GAIRBRAID is situated on the left bank of the Kelvin near Maryhill, in the Barony parish, and four miles from the cross of Glasgow. The old mansion was built in 1688, and near it was erected in 1789 the present house.

In ancient times the lands of Gairbraid, which were formerly Church lands held by Rentallers under the Archbishopric of Glasgow, belonged to a family named Hutchison. A charter is extant, in favour of John Hutchison described as then "in Gairbraid," by Robert Montgomerie, Archbishop of Glasgow, dated 19th November, 1582, while Queen Mary was a prisoner in England.

It is generally said by local writers that the Hutchisons of Gairbraid were ancestors of George Hucheson, (1) founder of the Hospital. But this is an entire mistake. The two families were not directly related to each other. The parents of the benevolent founder of the charity were Thomas Hucheson of Huchesonton and Lambhill, and Helen Herbertson, spouses. This Huchesonton property formed part of the lands of Nether Carmyle, immediately to the eastward of what is now the Clyde Iron Works. George Hucheson purchased Gairbraid in 1600 from the other family of Hutchison already referred to. The mistake now pointed out seems to have originated with M'Ure, the confused old chronicler, and has since been slavishly copied in the face of authentic documents to the contrary, extant in the charter chest of the Hospital.

Neither George Hucheson of Gairbraid, nor his brother Thomas, had any family. In 1639 and 1641 respectively they mortified a portion of their means to endow the Hospital, and this mortification was in the latter year confirmed by their three widowed sisters, Mrs. Duncan, Mrs. Pollock and Mrs. Ninian Hill. Ninian, the son of the last named, succeeded to the heritable estates, and Lambhill was sold by him in 1696 to the ancestor of the present proprietor, William Graham. Ninian was succeeded in Gairbraid by Hew Hill; he left an only daughter, Mary, who succeeded. (2)

Mary Hill of Gairbraid married, previous to 1763, Robert Graham of Dalsholm, of the Dougalston family. They had two daughters, Lillias and Janet. Lillias died unmarried previous to 1836. Janet married Alexander Dunlop of Keppoch, merchant in Greenock, and had with other issue John who succeeded. Alexander Dunlop married secondly Margaret, daughter of William Colquhoun of Kenmure, and had issue, of whom the eldest was the late Alexander Colquhoun Stirling Murray Dunlop, formerly M.P. for Greenock.

Gairbraid now belongs to Alexander Graham Dunlop (3) and William Carstairs Dunlop, the surviving members of the family of the late John Dunlop of Gairbraid.

The estate is not a large one, but it is now very valuable in consequence of the numerous feus from it for the rapidly growing burgh of Maryhill. (4)

Gairbraid is much altered since this photograph was taken. In fact the old place may be said to be gone. The magnificent avenue of beech trees has been cut down, the woods on the banks of the Kelvin have been ruthlessly swept away, and the old house now stands naked and forlorn amidst a wilderness of "free coups," broken bottles and bricks, pools of dirty water, clothes lines fluttering with parti-coloured rags, and all the abominations of a new suburb. Instead of the singing of birds and the music of the soft flowing Kelvin, which of yore pleased and refreshed the passer-by, the air is now vocal with the discordant voices of rough men, scolding women, and "greeting bairns," and with the clang of machinery and the hiss of the steam engine.

(1) This is the way that the Hospital founder wrote his surname.

(2) For an account of this old family of Hills see "Barlanark".

(3) Alexander Graham Dunlop was formerly Her Majesty's Council General and Royal Commissioner at the Havana.

(4) This village is named after Mary Hill, only daughter and heiress of Hew Hill of Gairbraid, in whose time it was founded.

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