Pollock Castle, in its final configuration entering the 20th Century, was a magnificent structure, reported to have 88 rooms and 365 windows. Built in the style of a British manor house, it stood in the area of present day Barrhead and Dodside Roads, along Dodside Road back towards Glasgow. Only the foundation of the ancient tower remains as a memorial to the oldest landed family of Mearns.
The original land holdings were vast, including the Pollok Shaws and Pollok Shields present day areas near Glasgow. A large portion of the Pollock lands was confiscated after the Battle of Bannockburn.
Nothing of the old Pollock estate remains except the two gate houses, the stable, and the gardener's cottage (all are presently occupied), the castle's stone foundation, the south entrance steps and a few stones that once formed the castle's massive walls. The Castle was requisitioned by the British Army for storage of ammunition for WWII. Miss Jane Dunlop Ferguson-Pollock continued to live in one wing of the Castle until 1942. Her obituary states "There have been Polloks of Pollok for 800 years. There are authentic records of the family as far back as the twelfth century, when Petrus de Pollok, "munificent donator to the Monastery of Paisley" in the reign of Malcolm III, occupied what was then known as "Upper Pollok". The adjoining estate, now in the possession of the Stirling-Maxwells, was called 'Nether Pollok'." She willed the Castle to her nephew, Robert Ferguson-Pollok, who sold the Castle, surrounding woodlands and fields for only 8,000 pounds (less than $14,000 at today's exchange rate).
Stewarton Road and M77 cut through the land once included in the Pollock estate. The Stable is now occupied; the Gardener's Cottage is now known as the Kersland Cottage. The two Gatehouses are now identified as Pollok Lodge and West Lodge. Entering the property by the West Lodge, and passing the Stable and Gardener's Cottage, you can drive about halfway to the castle site, because of overgrowth. Part of a stone wall still exists along a section of the roadway. The Castle South front steps remain, as do the bases for the columns at the top of the steps. The Castle Foundation remains as does the outline of the courtyard.
One of the stones from the original Pollock Castle, cut and polished, is imbedded in the Scottish Memorial Cairn in North Carolina. The cairn was dedicated in 1980 at the site of the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, near Linville, North Carolina.
Additional information about Castle Pollok can be found at the Mearns History site.
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6 thoughts on “Pollok Castle”
My Great Grandfather Gordon Forlong was born in this castle.
It’s wonderful when we can connect our families with places.
Went to the location a few years ago, a mansion/condo had been built on the last foundation remains. The place was up for sale then and still appears to be up for sale now.
The property is no longer for sale. https://www.onthemarket.com/details/1263275/ We noted it in our newsletter when it was for sale, but don’t think it was purchased by any of our members.
It was fun visiting anyway. There’s a gate outside that says PRIVATE DRIVE and we thought we couldn’t get in, but an old bearded man with staff and sheepdog knocked on my window and asked why my family was there. I said “We’re Pollocks! We’d like to see the castle remains.” He laughed heartily and said “Ye cain’t! It’s been bloooown up over 50 years now!” Then he let us in (turns out he lived in the remaining gardner’s cottage, though were other homes back there), laughing all the while and saying the owner was trying to sell it “for a MEEEELION pounds!” I ran up outside the home gates and picked up a rock just in case it might be a piece of the old estate (more likely just a plain old rock), took a few photos, and left. The rock is today sitting in my man cave. 🙂
So funny. I am planning a trip to Scotland and wanted to do the exact same thing.