BELLAHOUSTON, or Dumbreck House, is situated in the parish of Govan and county of Lanark. The house is finely placed on an eminence on the south side of the road leading to Paisley, and commands a beautiful and extensive view in all directions.
In the year 1595 certain heritors in the parish of Govan, who had previously held their lands as rentallers of the Archbishopric of Glasgow, obtained a charter of confirmation of their lands from James VI., "to the effect that the tenents being thereby become heretable possessors of their severall possessions might be incouradged by vertue and politie to improve that country."
It is most probable that the lands of Dumbreck were among those thus confirmed, for we find the adjacent lands of Ibrox in the list, and a large number of others of small extent. (1) Dumbreck at the close of last century belonged to William Woddrop, who built the present house, and from whom it passed to his nephew, Robert Scot of the Thistle Bank. Mr. Scot sold his house and lands to Mr. Steven of Bellahouston, who changed their name to that of his larger estate, and what was formerly Dumbreck House is now Bellahouston, the mansion house of the united properties.
The valuable estate of Bellahouston had formerly belonged to an old Govan family of Rowans, of whom Thomas Rowan was the last, and it descended to the Stevens through their marriage with one of the family. Moses Steven of Polmadie, the father of the present proprietrix, was a merchant in Glasgow, of the firm of Buchanan Steven & Co., afterwards Dennistoun, Buchanan & Co.
The Stevens have long held lands in this parish, for, in the charter above alluded to, we find mention of "William Stevine, son of Thomas Stevine in Meikle Govan," as confirmed in certain lands, and in the "Rental Book of the Barony of Glasgow," the name frequently occurs.
Within the last few years, great changes have taken place on the estate of Bellahouston, streets have been formed, and villas and country houses erected, in many parts of it, by merchants of the neighbouring city.
Some years ago a handsome church was built in connection with the Church of Scotland, and, having been endowed, a parish of Bellahouston was formed. This good work was very much aided and encouraged in every way by the late respected proprietor of the estate, Mr. Moses Steven. This gentleman died some years ago, and was succeeded in the possession of the estate by his sister.
(1) In 1557 "Jhone Clwne . . . is rentalit in Saxs iijd land of Govane, in the quarter callit Dumbreck." - Rental Book of the Barony of Glasgow, p. 166.
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