " A HISTORY OF THE SCOTTISH COAL INDUSTRY 1700-1815 " a man " Graham " is quoted as saying " Servitude (and the nature of the work itself) made miners a caste aloof from the rest of the community. Their narrow isolated life lulled all ambition, killed all energy, and inured to this lot, like their fathers, they regarded it as inevitable for their children. "

" Serfdom " and " bondage " in the coal industry goes back several hundred years, and recordings of such cases were made as early as 1579.

It is probable that rich landowners, involved in " agrarian serfdom " stood model for later coalmasters. However, it seems likely that slavery (or whatever one may wish to call it) evolved simultaneously in both industries. The crux of the matter obviously was that the worker had no one behind him who could advocate his rights, so he entered work without being given a contract, and who was there to listen to any of his complaints?

The various Acts of 1775 and 1799 were, as we have learned, greatly ignored by the masters, and probably not generally known and understood among the colliers and coalbearers.

To highlight the miner's inflexibility and isolated life, the following points should be considered as well.

  1. Where would the miner have gone, had he been able to go?
  2. Would a move south to an English coalmine have solved or improved matters?

Relevant accounts show that emigration would not have been desirable for two reasons:-

  1. The mode of life in England differed greatly from the one the Scottish miner was used to, and
  2. The deeper pits in England allegedly resulted in the danger of inflammable air, i.e. a greater risk of accidents would have been at stake.

Another Act was enforced in 1842. This Act followed the Royal Commission which discovered appalling examples of child exploitation. Instances of children as young as 4 years being employed, were cited; or children working 12 hours a day alone in darkness; and of girls as young as 6 years carrying coal on their backs.

This Act prohibited the employment of women in the mines and of boys under 10. It appointed mine inspectors .

In conclusion, a reflection of the term " slave " or " slavery ", which has so often been used in this connection, would be inappropriate.

Economically, the collier was a victim of a kind of paternalism, strongly tinged with feudal undertones. It seems appropriate under these circumstances, that a person finding himself in this state of servitude, should be called a " slave ", this term seemed to have been in frequent use at the time.

It can be argued, however, whether one can put any refining grades on " slavery ". Some may say that the Scottish collier was better off, than his Roman counterpart, or the contemporary American Negro slave, because he, the Scottish miner, was not as void of his rights as they were.


The idea of opening a zoo in Glasgow did not just arise in 1936, when the Zoological Society of Glasgow and the West of Scotland was formed. During the 19th century, travelling menageries were showing their exhibits throughout Great Britain, and they were seen as " Wandering Teachers of Natural History ". Menagerie owners considered themselves as teachers of the crowds, " for had it not been for them, people would not have known of wild animals ", so they claimed.

One of those menagerists was George Wombwell , who earned both a good reputation and a good income, with his animal shows, and these were, in the last century mainly commercial enterprises. However, Wombwell must have had good qualities as a showman, because he received " Royal Commands " on several occasions.

What had brought George Wombwell to fame was, that he struck the right idea at the right time. His idea of showing wild animals to the public came about when he witnessed a pair of boa constrictors being unloaded at the London Docks. He bought the snakes, exhibited them to the public, and found this to be a lucrative business proposition. Soon, Wombwell realised that a wider audience could be interested in his enterprise; this was when he started on his travelling menagerie. Other species of animals were added to the show, and his business escalated quickly, so that he soon had several menageries running at the same time, and each was travelling through different parts of Great Britain.

This, of course, could no longer be done by George Wombwell on his own, He needed helpers. One of them was his niece, Mrs Edmonds and, a little later, her sister and family, the Bostocks, joined the business

The concern was known from then on as " THE BOSTOCK AND WOMBWELL'S MENAGERIE ", and not long after " ROYAL " was added to the title, because the menagerie received a '' Royal Charter ' from King William IV. This charter enabled the enterprise to show their menagerie wherever and whenever they wanted.

The Bostocks' son, E H Bostock, was an enterprising young man and soon managed a menagerie completely on his own. He particularly enjoyed travelling to Scotland, where he found that he was cordially received by the Scottish people.

