Roads in Jordanhill



There were no roads within Jordanhill as we now know it up till around 1890. It should be noted that there are no "streets" in Jordanhill, but there are Avenues, Crescents, Drives, Gardens, Lanes and Places.


Jordanhill House (on the site of the present Crawford Theatre) was the home of the Smiths who owned the Estate and it was originally served by a main driveway which ran from Crow Road at a point south of what is now Southbrae Drive. There was also a driveway which ran due north from the house to Anniesland Road at a point where the clubhouse of Glasgow Academicals now stands. There were also a few farm tracks for Skaterigg and Windyedge Farms. The routes of Crow Road and Anniesland Road had been established much earlier, although they were just narrow muddy roads.


Within a twenty year period starting around 1900, housing development had started and a considerable number of roads had been formed. Southbrae Drive had been formed over its entire length. King Edward Road, Milner Road, Selborne Road, the eastern half of Woodend Drive and a short length of Munro Road had appeared with houses alongside.


In south Jordanhill, Balshagray Avenue, Abbey Drive, Victoria Park Drive North (Originally just Park Drive North), the eastern half of what is now Mitre Road, some parts of the roads around Manor Road and a short part of Westland Drive had appeared.


Over the next eighty-odd years till the present all the other roads developed as housing spread throughout the district.


Most of South Jordanhill was originally within the Burgh of Partick, but was annexed to Glasgow in 1912. Around 1931, several streets and roads had to be renamed because there ware already streets of the same name within Glasgow. Bishops Road became Mitre Road; Orleans Avenue, Eastcote Avenue, Airthrey Avenue and St Kilda Drive were originally named after Royal Dukes of the time, Kent, York, Cornwall and Hanover respectively . This renaming extended over a wide area outwith Jordanhill including Claythorn, where for example, Sackville Avenue had previously been known as Lansdowne Avenue.


The origin of many road names is not known but doubtless there were good reasons for their choice. During research into the history of the Smiths of Jordanhill who owned the whole eatate, a reference was found to a house called "Ryvra" which the family also owned in North Berwick. Thus we have the explanation of Ryvra Road, but names such as Seggielea, Hallydown and Wilmot may also have had personal connections with the Smith family although to date no explanation has been found.


A number of streets in Whiteinch were named after local landowners.     On an 1890 street map, on the south side of Dumbarton Road between what is now the Clyde Tunnel and Westland Drive, there were six streets in succession going westwards named James Street, Parker Street, Smith Street, Squire Street, Jordan Street and Hill Street.   These relate to James Parker Smith Squire who owned Jordanhill Estate.  The first two disappeared when the Clyde Tunnel approaches were built, the next three streets still remain today but Hill Street was renamed Edzell Street.    On the north side of Dumbarton Road, in the same area, there were three adjoining streets named George Street, Gordon Street and Oswald Street relating to the landowners of the Scotstoun Estate (which included South Jordanhill).     These are now known as Medwyn Street, Glendore Street and Inchlee Street respectively.


Abbey Drive  See note under Balshagray Avenue.

Airthrey Avenue Originally known as Cornwall Avenue, named after the Duke of Cornwall. The reason for Airthrey is not known.

Anniesland Road Formerly known as "Anniesland to Yoker Turnpike Road" then in the 1800’s it was Great Western Road (long before the present GWR was built).    Named from the Anniesland Toll situated at what is now Anniesland Cross.

Austen Road Named after Sir Austen Chamberlain (1863 - 1937) who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time when Sir James Parker Smith of Jordanhill was Parliamentary Private Secretary to his father (Joseph Chamberlain).  

Balshagray Avenue Named after Balshagray Cottage and Balshagray Farm. The original steading walls of the farmhouse can be still seen on the north side of Mitre Road (No 38) mid way between Eastcote and Orleans Avenues. See photo No.6 at

An old manuscript in the Mitchell Library contains an entry explaining the meaning of “Balshagrie Avenue”.  It states that Balshagrie (the old spelling) means “the windy town”.     The explanation continues “The Avenue is formed on the lands of that name; the quaint one storey mansion stands on the west side with the date 1641 over the door.    These lands with Hyndland, Skaterigg and Scotstoun have been in the possession of the Oswald family since the middle of the eighteenth century.   They had in the olden time been church lands within the Bishopric of Glasgow and the superior has accordingly bestowed upon the thoroughfares, names of an ecclesiastic nature such as Abbey Drive, Bishops Road and Dean Road.”

Other publications suggest Balshagray is the Gaelic for “the town of the decayed or withered flock” or a corruption of different Gaelic words meaning “the town of the hunting of the king”.

Bishops Road renamed Mitre Road around 1931

Borden Road Named after Sir Robert Laird Borden (1854 - 1937) a Canadian Statesman who was the first overseas premier to address a Cabinet Meeting in London in 1915.

Chamberlain Road Named after Joseph Chamberlain (1836 - 1914) who was a Liberal statesman. James Parker Smith of Jordanhill was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Joseph Chamberlain.

