• Park History

Park History

Old Clock and weathervane

Rouken Glen Park is steeped in history, dating back to 1530 the time of James V who gifted the land to the 1st Earl of Montgomery as a present by royal charter for services rendered.

At that time the area was known as Birkenshaw, meaning Birch wood.

Rouken Glen Park got its name from a meal mill within the estate known as the Rokandmyll.

In 1829 Duguld Bannatyne, the post master of Glasgow, owned the park.

The Crum family took over ownership of the estate in 1852.  Walter Crum, a wealthy industrialist from Thornliebank, bought the estate from a Glasgow merchant John Slater. It was during this period the walled garden was planned and constructed.  Alexander Crum Was mostly responsible for planning and planting the beautiful mature tree species found throughout the park today.

Birkenshaw Cottage was used as a holiday cottage by Madeleine Smith who was brought to trial for the murder of Pierre Emile L'Angelier her French lover in 1857.

In 1904 the Crum family sold Rouken Glen to Cameron Corbett MP later to become Lord Rowallan.

After owning the park for only two years, Cameron Corbett gifted Rouken Glen to the people of Glasgow to use as a place of leisure and enjoyment.  The park was handed over on 26th of May 1906.  The Mayor of Lyon was among the dignitaries present at the ceremony.

During World War 2 Rouken Glen was closed to the public and taken over by the Army REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). At this time the park had a lot of damage done to it, as heavy vehicles left their mark on the infrastructure. The mansion house fell into such a state of disrepair it was demolished in the 1960s.

Glasgow signed the park over to Eastwood district council on a lease for 125 years. Today East Renfrewshire proudly has it as their main tourist attraction in the surrounding area.

Archaeology Scotland Reports

As part of the Heritage Lottery Fund Project 2012-16 in Rouken Glen Park, Archaeology Scotland surveyed and excavated some of the historic sites in Rouken Glen Park.  Their reports are available in the Related documents section below.