Hotels & Inns
Hotels & Inns
Inns were an essential part of the local infrastructure and developed to facilitate travel at a time when only a short distance could be covered in one day. They offered food, lodgings and entertainment to weary travellers, as well as providing facilities to rest or change horses for the onward journey. They served this role until the advent of the railway, and then the motor car, made this unnecessary, and have been replaced in the modern era by hotels and public houses. Some of the early coaching inns of East Renfrewshire still survive while some live on only in memories and old photographs. This article explores some of these as well as some of the more well known hotels.
Eglinton Arms Hotel, Eaglesham
Standing on Gilmour Street at the crossroads in Eaglesham is the Eglinton Arms Hotel. Still a busy hotel and restaurant, this ‘C’ listed building dates back to the late 18th Century, when it started life as a coaching inn. During the late 19th century, this was where horse buses left Eaglesham every morning at 8am taking passengers to the train station at Clarkston.
Orchard Park Hotel, Giffnock
The Orchard Park Hotel stands on the corner of Park Road and Fenwick Road, in the middle of what was once Orchard Farm, a holding that stretched from Park Road to Burnfield Road. This attractive villa was built as a private residence called ‘Orchard House’ at the beginning of the twentieth century, and at one time the owner of Orchard Farm lived there. In 1947 it became the Orchard Maternity Nursing Home and first became a hotel in 1962. Inside, the hotel retains many of the house’s original features for example, stained glass, mouldings and woodwork.
Cross Keys Inn, Eaglesham
The Cross Keys Inn in Eaglesham is a ‘B’ listed building, which dates back to the 1700s. It can be found on Montgomery Street, once called South Street, which was one of the original streets of the planned village. A stone bearing the arms of the Montgomery family is built into the doorway. The building lay empty for some years but was recently renovated and altered and is now divided into several private dwellings.
Star and Garter Inn, Mearns
The new road from Glasgow to Kilmarnock, which was completed in 1832, ran through Eastwood Toll (then known as Nellie’s Toll) to the Newton and crossed the Old Kilmarnock Road at Loganswell. It became the main road through the area, drawing trade to the Newton and Malletsheugh, and away from Mearnskirk. An inn then opened at Malletsheugh, while on the Old Road the Star and Garter Inn closed and became a farm.
Cross Stobs Inn, Barrhead
The establishment was mentioned as early as 1695 in the Poll Tax roll under the name of ‘Craw Stabs’. It was leased by the Earl of Glasgow to Andrew Stevenson, road contractor, c.1830 and became an old coaching inn where passengers travelling by stagecoach could rest while the horses were changed.
In the late nineteenth century the main social relaxation of many workers in Barrhead was drinking in the local inns. Six inns were to be found in Barrhead in 1893 with six-day licences: Arthurlie Inns, Dovecothall Inn, Spur Inn, Railway Inn, Cross Stobs Inn and the Fereneze Inn. It was not uncommon for parties from
Paisley and Glasgow to visit these inns using the coach services available.