Pollokshields (Scots: Pollokshiels) is a district in the Southside of Glasgow, Scotland. It is a conservation area which was developed in Victorian times according to a plan promoted by the original landowners, the Stirling-Maxwells of Pollok, whose association with the area goes as far back as 1270.
Pollokshields was established by the Stirling-Maxwell family in 1849, and was set out or 'feued' by the Edinburgh architect David Rhind. Many well-known Glaswegian architects contributed to its development and, amongst others, it contains villas by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson. There are several contributions by contemporaries of Charles Rennie Mackintosh including a series of good 'Glasgow style' tenements by the architect H. E. Clifford, who was also responsible for the 'A' listed Pollokshields Burgh Hall, in Scottish Baronial style which was inaugurated in 1890, with Maxwell Park. The ground for Maxwell Park was given by Sir John Stirling-Maxwell of Nether Pollok in 1888, and the park was formally opened at the same time. Such was its early population growth Pollokshields attained 'burgh' status in 1876. However, this ended in 1891 when after being offered favourable tax terms the residents of the burgh agreed to it becoming a suburb of the growing city of Glasgow. The Victorian and Edwardian architecture and the parks of this area have remained almost untouched, leaving the feeling of a leafy Victorian suburb, while being well within the city.
In April 2004, local white youth Kriss Donald was abducted from Kenmure Street in Pollokshields, then tortured and murdered in a racially motivated attack. Five men of Pakistani descent, also from Pollokshields, were later jailed for the crime, four receiving life sentences. The case drew attention to the issue of Asian gang culture and associated crime and violence in the area.
Pollokshields Burgh Hall was designed by H. E. Clifford during the Scottish Renaissance in the late 19th Century and is currently listed as a significant building of Pollokshields. Built in Ballochmyle Red Freestone it was opened in 1890 by Sir John Stirling Maxwell whose coat of arms is depicted in the entrance porch in the stone of the Hall and is recorded in marble in the floor. To the outside of the building there is very high tower, housing a turret stair and balcony. Throughout the building there are detailed stained glass windows, brought from the town of Pollokshields. The lodge house adjacent comprises two flats; the Sanitary Inspector and the Park Gardener used these facilities as living accommodation and they are currently privately let by the Burgh Hall trust. In 1891 the Burgh Hall passed into the hands of Glasgow Council when the city extended its boundaries. In 1938 the back of the building was enlarged; however this meant that the last gallery in the spacious hall had to be sacrificed in order to permit the building of an extension.
By 1975 it was being used by the Social Work Department of Strathclyde Regional Council as an occupational day centre. In 1982 a decision was taken to sell it on the open market. This proved controversial—the residents of Pollokshields protested due to its connection to the heritage of the town and the historical significance to the area. Further protests ensued so a charitable trust was formed to ensure that the building would continue to be publicly owned. The Trust acquired the building for £1 in 1986. Only in 1991 was the title transferred with the condition that the derelict lodge house be restored within five years. Historic Scotland supported the heritage campaign as well as other organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, Glasgow City Council, the Glasgow Development Agency and the local community and so the lodge house and the ground floor of the Hall were completely refurbished and reopened around 1997. The lower ground floor has since attracted further funding and what was once little more than cellar space has been converted to a contemporary conference room, which can be directly accessed from the outside.
Scottish Places also has an article on Pollokshields which provides a different emphasis on the history of the place. It also has a reprint of the article on Govan from Francis H. Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, 1882-1885 (originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh) and a map of the local area.