Glasgow churches: Woodside and Maryhill

St George’s in the Fields, Woodside

Here’s another selection of church buildings from my lockdown walks, this time in Woodside and Maryhill – not a definitive list by any means, just those which particularly caught my eye. First, the classical St George’s in the Fields which was built in 1885/86, replacing an earlier building from 1824 which would, literally, have been in the fields. The architects were Hugh and David Barclay and the sculpture above the portico, depicting the parable of the loaves and fishes, is by William Birnie Rhind. The church fell out of use in 1979 and was converted into private flats in 1987.

Close by, on Hopehill Road, is St Columba’s Roman Catholic Church. Designed by the award-winning architect Jack Coia, it opened in 1941 and the cost was met by the families of the area, each of whom paid 6d per brick. I like the contrast of the plain brick with the elaborate carving round the door which, to me, looks as though it belongs to a different building altogether.

Moving now from Woodside towards Maryhill, this next church has featured in these pages several times before. Commissioned in 1896, Queen’s Cross is the only church to have been designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and now houses the Mackintosh Society.

Queen’s Cross might have been Mackintosh’s only church, but on Shakespeare Street, just off Maryhill Road, you can see his work in Ruchill Parish Church Hall, completed in 1899. The church is of later date (1903-5) and was designed by Neil Campbell Duff in a completely different style.

Finally, this is Gairbraid Parish Church (1858/9) which sits next to Maryhill Burgh Halls. I don’t know the name of the architect, and it’s certainly much simpler than the others I have included. The view of the front is taken from the aqueduct which carries the Forth and Clyde Canal over Maryhill Road, and the back view with the blue door is from Burnhouse Street.

The most popular things in my previous church posts were the grotesques and gargoyles, and there’s not a single one in sight here. Oh dear, I must try to find more for next time!

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