With one foot in the countryside and the other connected to the metropolis, Newton Mearns is the southernmost suburb of Glasgow. The parish of Mearns bounds southwards over undulating landscape and moors to Ayrshire, with the slopes of Clarkston and Busby within its northern edge, marked by the River Earn. From Rouken Glen to Fenwick Moor, from castles and mansions to farmlands, fermtouns, and cotton mills, its 800-year history records a fertile area and an ever-increasing population.
In the twelfth century, King David I granted lands to Walter Fitzalan, and subsequent landowners built Mearns Castle and Pollock Castle. In the 1700s, they were joined by elegant mansions and estates from Greenbank to Balgray, owned by wealthy Glasgow merchants. Railway travel in the nineteenth century brought more villas, and cars and buses from the 1920s enabled new housing and commercial developments. Today, schools and golf courses abound, the countryside is attractive and the climate is fresh.
Graeme is a chartered accountant and is currently chairman of The Friends of Glasgow University Library. Local history enthusiasts Graeme Smith and his co-author Anne Robertson are both committee members of Mearns History Group - www.mearnshistory.org.uk Anne, a past secretary of the History Group, is a retired general practitioner. Both her and her co-author Graeme Smith have written a selection of previous titles on the local area, including 'Old Newton Mearn's,' Mearns Matters', 'The Theatre Royal: Entertaining a Nation' and 'Alhambra Glasgow'. The royalties from the book will be donated to the Isobel Mair School for Children with Special Needs.