Lions are roaming Pollok Park once more thanks to City Building

Apprentice Taylor Holliday with Pollok House lion
Apprentice Taylor Holliday with Pollok House lion

Pollok House’s heraldic lions are back in Pollok Country Park again, after being returned to the site by construction firm City Building.

The lions, which guard the main entrance to Pollok House, had been crumbling and were removed in 2015 for safety reasons.

As part of a £1m refurbishment of the stunning stately home carried out by City Building, a new cast of the lions was created to generate identical copies of the originals

The reproduction statues were erected following extensive work to restore the roof of the historic Glasgow house, which included replacing the slates and lead, and installing new ceiling joists. As part of the project, City Building also replaced the stonework surrounding the building’s windows

The construction work was undertaken to protect the historic building from the threat of woodworm and rot. Built in 1752 and designed by William Adam, Pollok House was gifted to the city of Glasgow by estate owners, the Maxwell family in 1966 and the property is now managed by Scotland’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland.

Pollok House is home to a significant collection of Spanish art including works by El Greco and Francisco Goya as well as works by William Blake and Henry Raeburn.

The home has also featured widely in film and television, including starring roles in the BBC drama Garrow’s Law and the David Tennant romcom, The Decoy Bride.

City Building was appointed to carry out the refurbishment by Glasgow City Council. The project required specialist stonemasonry skills and a unique roofing solution, which involved building a full-sized roof cover to ensure there was no water damage to the building during the construction works.

Alan Burns, Depute Executive Director at City Building, said: “Our repairs and maintenance teams carry out more than 500,000 repairs annually, including various types of building refurbishments and are very experienced in working on historic buildings, but Pollok House was a unique project.

“We spent over a year planning our approach as it required some highly specialised skills to preserve the Georgian character of the building and the construction of a temporary roofing structure to enable us to continue roof works over the winter months.

“We’re really proud of the work we carried out at Pollok House and we’re especially pleased that we were able to employ some of our apprentices on the job. It was a great experience for them and an opportunity they will seldom encounter again in their careers.”

Karen Cornfield, Property Manager at Pollok House, said: “Pollok House is one of the treasures of Glasgow and needs special care and attention to ensure that it survives for generations to come. We are pleased that these works are completed and the public are enjoying exploring Pollok House once again.”

The restoration of external buildings was completed in March 2017 and Pollok House was fully reopened to the public in April.