Pollokshields Heritage Heritage Trail TwoTHE DEVELOPERS  
John Morrison (1836-1919)

Responsible for Rhuadsgeir now Sherbrooke Hotel.

RhuadsgeirMorrison was born in Dunoon in 1836 to John Morrison, master builder and mason and Jessie Fyfe. He was educated at Dunoon Parish School and subsequently trained as a master builder and mason. He moved to Glasgow in the mid-1850’s to start his own business but in 1859 after three unsuccessful years he resigned himself to failure and found employment with a local builders firm. In 1866 he purchased land on Gorbals Main Street from the City Improvement Trust on which he later built 11 tenements, public halls and the Royal Princess Theatre (now the Citizens Theatre).

In 1870 he again established himself in business this time however success proved more immediate as John Morrison & Co, 158 Cumberland Street, Hutchesontown won contracts for a mill at Port Dundas, a mansion in Ireland and a church in Leven, Fife.

In 1873 he found premises at 93 Sandyfauld Street, Gorbals and in 1874 he moved residence to 135 Cumberland Street. In 1874 he won the contract for the Merchants House and in 1875 the Glasgow Stock Exchange into which he incorporated the Tontine Faces. Also in 1875 he moved residence to 4 Cobden Place, Mount Florida and was successful in bidding for the General Post Office, George Square.

In 1876 Thomas Mason (later Sir Thomas Mason) became a junior partner and they moved premises to Polmadie Road and the following year secured office space at 21 Clyde Place. In 1879 the company name changed to that of Morrison & Mason, builders, railway and dock contractors, 21 Clyde Place, Glasgow. Mason’s experience allowed the company to branch out into public works contracts and work on the second stage of the Queen’s Dock in Glasgow was followed by railway contracts for lines into St Enoch Station, an extension to the College Station on High Street and the Paisley Canal Line and stations (1885) for the Glasgow and South Western Railway.

In 1883 they won the contract for the building of Glasgow City Chambers built at a total cost of over £500,000. Between 1884 and 1886 the company built the first section of the Cathcart Circle line from Central Station to Cathcart after original contractors Alexander Coghill & Co., went into liquidation. John Morrison died age 82 on the 25th March 1919 at Rhuadsgeir, 11 Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollokshields.