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Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117

Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117
Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland.
Within the Province of Glasgow

Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117

The Crest

Top and bottom are to long leafed thistles, under the top thistle is a Galleon Ship, next is a Graf or Wheat Sheaf between Two Millstones, 1st and 4th quarters are a Lymphand or Galley, 2nd quarter is of 'Argent masoned Sable' with two circular towers and 3rd quarter is of a Bishop's Mitre


Meaning: "Diligence Enriches" or "Prosperity attained by Industry"

Partick St Mary's Lodge No 117 Crest

Partick Burgh Crest

Lecture given by Alexander Morrison jr PM
on 21/09/2011 at Partick St Mary’s Lodge,
92 Dumbarton Road, Partick

Partick remained a relatively small village until the early nineteenth century. Mainly between the what is now Partick cross, Kelvin and the Clyde rivers. Partick became a burgh in 1852. The coat of arms of the Burgh of Partick was approved by the Lord Lyon in 1872.

Milling Centre

Top section of the crest you will see is two mill stones, and a wheatsheaf. This is to do with the heavy milling in the Partick area.

The steep drop of the River Kelvin between what is now Glasgow's Botanic Gardens and the river's mouth on the Clyde, led to Partick becoming an important centre of milling, especially grain milling. While Glasgow's Molendinar Burn, which is now under the Wishaw Street in Glasgow, powered a few mills during the medieval period, its flow was insufficient for the needs of the growing burgh, perhaps as early as the twelfth century. So the Glasgow burgh came to depend on the rapidly flowing River Kelvin for its milling as well as two other locations: Bedlay (Cadder) and Clydesmill (Carmyle).

Records of Partick as a milling centre go back to the Middle Ages. The prophecy of Thomas the Rhymer (thirteenth century) predicted:

'you may walk across the Clyde on men's bodies, and the miller of Partick Mill (muileann Pearraig), who is to be a man with seven fingers will grind for two hours with blood instead of water.'

You can read anything into it. One theory is “a man with seven fingers” relates to the seven centuries that Partick was a milling town and the “two hours with blood instead of water” relates to the first and second world wars that end up changing the world forever. But the prophecy could also be about the “The Battle of the Somme in July 1916” where a hundreds of Partick man who worked in the mills regimented with the 16th Battalion H.L.I. died after a seven day battle and the average man only surviving two hours at the front line before going over the top to die. There are many more theories on this prophecy.

By 1820, Partick was a major milling centre, with several located in its vicinity. These included: the Old Mill (on the site of the building now known as the Bishop's Mill), the Slit Mill, the Archbishop's Mill (later Bunhouse/Regent Mill), the Waulk Mill (now Scotstoun Mill) and the Wee Mill. A little way upstream of Partick, there was also Clayslaps Mill (just below what is now Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery). Such a concentration of mills eventually resulted in the Clyde Navigation Trust building its colossal granaries at Meadowside in Partick in 1911–1913 (with subsequent extensions in 1936, 1960 and 1967). These were demolished in 2004 to make way for the Glasgow Harbour residential development

Of Partick's mills, only Scotstoun Mill, now owned by Rank Hovis MacDougall, is still in operation.

Galleon Ship

If you notice that the next section of the crest is broken into 4 quarters. Two of which are Galleon ships

Most academics think this is related to shipbuilding, but from my search done there was no shipbuilding in Partick until David Tod & John McGregor moved their shipbuilding operation from Govan to Partick in 1844, before this there is no reference found, so where the Galleon Ship’s come from is anyone’s guess. But the Crest was approved in 1872, a good 28 years after their move, that’s one theory. Another theory is that it is a reference to the large ship building in Govan, which Partick burgh controlled and the ferry that crossed the Clyde from Partick to Govan. Lots of the people working in the shipyards lived in Partick, but worked in Govan, because Partick is up wind from Govan. All cities are built the same way the rich always live up wind to all the factories and industry and the poor old workers live down wind.

Partick Castle

The next quarter is an image of a castle; to me I would say this is the Stately home that once stood in Partick, I’ll explain latter.

