About Kensington Gate
“A delightful serpentine terrace of red sandstone houses” is how The Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow (Penguin Books, 1990) describes Kensington Gate. It goes on: “the front elevations [are] tightly compressed into the curve with distinctive five-light bowed windows capped with bowed dormers, and diminutive baroque entrances, some with elaborate stained-glass panels.”
Built in the first decade of the 20th century, this asymmetrical, meandering heap of stones in red must have been quite a shock to residents of the surrounding houses erected up to half a century before in blond sandstone – the severely dragooned terraces on Great Western Road, Westbourne Gardens and Lorraine Gardens, as well as the sumptuous villas scattered over Dowanhill at the foot of whose western slopes “the Gate” nestles.
The Gardens were carved out of the hill and the boundaries of two estates run through them and indeed divide some of the houses in two – some look out of their lounge windows into Dowanhill, but a few steps across the room take them into Kelvinside.
The Gate now runs from its junction with Kensington Road to just beyond its junction with Victoria Circus – but it started life in Lorraine Road, with a continuous terrace from there into Kensington Road, round into the present Gate and finishing with a tail into Victoria Circus at its junction with Horselethill Road.
Very few of the properties retain the original single occupancy over four storeys; most are divided into two, three or four homes, providing a wide range of accommodation.