The buildings in Hagtonhill farmstead, in the golf course on the edge of the Top Wood survived into the 20th century. In recent years the last of them were removed. Early in the century the owners of Linn, the Gordons of Aikenhead, were still struggling to let Linn house and continued to advertise the house and grounds.
On the edge of Linn, as well as disposing of the ground for Cathcart cemetery, they gradually sold off bits of Bogton to builder Matthew Dickie, for the red sandstone housing development around Ormonde Avenue, Netherlee. The selling of Hagtonhill to the Corporation in 1919 was part of this general disposal of land. The Hagtonhill and Bogton part of Linn Park opened to the public two years later in 1921.
Linn Park and its Golf Course
The development of the park was associated with the start of Linn Park Golf Course. Originally founded as ‘Merrylea’ Golf Club c.1895, the club moved to Hagtonhill in 1898, becoming ‘Cathcart Castle’ Golf Course. Part of the course covered a different area from the present public course, and stretched down the river into Castlemains opposite Millholm. Former tees can still be seen in the grassland and undergrowth, abandoned for more than a century.
The names of holes, including Hagtonhill, Howgill, Burnside, Aikenhead, Simshill, Damshot, Kennels, Castle Road and Linn, hint at the course’s coverage. Perhaps somebody has an old score card showing the layout? In 1917 a third of the course (four holes) was taken over temporarily for wartime food production. When Glasgow Corporation began building up land for the park, it served notice on the club, to create the present public course. It survived until 1925 when Cathcart Castle Golf Club moved to its present location on Cleugh Farm, Mearns, and Glasgow Corporation paid the club £1,200 for their clubhouse at Linn.
Once the golf course moved, the lower part of the park, traditionally in Castlemains ground, with the entrance at Greenock Avenue, was laid out and opened in 1927. This part took in the castle and Cartside House which was demolished. Cartside’s adjacent farmstead or stables survived a few years more before demolition. The house had an extensive garden on the far side of Old Castle Road, extending up what is now Seil Drive. Below the site of Cartside House, by the river, the imprint of the house’s tennis court can still be seen.
The life of the park through the twentieth century is another story. Beyond Cathcart Castle, the park’s buildings have not fared well. Linn House had various uses, partly as a tearoom and wildlife Centre. By the 1990s it was abandoned and partly unsafe. In 2004 the Council served notice to demolish the house. Fortunately, like its big brother Aikenhead House, it was saved by conversion to private dwellings.
Other lost features of the 20th century park include the bandstand, in decline by the 1960s and demolished and razed. The pavilion also fell into decline and all that remains is its level base. Various smaller buildings from the 18th and 19th century were just as big a loss, including the estate cottage at Netherlee gates, the sawmill and its cottage, and the garden cottage. The steading in the stables courtyard is the last remnant, and has gradually been allowed to collapse.
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