top of page

Left, Miller Terrace

Farme Cross

A short history of the Farme Cross area of Rutherglen

© Rutherglen Heritage Society

Farme Cross Area

The estate of Farm was originally crown property although King Robert the Bruce granted it to Robert Stewart as a reward for loyal service. The estate passed through various owners before becoming the property of James Farie in 1800. He exploited the estate and adjacent areas for its wealth in coal seams. The Farie family built cottages for the families of miners employed at Old and New Farme Pits. Old Farme Colliery closed on 17th July 1931 and was one of the oldest pits in operation in the county of Lanark. A Newcomen engine, used in the colliery for 110 years, was removed to the Glasgow Transport Museum in 1915.


Farme Castle comprised an ancient three storey keep, believed to be 15th century, to which various additions were made. It was considered to be one of the finest Baronial mansions in Scotland. From as early as 1870 the house began to be surrounded by industrial buildings and the accompanying pollution. The house survived until the mid 1960s when it was demolished to make way for further industrial development.

The 1864 map shows two rows of buildings to the south of the area occupied by the existing terraces and at right angles to them. These were known as New Farme Rows and occupied by colliers who worked at New Farme Pit on the opposite side of Dalmarnock Road. By 1889 there were tenements along Cambuslang Road and Farmeloan Road in front of the four terraces. These tenements were demolished in the late 1960s. Landscaping of the area around the terraces was carried out around 2000. Willie Ross, a community activist, was involved in many of the improvements to the area and the lane at the south end of the terraces was named in honour of him.

1864 OS Map Farme.jpg

Above, 1864 Ordnance Survey map showing the Farme estate. The Clydesdale Tube Works shown at the top of the map is where the KFC and McDonald's fast food outlets on Dalmarnock Road are today.   

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Farme Cross Terraces

Farme smith terr.jpg

The terraces are the earliest examples of workers’ co-operative housing in West Central Scotland and are the sole example of this form of building in Glasgow. The area first began to be developed in 1875-77 with the construction of Smith and Millar terraces by the Glasgow Working Men’s Investment and Building Society, to house workers from the nearby coal and iron industries. Smith and Millar terraces are believed to have been named after two leading lights of the society. Carlyle and Ruskin terraces followed in 1881-82 and 1888-89 respectively, being named after two eminent Victorians.

The Glasgow Working Men’s Investment and Building Society was listed in the 1880-81 Glasgow Post Office directory at 129 Great Hamilton Street with James Riddell as secretary. In the 1887-88 directory the Society was listed at 150 Hope Street and was in liquidation.

Left, Smith Terrace

The terraces consist of four parallel rows running north-east to south-west. The two northernmost rows, Smith Terrace and Millar Terrace, are two storeys high plus attic and are of particular interest in that they are divided horizontally into one and two storey flats. Access is from opposite sides of the building, entry being gained to the upper flats by a series of external staircases. Carlyle Terrace and Ruskin Terrace are only one storey high with bay windows, each with a conical hipped roof.

The Terraces were included in the Farme Cross Local Plan by Glasgow City Council in 1980 and were designated as a conservation area in August 1983. This meant that works such as boundary walls, stone cleaning and painting would require planning consent.

Right, Millar Terrace

Farme miller terr.jpg

Industries at Farme Cross

Many industries developed in the Farme Cross area in addition to the coal pits. The Rutherglen Rope Works of John Todd & Sons Ltd occupied a site on the west side of Farmeloan Road. A number of the Rutherglen Royalty Boundary Stones were situated within their rope works. Another rope works was further north at the corner of Lloyd Street and Dalmarnock Road. This was originally the Clyde Patent Rope Works founded in 1894, later merging with seven other companies in 1925 to form the British Rope Works. Their main products were metal wire ropes. The office block was two storeys high and built of red sandstone in the French Renaissance style with a corner turret, designed by F A Sutherland in 1912. The building was listed as Grade B but unfortunately its condition deteriorated and it was demolished.


Other industries in that area were the Phoenix Tube Works, Adam’s Brick Works on the south side of Lloyd Street and the Clydesdale Dye Works near the river. An area to the east of the Farme Estate contained the Eastfield Ropery, Clyde Paper Works, Eastfield Chair Works and the Eastfield Paper Works. Looking at the list of industries at Farme Cross, it is not surprising that there was a huge amount of pollution both in the atmosphere and the river.


Rutherglen Heritage Society 2015

Background map from John Thomson's 1832 Atlas of Scotland.

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

bottom of page