Overview of Lands

An Overview of the Lands making up Linn Park, including developments in the last three centuries starting with the exploitation of minerals and farming improvements in the 18th century, becoming a country estate, and finally in the 20th century purchased by Glasgow City Council to be turned into a park.

Whie Bridge with calm riverLinn Park’s history is seemingly well known. A small number of oft-repeated ‘facts’ have appeared in many booklets, leaflets and guides. The focal point is Mary Queen of Scots, looking away from the park towards a distant battle. But does our view of the park need to be dominated by an oft-repeated story of a tragic Queen?

Estates of forming Linn ParkTo begin to understand Linn Park, we need to know a little about the lands which make it up. Traditional historians of the area, notably Scott, Gartshore and Marshall, focussed on the Cathcart village end of the park and had relatively little to say about the park itself. Only in the current generation has the early history of the park been looked at seriously in its own right.


Cathcart CastleAlthough Castlemains included Cathcart Castle, our interest is mainly in the Castle’s decline during the buildup of Linn Park, not its medieval owners or brief royal visitors. The castle remains date from the mid-fifteenth century.


By 1848 Cartside House had 35 acres of grounds, including the Castle policies, stables, gardens, shrubberies and walls, and the fields called the Sunk Fence Park, Ladyfauld Park, High Little Park and Dovecot Park.

The traditional crossing point of the River Cart in the area was the bridge known as the Snuff Mill bridge, on the traditional main road from Glasgow to Ayr. Although there is a 1627 date-stone built into the bridge’s downstream face, and records confirm work was done to the bridge in the 1620s, there was already a bridge on the site back in the 1580s.

The buildings in Hagtonhill farmstead, in the golf course on the edge of the Top Wood survived into the 20th century. In recent years the last of them were removed. Early in the century the owners of Linn, the Gordons of Aikenhead, were still struggling to let Linn house and continued to advertise the house and grounds.