Old Houses, Byres Road

Footnote (5)

    The road between the Botanic Gardens and Windsor Terrace (West) was latterly known as the Kyber Pass. It was a mercy when the Directors of the Botanic Gardens calmly absorbed it, it was so nasty. It was odd, all the same, that no one challenged them for shutting up an old right-of-way. The Pear Tree Well was cut out of the rocky bank of the Kelvin just above the existing foot-bridge : it was long the recognized trysting-place of lovers, but it was latterly far from attractive. It now lies buried below a railway embankment. Garioch Mill, like the still lively North Woodside Mill, was first a grist and then a flint mill. It stood below the Pear Tree Well Ford with a little cluster of houses round it. Mill and houses, mill dam and mill race, all are gone. A hundred years ago the Kelvin, up from Hillhead Ford, was alive with mills and bleachfields. A few yards above our Hillhead Bridge, was Hillhead Ford, only obliterated by the recent Caledonian Railway operations. Just above Hillhead Ford was Woodside or Mid Woodside Mill, a very old mill, originally a grist mill, then a cotton mill, and now replaced by a coal depot : its dam remains just above our Great Western Road Bridge. Just below this dam was the Holm Ford, afterwards replaced by the low bridge over which the first Great Western Road Bridge straddled. The Holm Ford led to the Holm Field, a meadow in the bend of the Kelvin. By the magic of the Free Coup this meadow has been piled up from the level of the Kelvin to the level of the Great Western Road, and the Glasgow Academy surmounts the pile. Opposite the Holm Field hill clatters North Woodside Mill, worked by the dam opposite the Botanic Gardens. Above it, on the same side, was the Garioch Mill ; above it, on the opposite side, was Kirklea Bleachfield, and above it Bellshaugh Bleachfield.