Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Battlefield Rest, 55 Battlefield Road, GlasgowLB32361

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
11/05/1981
Last Date Amended
26/09/2016
Local Authority
Glasgow
Planning Authority
Glasgow
Burgh
Glasgow
NGR
NS 58134 61645
Coordinates
258134, 661645

Description

Battlefield Rest was designed by Frank Burnet and Boston Architects in 1914-15, with later alterations and reconstruction circa 1996. It is a single storey, rectangular-plan with semi-octagonal ends, former tramcar shelter in the Edwardian style, which has been converted to form a restaurant. The building is built of brick and clad in green and cream faience tiles creating a horizontal striped pattern, full height to each end and to the cill level on the side elevations. There is a taller octagonal tower to the south end with a circle and line patterned band under the overhanging roof canopy. This is topped by a clock tower with alternate swag detail panels and a domed copper roof with a flagpole. The central section is rectangular in plan with glazed elevations and have overhanging timber canopies. There is a timber balustrade with flagpoles and this balustrades extends around the north end of the building. The north elevation is formed by a half octagonal flat roofed section. The central section has a red tiled, pitched roof and the north gable has faience skews and scrolls at the apex holding a plaque reading 'let Glasgow flourish'. The windows are painted timber.

The interior was seen in 2016 and has undergone part reconstruction and alterations to form a restaurant with associated kitchen and service areas. The interior fixtures and fittings largely date to the 1996 refurbishment of the building. The majority of the interior is the main dining area which has original terrazzo flooring. There are later partitions to the north end to form the kitchen and customer toilet areas.

Statement of Special Interest

Battlefield Rest former tram shelter is the only known example of a tram shelter of this scale and design to have been built in Scotland. It has good Edwardian style detailing with aspects of Art Noveau style, such as the fine octagonal clock tower, overhanging roof canopies and balustrading, as well as the early use of decorative exterior faience. Its rectangular-plan with semi-octagonal ends is unique and designed specifically for its intended use and location at the centre of a busy suburban junction. It was built for the Glasgow Tram Corporation, which was the largest late 19th city tram system known in Britain.

Age and Rarity

The former Battlefield Tramcar Shelter was built as the result of a design competition in 1914 for a prototype tram shelter for Glasgow Tram Corporation. It was intended that numerous tram stops would be built around the city, however, plans to build further shelters were shelved due to the outbreak of the First World War and construction was not resumed after the war. Consequently Battlefield Rest was the only one built. It was opened on 18 August 1915 and remains the only example of its type.

When designed and originally built the building was three separate sections all accessed separately from the exterior. The semi-octagonal north end of the building housed the public toilets and the south section was a newsagents shop. The central section was a waiting room with fitted seating and accessed by doors to both sides. When the building was listed in 1981 the waiting room was described as surviving largely as built and retaining its original seating, however other details such as the canopies had been lost by that time.

In 1992 the building was derelict and threatened with demolition. Around 1996 the building was restored and converted to a restaurant. The refurbishment of the building involved the linking of all three spaces internally to form a restaurant with the toilets remaining at the same end and the shop becoming part of the main dining space. The missing faience was recreated by a specialist company, Shaws of Darwin, and refitted by local firm Toffolo Jackson. The original fabric appears to largely survive to the clock tower part of the building including the copper dome and clock workings.

The first tram system in Glasgow was set up in 1872 by the Glasgow Tramway and Omnibus Company. It used horse drawn trams and the first completed route was from St Georges Cross to Eglington Toll. By 1902 the organisation had become the Glasgow Corporation Tramways and had introduced electrification across the city. At its height the Glasgow tramway system was the biggest in Europe with 1000 tram cars running on 100 linear miles of track. The system ran until 1962 and when it closed it was the last running tram system in a large city in Britain. At the peak of tram travel there were approximately 20 city tram networks across Scotland.

Tram shelters of the early 20th century are a very rare building type in Scotland with only one other known, the classically styled granite former toilet and shelter building on Holburn Street, Aberdeen (LB46480, listed at category C). There were smaller cast iron open tram shelters dating to the horse drawn trams of the later 19th century however these were open air and none are known to survive in their original positions. The Battlefield example is therefore one of only two known surviving purpose built Edwardian tram shelters in Scotland and it is more highly detailed and prominent than the Holburn Street example.

Architectural or Historic Interest

Interior

The interior of the building is largely dates from the circa 1996 renovations when little of the original interior fixtures and fittings are thought to have survived with the exception of granolithic floor to the majority of the former waiting room area.

Plan form

The former tram shelter is a rectangular plan with semi-octagonal ends. The plan form has been specifically designed for the location and use of the building, as an accessible service structure at the centre of a traffic island, and adds interest to the building in listing terms. The rectangular plan central section had doors on both sides of the building to allow for access from both sides of the building whilst waiting for trams from either direction. Each octagonal end of the building's plan was also designed for specific uses, with a newsagent shop at one end and public toilets at the other.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The tram shelter was the result of a competition by the Glasgow Tram Corporation to design a signature building for the developing company following the electrification of the system. It was commissioned to provide a prominent and stand out design to advertise and serve the trams system. The resulting design by Burnet and Boston is striking and designed to be a focal point of the busy crossroads it was built to serve. The design features a broad open canopy to protect waiting passengers from the weather, and the level of detailing including the balustrade and clock tower is unusually high for what was ultimately a functional building.

The use of external faience cladding around the building was a high quality design detail in the early 20th century and a relatively early use of this uncommon building material, becoming more popular later particularly for buildings in the art deco style. The polychrome pattern of horizontal banding may have been a visual design element to reference the moving traffic which encircled the building due to its position on a traffic island. The use of faience as an external design material is rare in Scotland with only a small number of buildings built in the material. Examples include the former Botanic Garage in the west end of Glasgow (LB32935) and the Anchor Line Buildings on St Vincent Place (LB 32839), both of which are listed at category A

The architectural firm of Frank Burnet and Boston was in practice from 1889 until around 1950. The majority of their contracts up until the 1930s were industrial contracts such as warehouses and factories. Prior to the pairing with Boston, Burnet had designed many tenements in the south side of Glasgow.

Setting

As noted above the building was specifically designed to be located in a prominent position at a busy road junction where four roads meet. The immediate setting for the building was originally narrower before the demolition of two former school buildings to its northeast, an area which is now used as parking (2016). The setting of the building however remains of importance to the interest of the building and the building commands a very prominent and key position in the streetscape of the local suburban area in which it sits.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2016).

Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as '55 Battlefield Road, Grange Road, Battlefield Rest'.

References

Bibliography

Canmore: https://canmore.org.uk/ CANMORE ID 160768

Maps

Ordnance Survey (published circa 1939) Lanarkshire Sheet X.NW (includes: Cathcart; Eastwood; Govan). 6 inches to the Mile. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Printed Sources

Dougherty, H (2015) 'All Change at Battlefield Rest' in Old Glory, February 2015. pp. 66-68.

Other Sources

Further information courtesy of owner (2016).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

Battlefield Rest from the southeast on a sunny day with blue sky.
Battlefield Rest, from the west on a sunny day with blue sky.

Map

Listing Map

Printed: 23/04/2024 15:42