Cross Ma Whit?
Cross Ma Whit?
By:, Categories: Words & Images, 3 comments



What’s in a name, they say – and according to one popular myth, Crossmyloof, located near Pollokshaws Road in the south side of Glasgow, is said to have emanated from just before the Battle of Langside, when Mary, Queen of Scots and her forces pitched their tents there in the nearby small village in 1568 on the eve of the battle. 


Just down the road from the Battle of Langside monument, there’s a once iconic watering hole called the ‘Corona Bar’, which has sadly now changed its name and clientele by becoming a fancy new franchise pub rebranded as ‘The Butterfly and the Pig’. The name alone makes me walk past it nowadays without a second thought – but you don’t need to go in, because its exquisite Art Nouveau exterior left over from the Corona era contains all the information you need to know about one mythical meaning for the naming of Crossmyloof.


Above both entrances to the bar is carved a small plaster hand with a crucifix superimposed in the palm – and that alone took me years to finally twig as to why Rangers’ supporters would give this pub a deft Davie Cooper-like body swerve when heading up the road to Hampden Park for cup finals.  A ‘loof’ was an old Scots word for the palm of the hand – and the fanciful tale goes that en route to the Battle of Langside, Rome-backed Mary displayed her cross in the palm of her hand and declared that by the cross in her loof she would prevail over her enemies.


Not surprisingly, this is one of several possibilities.  Another tales goes that Mary, having been warned that escape was impossible, said: “By the cross in my loof, I will be there tonight in spite of you traitors.”  Another suggests a gypsy woman offered to cross Mary’s palm (loof) with silver before the battle. 


But according to those killjoy know-all historians, who are wont to spoil a good tale or possibly three, Crossmyloof predates Mary and has has nothing to do with her. They say the most creditable origin of the name is in fact derived from the Gaelic – Crois MoLiubha – St Malieu’s Cross. Maybe so, but I much prefer the apocryphal Mary tale better.


Leica M6 Classic & 2/35mm Summicron pre-asph v4 

B+W Yellow Filter

Ilford FP4+ (@125)

HC-110 (Dil. B – 9 min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan



  • Great photo, and I'm especially enjoying these South Side posts! Back in the early '90s I was a member of The Corona Quiz team which won an inter-pub quiz tournament. They laid on a buffet when we returned in triumph from the final which was in Torrance. Then we drank all the prize money, which was about £250.

    A few years after that the old Corona was ripped out and combined with the boozer next door to form a much larger pub. A crime against heritage, architecture and drinking. I can remember the Corona back in the '70s when they still had the snugs partitioned off. Sic transit gloria mundi.


    • Yes, what they did to the inside of the old Corona was indeed a crime against heritage, architecture and drinking. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, I was in there a number of times during the old Gl
      asgow Chess Congress that used to be held across the road in Langside Halls (blog on that to come). There will also be a blog coming on the Corona.

  • I totally approve of your opinion of what they have done to the Corona. I am indebted to you for mentioning its new corporate name, so little interest I have paid to it. On another matter, you would get the impression that people walked after Queen Mary, wrote down everything the erstwhile Queen of France said in cod Scots and immediately named the location after her words. Check out the Mary-related explanations of the names, Cambuslang and Polmadie. Like Crossmyloof, the names predated her and are Gaelic in origin.