The architecture within Pollokshields Burgh Hall

Pollokshields Burgh Hall is blessed with some beautiful architecture and many unique features including some interesting symbols.

Building Exterior

The hall is built with dark red sandstone from Ballochmyle in Ayrshire, which contrasts quite starkly with the blond sandstone used to build many of the surrounding villas. The 60-foot tower houses a turret stair, corbelled balcony and vigil windows. To the left of the hall is the Lodge House comprising two flats, originally for the Burgh Sanitary Inspector and the Park Gardener.

The Entrance

A richly carved archway forms the entrance to the halls above which, flanked by two Scottish lions the Maxwell family coat of arms and the date 1890 appear. The Maxwell family coat of arms appears again set in marble on the vestibule floor as you enter the building.

Masonic Links

The hall was initially built for the Commissioners of Pollokshields Burgh and was also used as a masonic lodge. An arch which originally rested over the lintel of the back doorway and is now built into the back wall under the western window displays several carved Masonic emblems and in the centre the Masonic symbol.

Lighting

The original lighting of the building were elaborate hexagonal glass and iron lamps, unfortunately only three still remain, one on the top of the arch on the main doorway, one on the eastern exterior hall of the main hall and one in the vestibule. 

The Main Hall Windows

The Memorial Window depicts the way of the soul departed from this life. The centre panel is a pot of incense, the emblem of the pure heart, the glory that lies beyond the grave and the lodge which is immortal. The two pillars on the side panels represent the entrance to the Sanctum and are intended to remind Master Masons that the grave is the portal through which all must pass. The inscription at the foot of the centre panel reads: “To the memory of departed brethren”.

The large east window was gifted by Sir John Strirling Maxwell and bears the Pollok Arms and te motto ‘Do Good While the Holly is Green’.

The large west window was erected in 1935 and bears the emblem of the Corporation of Glasgow.

Of the four windows on the north side, three were gifted by baillies and the fourth, added when the building was extended, is a memorial window gifted by Lodge Pollok.

Minor Hall Windows

There are a set of two windows in the Minor Hall one dedicated to St. John the Patron St. of Freemasonry with the motto ‘Gloria in excelsis’. and the inscription ‘This window was presented to Lodge Pollock No. 772 by Bro. Morris Carswell, First Master of Lodge Pollok 1890’.

The other window is dedicated to St. Andrew the Patron St. of Scotland. Its motto is ‘Virtute in Silentio’ and the inscription ‘This window was presented to Lodge Pollock by Bro. David R. Clark M.A. First Depute Master of the Lodge 1890’ Both windows also display a number of masonic emblems, have two columns and a tesselated pavement.

Pillars

There are three types of pillar ornamentation found at the halls some pillars are decorated with a rose, some the fleur de lys and the remainder have thistles.

Door Handles

The door handles throughout the building are in the form of brass dragons.

We would like to thank Brenda Stewart, Isle of Arran for her assistance in writing about the history and architecture of Pollokshields Burgh Hall.

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