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31 Aug 2022

Why we love Holmwood

Why we love Holmwood


4 speakers: Rachel, Stevie, Kate, Clara

My name is Rachel Campbell.
I am a Visitor Services Supervisor with the National Trust for Scotland at Holmwood House.
Holmwood House was a villa designed by iconic Scottish designer Alexander 'Greek' Thomson for James Couper and his family.
The house was built in 1858 in the village of Cathcart in the south side of Glasgow.

It's completely one of a kind.
It’s the only place in Glasgow that you can see a Thomson interior as it was designed by Thomson.

When you visit Holmwood House, you've got lots to see. We run guided tours of the property here with our volunteers and our staff to tell you the story of Holmwood, the Coupers and of Thomson.

We've got lovely grounds to explore and a beautiful café as well, so you can fuel up on some cakes and coffee when you're done.

I love this place because it's totally unique.
It's the only place you're going to see a Thomson interior as it was designed; it’s the only place open to the public at the moment with an original Thomson interior inside.
If you're unfamiliar with Thomson’s work and you're stood outside the front door, I don't think anything can really prepare you for the amount of colour that you're going to see inside!
It might be something that you're not expecting from a Victorian family home.

For me as well, it’s a real testament to the love and passion people have for the built heritage that surround them.
I really believe that people have a connection to built heritage, whether they realise it or not.

My name’s Stevie White.
I'm the Facilities Manager for the National Trust for Scotland in Glasgow and the West.

I have 11 properties at the moment. The reason I love this one so much was this was the first property I came to when I got the job. There was bare walls pretty much when I came in and to see the transformation now, three years on, is absolutely fantastic.

I just think Alexander Greek Thomson is a fantastic architect. When I came up the drive for the first time and saw the house, I just thought it was fabulous. I really did. And to get inside and see the work that was going on with the specialist painters at the time was just terrific.

My name is Kate.
I am a Visitor Services Assistant at Holmwood House.

We have a wonderful café here at Holmwood. We have scones, cakes, teas, coffees -- everything that you would want as a refreshment either before or after your tour, but also as a drop-in.
We have a lot of visitors that come here just for a catch-up with their friends. It’s a nice place to drop in and spend some time.

I love working at Holmwood House because I'm very passionate about history, especially Scottish history, so it's really lovely to have a domestic, residential property that you can really envision a family living in, such as the Coupers such as Holmwood House here.

I really enjoy giving tours to visitors and being able to illustrate that kind of family life that is sometimes overlooked in big historic houses.

I'm Clara Miller.
I'm a Housekeeper and a Visitor Services Assistant here at Holmwood House.
We're really excited to give people tours to walk through this space.
The tours start in the front of the house so visitors get an idea of the outside of the building and how Alexander Greek Thomson imbues his interest in Greek Revival architecture and his love of Glasgow in all different elements of the house.

Holmwood is so special to me for lots and lots of reasons.
One is that it's so different from anything else that I've ever experienced.
I've grown up in the United States and everything old there is generally made of wood or brick.
And so I'm standing in a villa that is made of stone and gold leaf, and has had the most incredible storied history. It has gone through so many different changes, from families to a man who ran a kennel here -- so cats and dogs would stay in this building! -- to the convent and the school.

I love the connection to the community it has but it also feels like this sort of oasis in Glasgow.
Even with all the green spaces, it can feel a bit hectic, but here, even just as you walk past the gates, it's this green, quiet, tranquil space with this marvel of architecture in the centre.
It does feel transported into some sort of fantasy or other world.

I've never seen something so utterly changed through the perseverance and love of a community and an organisation that's really trying to save this for the people.

The property team share why this very special villa in Glasgow is the perfect place to discover the amazing architecture and designs of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.

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