Located to the east of Glasgow City, Cranhill lies between Ruchazie to the northwest and Carntyne to the southwest, constrained between the M8 motorway and the A8. Cranhill was, like many of the suburbs of Glasgow, created in the post-war years to alleviate the city's chronic housing shortage. The area proved popular at first because it offered superior housing, allowing people to be moved from the slums of the city-centre. However, like much similar housing stock, the area had been in need of renovation and investment. New schools opened in 2006 (Cranhill Primary and St. Maria Goretti Roman Catholic Primary, both co-located with nursery schools).

Comprising four-storey tenements, tower blocks, maisonettes and houses, the streets were named after lighthouses, for example Bellrock Street, Lamlash Crescent, Skerryvore Road, Crowlin Crescent and Startpoint Street. This theme has been continued in the Cranhill Sensory Garden, where a map of Britain with its lighthouses has been constructed. Adjacent is the Cranhill Water Tower, which was decorated wire-frame sculptures illuminated in green at night as part of the Cranhill Arts Project in 1999.

Famous sons of Cranhill include actors Gerard Kelly (b.1959) and Billy Boyd (b.1968), together with footballing brothers, Jim and Joe Smith.

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