About The Burrell

Fast Facts

All about the Collection and the setting in Pollok Country Park

More than 75 years of Sir William Burrell’s life were devoted to amassing one of the world’s greatest, single personal collections.



years of history

Fast Facts about the Collection

  1. The Collection was donated to the City of Glasgow in 1944 by Sir William Burrell and his wife Constance, Lady Burrell.
  2. Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) was the owner of a prosperous shipping company, set up in Glasgow by his grandfather in the late 1800s.
  3. Sir William’s success in business allowed him to indulge in his greatest passion of collecting art for more than 70 years of his life.
  4. The Collection is recognised as being of world-class quality, with one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Chinese art in Europe, with pieces from every Dynasty.
  5. It also has one of the most significant collections of European medieval art in the UK, including magnificent stained glass and tapestries.
  6. The collection of 19th century French art includes one of the greatest collections in the world of works by Edgar Degas, with pieces from every period of the artist’s career.
Side view black and white portrait of Sir William Burrell
Image shows Burrell Object Figure of a Luohan
Burrell Collection image of a stained Glass Window featuring Life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary

Did you know?

  1. It would take roughly 1500 litres to fill the Warwick Vase – that’s the equivalent of 2142 bottles of wine!
  2. The Burrells collected several porcelain tea sets - enough to enjoy 265 cups of tea.
  3. If you placed all the chairs and sofas from the furniture collection in one room, 235 people could take a seat.
  4. Sir William Burrell lived to be 96 years old and collected around 9000 objects. That’s almost an average of 2 objects every week!
  5. The oldest object in the Collection is a Chinese banshan urn, it's over 5000 years old.
  6. The most expensive object Sir William bought was ‘A Portrait of a Gentleman’ by Dutch artist Frans Hals. Sir William paid £14,500 on 5 April 1948. 
Pollok Country Park, the unique woodland setting for our museum, covers 360 acres and was donated to Glasgow in 1966.
Man and woman standing on a bridge taking a photo
Highland cows at Pollok Country Park
With a fold of around 50 Highland cattle to visit all year round, a trip is not complete until you've seen these gentle giants.

About Pollok Country Park

  1. It's the largest of the city’s parks and its only designated Country Park.
  2. The 360-acre wooded parkland has The Burrell Collection located at its heart.
  3. It was donated to the City of Glasgow in 1966 by the Maxwell family, whose ancestral home of over 700 years, Pollok House, is also a popular visitor attraction, managed by the National Trust for Scotland.
  4. One of the park’s most popular features for visitors is the award-winning fold of Highland cattle, especially in springtime when the new calves are born.
  5. An Active Travel Management Plan is currently being implemented to improve access to and around the park through improved public transport and pedestrian links, modifying private car access and vehicular routes within the park, and improving connectivity to local areas.
Did you know, Highland cattle never lose their horns and they love to eat brambles!