William N Tait, 1869-70, with slightly later addition to rear; divided late 1970s to form 2 flats. 2-storey and attic, 3-bay, L-plan, Italianate villa with 3-storey crenellated entrance tower, 2-storey canted bay window corbelled out to form gable at attic, deep, bracketed, corniced eaves, and former coach house and stable (16 Eglinton Gardens) linked to main house with crenellated archway. Stugged red sandstone with polished red sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course; cill course; eaves course; tower slightly jettied out at 2nd floor. Rusticated long and short quoins and stone-mullioned windows to principal elevation; chamfered window margins to all elevations.
W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: roll-moulded arched entrance porch at base of tower supported on tapered piers with simple capitals; prominent keystone; 2-leaf glass doors; plain rondels to spandrels; arched lights to returns. 2-leaf timber panelled front door in arched, stop-chamfered architrave inside porch. Hoodmoulded, arched windows to upper floors of tower; deep stone-bracketed eaves cornice; crenellated parapet. 3-light canted bay window to left, corbelled out to form gable at attic; bipartite Tudor-arched window to gable apex with bracketed cill. Bipartite windows to right-hand bay.
N (SIDE) ELEVATION: advanced section to right with entrance to 16a Eglinton gardens; timber door; bracketed timber porch with slate roof. 2 windows to left return and pointed window to gable apex. Recessed section to left; irregular fenestration and timber boarded door.
E (REAR) AND S (SIDE) ELEVATIONS: regular fenestration to S; later glazed door at ground. Advanced gable to E with later swept roof over 1st floor extension; irregular fenestration; lean-to conservatory.
Plate glass in timber sash and case windows. Corniced stacks with decorative red clay cans. Graded grey slate with metal flashings. Cast-iron rainwater goods with decorative brackets to principal elevation.
INTERIOR: half-glazed timber panelled inner lobby door with bevelled glass. Very decorative floral cornicing to principal rooms; some plaster ceiling roses; plainer cornicing to bedrooms. Ground-floor drawing (or dining) room panelled to dado; display cupboard with glazed doors; timber chimneypiece with thin paired pilasters. Some early 20th century cupboards in kitchen. Timber staircase with carved newel posts; arched stained glass former stair window (see Notes). Circa 1921 stained glass to bathroom windows and doors depicting sailing boats. Circa 1938 Art Deco bathroom in 16a with black vitrolite tiles, circular mirror over built-in cupboard, cream bathroom suite and chrome Art-Deco taps.
16 EGLINTON GARDENS (FORMER COACH HOUSE): rectangular-plan, gabled to E and W. Irregularly fenestrated; many later openings. Squared, snecked sandstone; concrete tiles to roof. Crenellated link-wall to house with raised central section bearing blank shield; stop-chamfered depressed arch; blind arrow-slits to each side.
TERRACE, STEPS AND DRAINAGE CHANNEL: terrace to rear of house; 14 sandstone steps with coped side wall; timber-boarded access door to brick drainage channel below terrace.
GATES AND GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALL: 2-leaf cast-iron gates; stop-chamfered, square-plan, crenellated gatepiers with shallow pyramidal caps. Flat-coped red sandstone boundary wall.
Statement of Special Interest
Previously called Dunnard. A well-detailed Victorian villa, occupying a relatively prominent site between Montgomerie Terrace and Eglinton Gardens. The house was built for John McKinnon, an accountant from Glasgow, by the Glasgow architect William Nairn Tait. Very little is known about Tait, but several architects of note trained under him, including William Young, who designed Glasgow City Chambers. This is one of only a small number of buildings know to have been designed by Tait. The only external alteration to the house, other than the insertion of a door to access 16a, appears to be an extension to the service wing on the E elevation. The plan in Glasgow City Archives shows that there was originally a single-storey service wing in the angle between the two gables. This has had a 1st-floor extension built on top of it, probably in the 1920s, which covered over the main staircase window so that it now looks onto the back stair. Internally, the building retains a large number of original features, such as all the decorative cornicing: the division of the house to form two flats is very sensitive for its date, and has had a minimal impact on the original fabric of the building. The stained glass in the bathrooms is particularly good: the top of the bathroom door in 16a is dated 1921, and it is assumed that this was when the stained glass was inserted. The wonderful Art Deco bathroom is dated to 1938 by a trade label inside the mirror-cupboard.
Like the other houses along Montgomerie Terrace, Tigh Geal is raised on a terrace towards the rear of its plot, so that the principal rooms take advantage of a large expanse of garden, and views over the Clyde estuary. Behind the house is access to a Victorian drain, which is believed to run behind all the houses in the street, and collects the water away from the rising ground to the E.
The former coach house, 16 Eglinton Gardens, is in separate ownership, but forms an integral part of the design of main house, to which it is linked by a gateway.