THEY are vibrant Southside neighbourhoods full of trendy bars and restaurants which regularly make all the ‘must-visit’ lists.
Once upon a time, however, Langside was a small, rural village with bluebell woods and a mansion house, and Battlefield was the site of ferocious fighting between Mary Queen of Scots and the Earl of Moray.
Langside and its immediate neighbour Battlefield have changed a great deal over the centuries.
Several feuing maps in the Glasgow City Archives collections, dating from the mid-1800s, show Langside as a countryside setting, with a small village of cottages located around modern-day Algie Street and Langside Place.
To the south of the village, the maps record a mansion house, called Langside House, off what is now Camphill Avenue.
Believed to have been designed by famous Scottish architect Robert Adam in 1777, it was once surrounded by bluebell woods with a nearby formal garden (again shown on the maps).
Its first occupant was the wealthy Dr Thomas Brown, who had purchased the land from Robert Crawford of Possil.
While the cottages and mansion house are all gone, there is still a leafy, woody aspect to the area.
The feuing maps also show a mill near to the White Cart River and a bridge over the water.
The present-day Millbrae Bridge was constructed in 1899, replacing an earlier bridge. Both the mill and crossing point date back beyond the 1800s, and the mill’s cottage still partly remains.
A large sandstone boulder (now held by Glasgow Museums) decorated with cup and ring marks was found in the woods at Langside House - evidence of even more ancient occupation.
Langside Battlefield Monument standing at Battle Place commemorates the area’s most dramatic historical event, the Battle of Langside.
Around 6000 troops fought on behalf of Mary Queen of Scots against the Regent, Earl of Moray and his 4000 troops on May 13, 1568, at the site of what became Queen’s Park.
The queen’s forces were heavily defeated, forcing her to flee to England. Queen’s Park is named after Mary, and several street names also mark her fateful connection with the area such as Dundrennan Road - named after the abbey where she spent her final night in Scotland - and Lochleven Road, called after the castle where the queen was imprisoned.
The memorial itself includes motifs from her coat of arms, thistles, fleurs-de-lys and roses. Public subscription paid for the 16m-high granite column in 1887, designed by architect Alexander Skirving and sculpted by James Young.
Skirving also designed Langside Free Church, now a restaurant (Church on the Hill) which sits next to the monument, in the 1890s.
Neale Thomson of Camphill purchased the lands of Langside House in 1852, and he began the development of upmarket villas around Mansionhouse Road, including Alexander Greek Thomson’s double villa and Rawcliffe (later a convent).
From 1890 onwards, the tenements of Langside and Battlefield were built, many of which we hold the plans for in the archives such as those on Cartvale Road, Cartside Street and Ledard Road.
Slow urbanisation continued with the building of schools such as Langside Primary in the 1900s, Battlefield Primary in 1912 and Queen’s Park Higher Grade from 1874, and the completion of the Victoria Infirmary Hospital in 1891.
Langside Library, the last of Carnegie’s libraries in Glasgow, was built in 1915, just after the ornate tram shelter at Battlefield Road (now the thriving Battlefield Rest restaurant).
The trams that once ran to and from Glasgow city centre, stopping at the terminus at Sinclair Drive, are long gone, but the area is home to an abundance of trendy cafes.
One of the biggest changes in recent years is the closure and wholesale redevelopment and part-demolition of the Old Victoria Infirmary, which closed in 2015. Currently, the site is being transformed into a development of flats.
However, there are still signs of Battlefield and Langside’s rich history, which you can spot while walking the streets – or in the records here at Glasgow City Archives.