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The Roystonhill Spire & Park Project was formed in 1997 by a group of local people from Roystonhill in the North East of Glasgow to rescue a landmark building, and to revitalise the area.
Sitting side-by-side with St.Joseph's Roman Catholic Convent on the top of Roystonhill, Townhead-Blochairn Church of Scotland contained stained-glass windows by the world-famous William Morris company and beautiful designs by Glasgow artist Daniel Cottier. The church building itself was designed by Campbell Douglas and J.J. Stevenson in 1865 , and the extremely tall tower became a well-known landmark , standing over the main M8 motorway through the city.
Movie clip of Spire
from M8 motorway
Sadly the church was sold by the Church of Scotland c.1992 to a private owner, for use as a warehouse. Finally, after many years of neglect & vandalism, the A-listed Townhead Church was demolished.
Click the icons to hear sound clips of some local people at the time of the demolition: or
However, a large petition by local people convinced the City Council to preserve the spire of the church, the highest spire in the city of Glasgow and some would say the only remaining architectural gem North East of the city centre.
Click the icons to hear people after the Spire was saved: or
After visiting other successful projects around the city, local people formed a plan together with organisations such as Fablevision and Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, to create a project which would restore the spire as the centrepiece to a park development.
The Molendinar Burn, the historic stream around which the city was built, is the focus of a similar project in the nearby Blackhill area. After many meetings with local people, Visual Arts Project created an exciting set of designs for both the Molendinar & Roystonhill Parks.
Students from Glasgow College of Building & Printing also entered a design competition for the Spire & Park, and local schoolchildren have been involved in participatory arts projects, with further events due to take place. Both communities are working together as the Royston Road Project to create two areas of amenity, with architectural and natural beauty.
Glasgow 1999 UK City of Architecture and Design have already part-funded the project, and further funding has been received from several other sources which will be included on the website soon.
Another goal of the Spire & Park Project is to floodlight the spire, so that it would join the many other impressive buildings lit-up around the city. Not many buildings can offer such a commanding viewpoint.
N.B. We have now succeeded in lighting the Spire, and it's now visible from across the city at night. Check the news section for more details.
Further information on both the Spire and the Molendinar Burn Project will be available on this website soon.
See news archive or e-mail us for further information.