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West End Wander (3 km)

Point G - Sir William Burrell’s former Home

Burrell Terrace – photo J. Wilson

At Great Western Terrace, just off Great Western Road, we can see the grand house which was previously the residence of Sir William Burrell, the shipping magnate and philanthropist and collector of art, sculpture and tapestries. He bought the house in 1901.  The house, and terrace were designed by Alexander “Greek” Thomson (1817-1875).

Photo J Wilson

Burrell and his brother George took over the family shipping business in 1885. They were involved in trade to the various countries of Europe & the rest of the world. They also operated as agents for other companies, such as Adria Hungarian Sea Navigation Company. He became the Austro Hungarian Consul in recognition of his contribution to trade through the Adriatic ports such as Fiume in Hungary. He became a great help to businesses in Glasgow and abroad, helping to deal with differences in laws etc. in the various countries. This ended in 1914 but in 1924 he was appointed Consul for Hungary, and George his brother, was appointed Austrian Consul. William was given the Hungarian Order of Merit when he stood down in 1932.

Burrell collected many artworks from across continental Europe. He made numerous trips abroad to Amsterdam, Germany, Vienna etc to collect art and objects by visiting antiques shops, art dealers and exhibitions and museums. He collected modern European paintings including Degas and Maris and sculpture including Rodin.

Burrell and his wife Constance donated 6,000 pieces that he had collected to the city of Glasgow and in addition provided the city with funds to build a museum to house the collection. This led to the Burrell Collection being built in Pollok Park in the South of the City.

Sir William Burrell: Biography on Undiscovered Scotland The Paintings in the Burrell are listed here:

An interesting connection with Estonia and Burrell is that a significant no of Burrell’s vessels were acquired by the Estonian navy – not directly from Burrell but after a couple of other owners. The interesting point is there is a number of models of Burrell vessels in the Estonian Maritime Museum: There are no models of the Burrell vessels in Glasgow’s collections; Glasgow Museums commissioned the one that was in Burrell Museum lobby.
Thank you to Martin Bellamy for this information about the ships! 

Walking Route Instructions: To reach our final stop on the main walk, we will make our way back along Great Western Road towards the Grosvenor Hotel and the Botanic Gardens are on the other side of the road. There is a small entrance off Great Western Road or you can walk right along to the main entrance at the junction of Great Western Road and Byres Road.