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Auchenshuggle Wood

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New sign, 2013
New sign raised in 2013

Auchenshuggle Wood lies just to the south of A74 London Road, at its T-junction with Causewayside Street, which runs south from Tollcross and Tollcross Road.

Auchenshuggle

The name "Auchenshuggle" is said to have been derived from the Gaelic for "the field of rye", suggesting it has a long heritage.

It refers to an area centred on Easterhill Street and Corbett Street, to the south of Tollcross Road - where Tollcross Central Church is located - towards London Road. The church contains a memorial window to Mr Caddell, proprietor of the Clyde Iron Works, who donated part of the land to the church for its use, in 1805.

Auchenshuggle became more widely known when Glasgow Corporation Tramways sited the local tram terminus there. In 1922, tram service No 9 was extended from Springfield Road, to run between Auchenshuggle and Dalmuir West, a district of Clydebank. The unusual name became something of myth for those unfamiliar with the destination, and it was even suggested that it had been invented by Glasgow Corporation Transport Department in order to increase revenue by enticing the curious to travel to the destination.

The terminus was located at Braidfauld Street, across the road from Auchenshuggle Cottages which dated from the 19th century, but were demolished and replaced by council houses during the 1960s. The tram service to Auchenshuggle ended in September 1964, to be replaced by the No 64 bus. However, in 2005, this service was extend to reach Carmyle, and the name disappeared from the destination list.

The humorous spelling Auchenshoogle has been used, and refers not only to the place name, but also "shooglies", which follows from the Glasgow word "shoogly" and describes something that is shaky, a characteristic that led to Glasgow's trams been referred by the nickname shooglies.

Fullarton House

Fullarton House lay within the area of Auchenshuggle Wood, but appears to have been demolished at some time prior to the early 1930s.

No records relating to the house have been found online, and the date of demolition has been estimate by noting the disappearance of the structure from old maps showing the site.

Auchenshuggle Wood

The wood lies behind and to the south of a section of sandstone wall on the A74 London Road, bounded by Fullarton Road to the east (now identified as London Road since the roads were realigned and roundabouts added to merge with the M74), and a field to the west, which was developed into an industrial estate in the early 2000s. A further section of sandstone wall lies within the eastern part of the wood, and is assumed to have marked the side of an avenue that ran south from London Road and led to Fullarton House, now demolished.

Aerial views of the wood appear to show that it has been truncated to the south by the M74 extension which was completed in 2011, but this would be incorrect.

The southern part of the wood, almost half if its original extent, was consumed in the latter part of the 19th century, and early part of the 20th century by works and facilities belonging to the Clyde Iron Works, and it was the buildings and land which this once occupied that the M74 extension now passes over. Old maps show a fireclay works located there, while later plans (no date visible unfortunately) of the Iron Works show a laboratory, stores, and offices towards towards the wood. The area was finally occupied by offices and services (established in the old works buildings) which once served the Clyde Workshops, set up after the steel works closed, and which provided a number of small business units created to stimulate employment in the wake of the works closure and consequent local job losses. Notably, this author worked in one of those units for some years, before the business outgrew the unit, and moved to a larger unit in new industrial estate nearby.

While the buildings in the woods have gone, a number of foundations can still be found in the ground, as can paths which ran between them. Some of the concrete lampposts which lined the paths still survive, albeit in poor condition, and would have been needed at night since the iron works had to run continuously.

Community Nature Park

Glasgow's first Community Nature Park was established in Auchenshuggle Wood in 1982.

Within the wood, a number of paths, stone built plinths (actually stone-clad brick), and path markers were noted during a visit in 2010. These appeared to have been long abandoned and left to decay, as all the markings and signs had been lost, while the paths were becoming lost in the undergrowth.

The Fullarton area became the property of the British Steel Corporation (BSC) as part of the large works established in the at Clyde Iron Works and Clydebridge. These are long gone, and cleared from the area. The Scottish Development Agency (SDA) acquired the land, then ownership was later transferred to the Glasgow Development Agency (GDA). The official title of Auchenshuggle Wood is said to have been bestowed by the SDA because of the wood's proximity to the former Auchenshuggle tram terminus.

In the 1980s, it seems a construction firm was interested in building houses on the site, but this proposal was rejected after it was argued that the wood was a unique resource in the east end of Glasgow. It was next leased to the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, and then passed to Scottish Conservation Projects, its Scottish branch became independent in 1984.

Scottish Conservation Projects withered and died, and the company was dissolved in 2003, and with it any management and responsibility for Auchenshuggle Woods.

The woods seem to have found some friends again, in early 2013, when the sign shown at the top of this page appeared adjacent to the east gate facing London Road.

While this identifies the body that has taken over the site, a search on the web fails to bring up any real information regarding plans for the site. However, it does bring up documents that shows the acquisition is something that has taken a number of years, and that the site now has an owner that wants it, and seems to be intent on looking after it.

To that end, together with the sign, the woods gained a sneaky little visitor counter in 2013, fitted on the path at the west end of wood, near the gate leading to the former field and new industrial estate. Presumably to be used to gauge the popularity of the area, whether or not visitors are being attracted, and maybe justify some grants and awards for its maintenance. They also seem to have made a start on improvements, with at least one ground hazard being fenced off with a wicker boundary to prevent visitors falling into it if they stray off the path, and parts of the southern area around the old building foundation being tidied.

Visit 2010

Auchenshuggle montage, 2010
Auchenshuggle 2010

The first visit took place by chance in 2010, when the various plinths and markers caught our eye. By then, they had all been stripped bare, and there was no signage anywhere to indicate that this was any sort of maintained wood intended to attract members of the community.

The montage to the right(prepared for another article) shows how things looked then.

The first two pics show the entrance on London Road, across from Causewayside Street. Located at the end of the sandstone wall, there is a swing gate, followed by a stone clad brick built plinth, which would once have carried an information panel.

The second pair merely give an idea of the paths that were created through the wood, but are now covered with debris, while markers placed beside them have also lost their info panels.

The last two pics show the substantial self-closing and latching gate that then exited into an open field, but now opens onto a track leading around the industrial estate which was built there.

2014 Commonwealth Games hijack

Revised woodland sign, 2014
Revised woodland sign 2014

While passing the woods in 2014, it was noted that the original sign had been modified in keeping with the Commonwealth Games revisionism that was common at the time.

The original section of the sign declaring the areas to be Community Woodland was removed and replaced with one declaring the area to be A COMMONWEALTH WOODLAND - capitals are theirs, not mine!

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Concrete lamppost and steps

    Concrete lamppost and steps

Auchenshuggle sign

    Auchenshuggle sign

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2014 Forestry Commission Survey

In 2014, a short survey was carried out by Forestry Commission Scotland (original link below), and closed on September 12, 2014:

We are currently running a survey to gather more information on your experience at Auchenshuggle. Whether you've visited the woods before, or have never been, we would really like to hear what would encourage you to visit this charming little woodland, as well as what current visitors enjoy on site. On completion of this survey you will also be entered into our competition to win £25 of Amazon vouchers. To provide feedback on this site and be in with a chance of winning the competition please complete the survey before the 12th of September.

- Auchenshuggle - Forestry Commission Scotland.[1]

References

1 Auchenshuggle - Forestry Commission Scotland Retrieved 09/09/2014 16:25:21.

External links


Aerial views


Map

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