More than £18,000 investment showcases Eaglesham heritage

The exciting Eaglesham Heritage Project is now complete and on display in the newly refurbished Carswell Centre in Eaglesham.

The Blind Fiddler part of the historic Gemmell statue collection.
The Blind Fiddler part of the historic Gemmell statue collection.

After securing £18,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, East Renfrewshire Council set about creating a local heritage display, which aims to maximise the opportunities for local visitors to engage and learn about the interesting heritage of Eaglesham.

The project including creating a permanent display for the historic Gemmell statue collection and hand sewn Eaglesham Quilt, and has already been well received by residents and visitors.

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Council Leader Tony Buchanan said: “I am delighted the Eaglesham Heritage Project is now complete and is attracting residents and visitors to the village to learn more about its heritage.

“Thanks to the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we can proudly showcase the journey of the history of Eaglesham from the 11th century until now to our community and far beyond.

“It has been wonderful to involve local school children in the project, and display the creative designs they have produced about what Eaglesham means to them”.

The Gemmell Statues, which were gifted to the former Eastwood District Council by Miss Grace Picken in 1995, are a collection of six life-sized statues carved by Eaglesham villager William Gemmell between 1840 and 1845. The statues depict local and national characters including Robert Burns and Highland Mary.

Through this project, the Gemmell collection has been fully cleaned and restored by a specialist conservator and is now proudly on display in the Carswell Centre.

Hand sewn by sixty local volunteers between 1990 and 1992, the Eaglesham Quilt illustrates local landscapes, community groups and historical events.

The quilt had no permanent display space until 2017 and now sits in the beautiful Upper Hall of the Carswell Centre for visitors to admire.

Parts of the Eaglesham Heritage Trial and Guide have also been refreshed and updated thanks to the money awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Developed by the Eaglesham and Waterfoot Community Development Trust in 2011, the trail starts at Polnoon Lodge and finishes at St Bridget’s Church, showcasing the fascinating story of the village from its creation to restoration in the 1970s.

This project also involved Primary 6 pupils from Eaglesham Primary school who designed comic book stories based on the six Gemmell statues in collaboration with renowned children’s author and illustrator John Fardell.

More information about the Eaglesham Heritage Project can be found by visting