View from the North West of Sunnyside Tavern, Coatbridge, around 1850

This rare image captures the rapid growth of Coatbridge after the arrival of the iron industry. On the right a well to-do couple are surveying the scene from Sunnyside Street (now Sunnyside Road) and perhaps the gentleman is John Leckie, proprietor of the Sunnyside Tavern. Evidence of building work is everywhere.

Meanwhile two miners wearing helmets and carrying picks stand in front of the tavern, giving us a glimpse of the source of the town's new wealth. Perhaps they are on their way to one of the small coal mines up the hill at Dunbeth. As a drawing of a property rather than a stylised landscape, the people were probably drawn from the imagination of the artist to give it a bit more ‘life’. It’s notable that he chose to include miners as representative of Coatbridge’s population. Behind the artist would be visible the open furnaces of the Summerlee Iron Works and Gartsherrie.

On the horizon stands Gartsherrie Parish Church (now St. Andrew's) which was built in 1839. It was funded by the Bairds, owners and managers of Gartsherrie Ironworks. The Manse lay beyond the trees on the left. We can see the line of Church Street running downhill from the church although as yet there are no other buildings. The street running alongside the two storey buildings on the right is now known as Academy Street but was then called Railway Street, an appropriate name given that several railway lines met nearby and in fact a line ran alongside Sunnyside Road.

Museum reference:
On display:
In Storage: Museums
Associated with:
Sunnyside Tavern · Leckie, John · Sunnyside Road, Coatbridge, Scotland
height: 61mm
width: 645mm
depth: 96mm
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