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Latitude: 55.8668 / 55°52'0"N
Longitude: -4.6173 / 4°37'2"W
OS Eastings: 236316
OS Northings: 666832
OS Grid: NS363668
Mapcode National: GBR 3B.3FD4
Mapcode Global: WH3NX.1SKT
Entry Name: Bridge of Weir, 45 Quarrier's Village, (Bethesda')
Listing Date: 9 September 2006
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 398870
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50585
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Inverclyde East
Traditional County: Renfrewshire
Robert A Bryden, 1881. Single and 2-storey, large T-plan villa and former post office with Gothic detailing occupying raised ground to left of main entrance to village. Squared and snecked grey sandstone ashlar with polished dressing. Bull-faced rubble base course; broken string course; overhanging dentilled timber eaves. E (principal) elevation: single storey former post office to far left; 5-bay 2-storey main house advanced to right). Post office with canted bay returning at S elevation adjoining wide recessed porch area with lean-to roof and cast-iron columns. Square-plan entrance tower in re-entrant angle left with round-arched doorway to left return, hoodmoulded pointed arched bipartite 1st floor windows, deep eaves course with pointed arched carved detailing, pyramidal cap-roof with cast-iron finial. Advanced full-height wide 3-light canted bay to centre; further 3 bays to far right (moulded plaque above centre window), 2 breaking eaves dormers. Flat-arched blind opening to N elevation; steeply pointed gabled breaking eaves dormer with pointed-arch hood moulded window; door with pointed-arched pediment and carved tympanum to NW re-entrant angle.
Predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case windows, some 4-pane timber sash and case windows. Piended roofs; grey Scottish slate (diamond pattern slating to tower); terracotta ridge tiles and finials; ornamental clay cans; cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: some etched glass remaining in windows and doors; timber panelled ceiling to main entrance vestibule.
Bethesda is one of the largest villas on the site occupying a commanding position on raised ground to the W of the main entrance to the village, opposite the home of William Quarrier. Well-defined massing and fine yet simple Gothic detailing characterise the building. Originally the village post office, it continues to be used for similar purposes (2006). This purpose built settlement was founded by philanthropist William Quarrier in 1877 to accommodate orphaned and destitute children. He had operated orphanages in Glasgow since the early 1870s and was opposed to the institutional nature of the city poorhouses. 50 or so 'cottage homes' were built between 1877 and 1910 on the 10 acre site of Nittingshill Farm, bought at auction for £3560. Each employed a housemother who would look after groups of children in more familial and healthier environment than that of Glasgow's East End. The village also had its own school, church, post office, dairy, poultry farm, fire station, and workshops where the children were trained to a trade. Robert Alexander Bryden was responsible for designing all the buildings on the site in association with Andrew Robertson, with each villa built to an individual specification. The Free Revivalist style, making use of Baronial, Gothic and Tudor influences, is thought to have been inspired by the work of W E Nesfield and Richard Norman Shaw who pioneered the Garden Village movement in England.
The village as a whole is significant historically in terms of education and development of children in care, and remains generally well preserved with only a few of the buildings having been altered or extended. The historic core of the village has held Conservation Area status since 1985.
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