A note in " The Scotsman " in the year 1872 said of the Bostock and Wombwell's Menageries " ...the collection is certainly the largest travelling, and the one that has done more to familiarise the minds of the masses with the denizens of the forests than all the books of natural history ever printed during its wandering existence. "

After the death of Bostock's father, E B Bostock wished to become independent and bought his own menagerie, with which he travelled. A few years later, in 1897, he had the opportunity to buy the ' Olympia ', New City Road (Cowcaddens) Glasgow, which enabled him to provide a more permanent show, but he still continued to travel with his moveable menagerie(s). His permanent show at the Olympia was known from then on as " The Scottish Zoo ", which was a combination of zoo and circus shows.

In 1902 Bostock decided to reorganise his zoo, and consequently " The Scottish Zoo and Glasgow Hippodrome " was opened. For many years, this provided entertainment for the people of Glasgow and also proved to be a lucrative business.

However, with increasing competition and eventual loss of interest in the Scottish Zoo and Glasgow Hyppodrome by the public, E H Bostock who always went with the times, decided to close it down, and to open a roller skating rink instead. Roller skating had become a craze in 1909, which Bostock was quick to realise was a good business proposition.

At that time, Bostock had offered the whole of his zoological collection to the Corporation of Glasgow for a Corporation Zoo. He would have accepted a low price, and would, if he had been pressed, have made the Corporation a gift of his animals. The offer was, however, turned down by the Town Council, and therefore, Bostock had to sell the contents of his zoo by auction in 1909.

Another attempt at opening a permanent Safari Park in the vicinity of Glasgow, was made by Bostock in 1910, when he entered into negotiations with Mr Archibald McKennieshore, to buy his estate at Killermont near Bearsden. The deal fell through.

Then, a further attempt of opening a permanent zoo for Glasgow at Rouken Glen, was spoiled by the outbreak of the first World War.

Glasgow had to wait another couple of decades longer until a new Zoological Society of Glasgow and the West of Scotland was formed on a non-commercial basis in 1936. In 1938 an option was taken on purchasing Calderpark, and in 1939 CALDERPARK ESTATE was bought by the Society.

Construction of the zoological gardens had, however, to be delayed because of the war. The Society continued to function during these years, and meetings and lectures were held regularly.

Unfortunately, during the war years, when nothing could be done to the estate, Calderpark had become rather wild and overgrown.

Opening a zoo at these times had not been an easy task. The shortage of building materials was overcome by donations of second-hand material from closed-down coal pits. Also, some of the members donated whatever material they were able to spare. This all helped towards the establishment of Glasgow's zoological gardens, which were opened to the public in 1947.

Several decades have passed since then, and recent years have seen many developments at Calderpark, both with regard to improving the park, and with regard to the animal side of the zoo. Much has been done to help endangered species by captive breeding programmes.

Calderpark has been a good choice as a site for Glasgow's zoo in many respects. It is an ideal place, because here at Calderpark with its sloping hills, the trees and the river, park-life and zoo-life complement each other so well.


  • Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry . 2nd Edition, 1878. James Maclehose, Publisher to the University.

  • The Statistical Account of Scotland Drawn Up From the Communications of the Ministers of the Different Parishes 7th Volume, by Sir John Sinclair, BART. 1793. Edinburgh - Printed and sold by William Creech.

  • Geology and Scenery in Scotland by J.B. Whittow, 1977 - Pelican Books.

  • The Roman Occupation of South West Scotland Edited by S.N. Miller, 1952 - Glasgow University Publication.

  • Lanarkshire Prehistoric and Roman Monuments . 1978 - Published by the Royal Commission on The Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland.

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  • From Menageries, Circuses and Theatres by E.H. Bostock J.P. F.Z.S., 1927 - Chapman & Hall, London.

  • Rambles Around Glasgow in the 1850's by Hugh McDonald, re-edited 1910. John Smith & Son, Glasgow Ltd.

  • Map of Lanarkshire - Forrester, 1813.

  • Ordnance Survey , Southampton, 1860