Pollok House at Strathclyde Country Park
Pollok House is open every day throughout the year except 25 / 26 December and 1 / 2 January. Entry is free to the Servants' Quarters all year and a charge is made for visiting the upstairs part of the House only during the summer months from 1 April to 31 October.
It is remarkable that a country house like Pollok House has survived, as it is within 15 minutes' drive of central Glasgow. The tranquillity of its surroundings allows visitors to enjoy the beauty and benefits of the countryside without travelling outside the city.
The Trust's aim is to present the House as a living house and home. The House is presented broadly as it would have been around 1930 when all the major changes had been made to the property. The Maxwell family lived in the house until 1966 when it was gifted to the City of Glasgow by Mrs Anne Maxwell Macdonald. Originally opened as a City Museum, it was passed in 1988 to the Trust, who now manage the property on behalf of Glasgow City Council. Since the Trust became involved, the House and contents have been redisplayed to create a more lived-in feel.
The busiest part of the House at any time of the year is the vast Servants' Quarters in the basement. Even when the Maxwells lived here this was the case, for there were 48 indoor staff to look after 3 family members after the house was expanded around 1900. Today the basement houses the Kitchen Restaurant and the range of shops. As you walk down the dramatic main corridor to the restaurant you sense the scale of operations needed to keep the House functioning. Half the visitors come solely to the restaurant because of its reputation for home baking and fresh local produce, but to get the full effect you need to visit the upstairs to appreciate the full impact of the differences for family and servants.
The House is famous for its spectacular collection of paintings collected by one member of the family, Sir William Stirling Maxwell, in the mid-19th century. Although a visit to the House centres on the father and son - Sir William and Sir John - who expanded the small Georgian house into the property we see today, the family have connections to the estate dating back to 1270. The lively plasterwork and classical proportions stress the country mansion style, but the small scale of the main Georgian house makes it seem very habitable - most visitors could easily move in!
The paintings include major examples of the work of William Blake and one of the finest collections anywhere of the art of Spain at the zenith of its power from 1500 -1700, The Golden Age. Information around the House will help you understand the history and the purpose of this art. You will realise that political spin is nothing new.
- Surrounded by extensive gardens and the wider estate, totalling 1,000 acres - administered by the Land Services Department of Glasgow City Council
- Vast servants' quarters showing the contrasts of life upstairs / downstairs
- Our new 'Art in Focus' panels give fascinating snippets of information about some of our most popular paintings
The well-known Kitchen Restaurant now occupies the original kitchens of this elegant country mansion, which is set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland but in the heart of Glasgow. Pollok House offers extensive views of woodland, parkland, farmland and designed landscape.
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