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Drumchapel housing photographed from the tower blocks at Linkwood Crescent (2014)
Drumchapel is located in Glasgow council area
Location within Glasgow
OS grid referenceNS525705
Council area
Lieutenancy area
  • Glasgow
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGLASGOW
Postcode districtG15
Dialling code0141
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°54′18″N 4°21′39″W / 55.904937°N 4.360965°W / 55.904937; -4.360965

Drumchapel (Scottish Gaelic: Druim a' Chapaill), known locally as 'The Drum', is a district in the north-west of the city of Glasgow, Scotland. It borders Bearsden (in East Dunbartonshire) to the north-east and Drumry (part of Clydebank, in West Dunbartonshire) to the south-west, as well as Blairdardie, Garscadden, Knightswood and Yoker in Glasgow to the south; land to the north (including the Garscadden Woodlands) is undeveloped and includes the course of the Roman-era Antonine Wall. The name derives from the Gaelic meaning 'the ridge of the horse'.

As part of the overspill policy of Glasgow Corporation, a huge housing estate was built here in the 1950s to house 34,000 people, the land having been annexed from Dunbartonshire in 1938 – it is this estate that is now most associated with Drumchapel, despite there already being a neighbourhood to the south of Drumchapel railway station known by the same name, made up of affluent suburban villas; this is now known as Old Drumchapel.

Drumchapel is one of the 'Big Four' post-war social housing schemes in Glasgow, along with Easterhouse, Castlemilk and Greater Pollok. All are similar in terms of architecture and planning, and have tended to suffer from a similar range of enduring social problems, notably anti-social behaviour and degeneration of often poorly constructed post-war housing. However, the area remains popular with many of its residents and more recently there has been substantial private investment including the construction of new housing developments in the north-west of the district.


Aerial view of central Drumchapel (2017), with the local secondary school surrounded by expanses of unused land following the demolition of substandard housing, with modern houses and refurbished tenements also in view

Drumchapel was part of the parish of New Kilpatrick, becoming devolved in the late 19th century and a church parish in its own right in 1923. The Old Church (originally serving both Drumchapel and Blairdardie) was built in 1901 for an increasing local population.[1] The parish boundary was redrawn to create the new parish of St Margarets in Knightswood.[2]

Civil administration transferred from New Kilpatrick to Glasgow Corporation in 1938. As part of the overspill policy of Glasgow Corporation, a huge housing estate was built here in the 1950s.[3][4]

The area suffered a tragedy in 1994 when a double-decker bus carrying a group of local Girl Guides crashed into one of the low rail bridges in the city's Tradeston area (the driver was unfamiliar with the route and was being led by a guide leader in a car); two 10-year-old girls, an 11-year-old girl and two adult supervisors were killed in the incident and 15 other children injured, six of them seriously.[5][6][7][8][9]


Linkwood Crescent tower blocks (two refurbished in the 2010s, one demolished)

The housing in the area is now 72% post-war tenement and 6% multi-storey flats, the remainder being other flats and houses. The current population was estimated in 2002 at 15,000, which was split across 6,000 households.[10] The population of Drumchapel fell by 22% between 1996 and 2012 to 13,000. The proportion of people in the area from ethnic minority groups increased over the same time to 5%, which remains well below average for Glasgow (12%). Life expectancy in the area is about five years less than the average for Glasgow (male 69 years, female 74 years).[11]

Socio-economically, the area is not affluent. In 2011/12, 48% of children were classed as living in poverty, and 57% of the population were NRS social grade D or E. 56% of households were single-parent. 21% of young people were not in education, employment or training. Just 22% of the population own their own home, about half the average figure for Glasgow.[11]


The derelict shopping centre at Drumchapel
Whisky bond barrels and tenements on Heathcot Ave

The major employers for Drumchapel from the 1950s to the 1980s were the Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co (GB) Ltd, Beattie's Biscuit Factory, Singers Sewing Machines (Clydebank), The Reo Stakis Organisation – Hills Hotel and Rigg Public Bar, The Golden Garter Night Club and The Butty Public Bar, The Edrington Group Whisky Bond and the various shipyards on the Clyde. Beattie's Biscuit factory closed in 1978 and the Goodyear and Singers factories both closed in February 1979. Reo Stakis's Hills Hotel and Rigg Public Bar along with The Golden Garter Night Club closed in June 1988.

The Butty Public Bar was sold to Scottish & Newcastle Breweries and is still going strong with Billy Bryson, the manager for over 30 years, now holding the lease. The Edrington Group Whisky Bond has grown over the years and is still a major employer in the area, while the shipyards have all gone with the exception of the now BAE Systems yards at Scotstoun and Govan. Drumchapel is now going through its second regeneration, with promises of better schools, better homes and higher employment.[12]

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ Kilpatrick Parish Archived 10 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ McCardel, J (1949). The Parish of New Kilpatrick. University Press Glasgow.
  3. ^ Drumchapel, 1954, Virtual Mitchell
  4. ^ "Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day: Neighbourhoods: Drumchapel". The Glasgow Story.
  5. ^ "Bus crash toll rises to five as girl dies". The Herald. 28 September 1994.
  6. ^ Macintyre, Donald (22 March 1995). "Anger at verdict over Guides death crash". The Independent.
  7. ^ "I still blame myself for Cath's death: Tormented bus crash victim's mum tells court of agony". Daily Record. 21 October 1998 – via The Free Library.
  8. ^ "Drumchapel Girl Guides tragedy remembered 20 years on". Clydebank Post. 24 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Judgement: Joseph Munro McKnight and Mrs Joan McKnight v. Clydeside Buses Limited and Glasgow City Council and Railtrack Plc and Mima Dunlop". Scottish Courts Service. 23 December 1998.
  10. ^ Glasgow City Council: Drumchapel Area Housing Plan 2002
  11. ^ a b "Drumchapel". Understanding Glasgow. Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  12. ^ The History of Drumchapel Archived 4 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b The Glasgow Girls 15 years on: How seven inspirational schoolgirls sparked Glasgow's social conscience, Glasgow Live, 8 August 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  14. ^ 22 Glasgow sites that helped Billy Connolly become a comedy legend. Glasgow Live, 1 December 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  15. ^ Andy Gray | Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Bulletin Photographs. The Glasgow Story. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  16. ^ Former Rangers hero Andy Gray on pitch battles with Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish and being voted the best player in England, Daily Record, 13 October 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  17. ^ "Kieron Smith, Boy, by James Kelman". 24 April 2008.
  18. ^ George Kerevan: Harsh lesson is children need to work harder, The Scotsman, 16 December 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  19. ^ a b A love affair bordering on an obsession, The Herald, 17 August 1996. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  20. ^ Christina McAnea elected UNISON general secretary, Unison, 11 january 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  21. ^ The family feud that haunts Atonement star James McAvoy, Evening Standard, 11 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  22. ^ Happy 70th birthday to Celtic legend, Danny McGrain. Celtic FC, 1 May 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  23. ^ "Sharon shows her ugly side; Stunning Scots actress Sharon Small has just won the role of an unlovely, fat detective. Some mistake, surely? - Free Online Library".
  24. ^ Obituary: Gordon Melville Smith, footballer, The Scotsman, 14 April 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2022
  25. ^ "Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron pays tribute to Tannahill Makar". Renfrewshire News. 28 January 2022. Archived from the original on 28 January 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.