It was built in 1611, and if anyone from Partick St Mary’s Lodge will know, this is important date, this is the first recorded mention of freemasonry in Partick by a Robert Miller, who started up a lodge, he was a mason and must have been working on this building, this building was built for the Glasgow benefactor George Hutcheson and situated on the west bank of the River Kelvin.

Writing in the early eighteenth century, Hamilton of Wishaw described the building:

"...where Kelvin falls into Clyde, is the house of Pertique, a well-built and convenient house, well planted with barren timber and large gardens, which are enclosed with stone walls, and which formerly belonged to George Hutcheson in Glasgow, but now to John Crawford of Myltoun." Myltoun become known as Milton.

According to the local historian James Napier, it was left empty in 1770 and was unroofed and in ruins by 1783. It was probably demolished in the 1830s. He also provides an anecdotal description of the building in its later days when it was a tenanted property:-

“The account of the house given to me by a person who had often been in it when it was inhabited, was, that the under flat was partially sunk & vaulted. The second flat was entered by a few steps up, and had a stone floor laid on the arches. There were several apartments in this flat, which formed a sort of hostelry. The top flat had a deal floor and consisted of a large hall which was used for public gatherings, balls, and dancing parties, and over this flat were attics, which were used as bedrooms and for holding lumber. There was a well outside the house. The main entrance door was covered with large-headed nails, so also was a two-leafed door which formed the outer entrance to the grounds. The grounds being surrounded by a stone wall.” James Napier

From the description from James Napier I would say it’s more a grand house than a castle like Stirling or Edinburgh.

A poem published locally (in the Glasgow Magazine or the Bee) in the nineteenth century describes it thus:

Lo, Partick Castle, drear and lone,
Stands like a silent looker-on,
Where Clyde and Kelvin meet;
The long rank grass waves o’er its walls;
No sound is heard within its halls,
Save noise of distant waterfalls,
Where children lavo their feet."

The castle's remains lie under the south western end of the old scrap yard site in Partick, off Beith Street. The site before this was a dyeworks, a foundry and a laundry. Unlike most of the old village of Partick, the castle's site was not removed by the excavations involved in the construction of the now disused Partick Central railway station. Rather, the castle site's was preserved under the aforementioned industrial buildings; Tesco’s now owns this site and what happens to this castle we don’t know.

Bishop's Mitre

The last quarter is a Bishop’s mitre, a lot of academics think the castle aforementioned is of the Bishop’s residence but from the descriptions I have seen of the residence it can’t be described as a castle and never has been called a castle but a manor-house. So if the manor-house is the castle or if the stately home built for Hutcheson is, we will never know. But one think that we are sure about is the Bishop of Glasgow Cathedral did live in Partick.

From the time of King David I (1124–1153), who granted land to the Bishop of Glasgow, and the country residence of the Bishop of Glasgow was built on this land. This is supported by the existence of a deed of 1277 in which Maurice, Lord of Luss made a contract at Perthec, the original name of Partick for the sale of timber to the authorities at Glasgow Cathedral. Some Academics say that the manor-house was replaced by the Hutcheson building, but some say it’s under either the Kelvingrove art gallery or the Transport Museum. I personnel agree with this thought because the Bishop would have to had to cross a fast flowing river to get to the Cathedral and as a Bishop would you like to get you feet wet!!!!

In 1362, a settlement of a dispute between the Bishop and his chapter house was made at his manor-house of Perthic. Glasgow's Bishops continued to use their residence in Partick until the reformation in 1560, when Bishop James Beaton II fled to France from there, taking with him the sacred relics from Glasgow Cathedral.

Thank you for listening to this short lecture on the “Partick Burgh Crest” and I hope you enjoyed it and have some questions that I can answer.

Lodge Syllabus
  • 5th September

  • 19th September

  • 3rd October

  • 17th October

    Nomination & Election
  • 7th November

  • 21st November

    A.G.M. & Memorial Service
  • 5th December

    Installation at 6.45pm
  • 19th December

  • 2nd January

  • 16th January


Lodge Visitations