Molendinar Burn Project

The Molendinar Burn Project presents ongoing research regarding the history of Glasgow, and asks the question ‘What does progress mean today?’

“The very name Molendinar has a soft euphonious sound, and is full of delightful associations connected with the most picturesque object, a rural mill,- everything that is peaceful and quiet lingers around the old mill, and such objects are usually very old. The changed state of society, the increase of population, and the advance of inventive science have all tended to leave the “mill and trysting thorn” very much out of the way of what has been denominated, par excellence, ‘progress.’”

-J.B Simpson, Stirling’s Library, History of The Molendinar Burn, May 18th 1855

The project celebrates the hidden history of Glasgow and the contemporary life of the city today through visual arts, theatre, architecture and music. Exploring twelve sites along the six-mile route of the Molendinar, upon which the city of Glasgow was founded, the project invites proposals from renowned Scottish and international artists to celebrate the unique early history of Glasgow and its remarkable legacies.

During 2016, two pilot projects, The Molendinar by Claire M Singer, and Barrowlands by Martin Gray, were carried out. The Molendinar, commissioned by Civic Room and Union Chapel, explores the very origins of the Molendinar through organ and electronic music. The resulting work is available on the new album Solas, released by Touch Records. Barrowlands explores more recent history, exploring the landmark of the Barrowland Ballroom, sited over the route of the Molendinar now hidden beneath the city, over the last decades.

In 2017, nine further commissions have been proposed to further explore the relationship between this remarkable legacy and the contemporary city of today, forging connections across communities in celebrating the City of Glasgow.