To this day, East Renfrewshire is dotted with grand villas and mansions, most of which date back to the late 18th and 19th centuries, and there were many more that have been demolished over the years. The majority of these fine buildings were a result of the social changes which came about due to the Industrial Revolution. Wealth began to move from the hands of the landed gentry into the hands of a new class of wealthy industrialists, merchants and businessmen. These entrepreneurs, many of whom came from humble beginnings, embraced the prestige and lifestyle that could be gained from owning land, and building grand family homes.
In East Renfrewshire, the textile industry was prominent, and men who owned the various mills and printworks built beautiful houses, which must have stood in stark contrast to the cottages and tenements occupied by their workers. The Heys family of Barrhead for example, built or lived in a number of fine houses, many of which still survive today. These included Stonehouse, Woodneuk, Rockmount, Springfield, Springhill, Woodside and South Arthurlie. East Renfrewshire was also close enough to Glasgow to offer a rural retreat for those who had made their fortune in the city.
The pages in this section highlight these mansions, some of which still stand, some of which have been lost. We have numerous photos of mansions which you can view by accessing our catalogue.