Cornwall Avenue renamed Airthrey Avenue around 1931

Crow Road Referred to in old documents as "The Craw Road" (the Scottish form of Crow) which is taken straight from the same sounding Gaelic “Crodh” meaning cattle.   Thus Crow Road was a drove road for highlanders bringing their cattle to the city via the “Stockiemuir” and the “Switchback”.

Dean Road renamed Varna Road around 1931

Eastcote Avenue Originally known as York Avenue, named after the Duke of York, who at that time was the second son of King Edward VII.   (later, King George V’s second son was also the Duke of York)

Essex Drive Not known Unlike many adjacent roads,its name did not change in 1931.

Hallydown Drive  Origin not known

Hanover Avenue renamed St Kilda Drive around 1931

Helensburgh Drive The Smiths of Jordanhill had lived in Helensburgh and had a yacht moored there.  This road first appeared in the Post Office Directory in 1924

Jordanhill Drive etc Obviously named after the original estate.

Kent Avenue renamed Orleans Avenue around 1931

King Edward Road Named after King Edward VII (1841 - 1910) who reigned at the time when the houses were being built. The road first appeared in the Post Office Directory in 1903. Most houses had names, and the Post Office Directory does not refer to house numbers.

Manor Road No certain reason is known for this name but it may well be linked to the old Manor House of Balshagray which had stood nearby. Its name did not change in 1931 unlike several roads nearby (e.g. Mitre Road)  

Milner Road Named after Alfred, Viscount Milner (1854 - 1925) a British Statesman The name first appeared in the Post Office Directory in 1908

Mitre Road When first laid out at the turn of the century Mitre Road was called Bishops Road until 1931 The area was associated with the See of Glasgow, see details elsewhere regarding the history of Jordanhill.

Munro Road. Named after the Rev. G D R Munro, minister of Hillhead Free Church from 1874 till 1902. Refer to History of Jordanhill Church for connection between Hillhead Free Church and the present Jordanhill Parish Church.

Orleans Avenue Originally known as Kent Avenue named after the Duke of Kent, who was the fourth son of King George V..

Park Drive North renamed Victoria Park Drive North around 1931

Ryvra Road The Smiths of Jordanhill owned a house in North Berwick called "Ryvra".

Seggielea Road  Origin not known

Selborne Road Named after William 2nd Earl of Selborne (1859 -1942) an English politician

St Kilda Drive Originally known as Hanover Avenue, changed in 1931

Skaterigg Drive  Part of the Burlington Gate Development ("Burlington" is believed to a figment of the developer's imagination and has no historical connection with the area) Built on the former Barclay Curle recreation ground and previously part of Skaterigg Farm lands.

Skaterigg Gardens See Skaterigg Drive

Skaterigg Lane (lies south of and parallel to Munro Road) Named after Skaterigg Farm which stood near the present location of the Glasgow High School grandstand.

Skaterigg Road After the War, around 1948, 12 prefabs were built on the west side of Crow Road opposite Sackville Avenue and they were served by a short cul-de-sac called Skaterigg Road. The road was subsequently removed when the prefabs were demolished around 1972.

Southbrae Drive Believed to have been named after the main driveway to Jordanhill House, located on the "south brae" of the estate (brae being the Scots word for hill or slope). There is a “South Brae” on John Ainslie’s map of 1796 (see Jordanhill in Old Maps at ) but I have found no record of a Southbrae Farm in the official Smith Archives.

Varna Road  Originally known as Dean Road until 1931

Victoria Park Drive North Originally called Park Drive North and formed at the time of the construction of Victoria Park at the start of the 1900's.

Tudor Road Origin not known

Westbrae Drive A combination of Westland and Southbrae, this short road was formed when the new railway bridge was built in 1928 to join the north and south parts of Jordanhill.

Westland Drive  In the late 1800's, Westland Drive was a cul-de sac running from Dumbarton Road to what is now the quaint short cul-de-sac called Victoria Park Corner (just south of Danes Drive). There was also a short length at the east end to serve the houses still known as Davidson Gardens and Cluny Villas. By 1913 Westland Drive had been extended northwards by a short distance to Anglegate and crossed the new Danes Drive (with its bridge over the railway line to the coal yards in Scotstoun). By the 1930's Westland Drive’s two separate parts had been joined and completed to its present length.

Wilmot Road named after Wilmot Babbington Smith (1885 – 1915, died of wounds in Malta), the younger son of the Rt Hon James Parker Smith the 4th of Jordanhill.(see his photograph in a family group at )

Windyedge Drive  Named after Windyedge Farm which stood near what is now 168 Southbrae Drive.

Woodend Drive Named after Woodend Cottage which stood on the site of the present Jordanhill Church. The local brickworks were also called Woodend.    It was known previously as the Back Road since it was a track for estate workers from Crow Road to the stables and gardens of Jordanhill House following the line of Woodend Drive as far as Woodend Cottage and then northwards and westwards virtually on the line of the current Munro Road.

York Avenue renamed Eastcote Avenue around 1931 named after the Duke of York who was the second son of the King Edward VII



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