WB-01 Westerton — A Garden Suburb

Official opening of Westerton Garden Suburb

In the early 1910s there was a proposal to create a ‘garden suburb’ for Glasgow. A Committee of influential Glasgow men, including Sir John Stirling Maxwell, formed. The Committee settled on Garscube for their development, after the North British Railway Company agreed to construct a station at the site. This was to be the first garden suburb in Scotland.
The model was simple: good quality, affordable housing and environs, intended to improve the mental and physical health of residents, who were industrial workers. Each tenant purchased five shares at a value of £10 each, for which they would receive a small dividend, held by the company on their behalf. They would also pay a small rent, and rent and dividends would pay for repairs. When the tenant left the suburb they could retain the investment or take the capital.
The suburb was built largely on what was South Westerton Farm, and for twenty years the suburb was surrounded by open countryside. The houses were designed by the Glasgow based architect John A W Grant in an Arts and Crafts style. The first houses were built in Stirling Avenue and Maxwell Avenue (named after Sir John Maxwell Stirling).
The opening ceremony (pictured here) and laying of the foundation stone took place on 19 April 1913, and the houses were ready for occupancy by May. By 1915 a total of 84 houses had been built. By this time, however, the First World War made further expansion impossible and so the suburb was completed at two thirds of its intended size.

As you walk along Maxwell Avenue see if you can you spot the foundation stone on one of the buildings to your left.