is Scotland’s largest city. Situated on the banks of the
it became a burgh in 1175. Formerly part of Lanarkshire,
it became a county of city in 1929. In 1975 the City of Glasgow
became a district of Strathclyde Region, and also its headquarters,
and in 1996 Glasgow City became one of the new unitary local
origins are said to lie with the arrival of
Kentigern, (Mungo) in the 6th century. His church was
established on the site of the present Glasgow
Cathedral, a Gothic building dating largely from the 13th
century, though the ornately carved stone quire screen is from
the 15th century. The vaulted tower Church has a shrine to St
Mungo. Most of the stained glass is of recent Scottish origin,
installed since World War II. The city’s ecclesiastical
significance was increased by the founding of Glasgow University
in 1451. In most other respects it remained relatively unimportant until the late 17th century, when its prosperity increased,
especially after the Union of the Parliaments in 1707.
was ideally placed to exploit the new trade opportunities opening
up with North America and the West Indies. One of the chief
imports was sugar and Glasgow became a centre of the sugar industry.
But the most spectacular development was the import of tobacco
from Virginia. The deepening of the River Clyde in the late
19th century allowed it to become a deep-water port and helped
it to survive when its trade was threatened by the War of the
Manufacturing developed too, as new markets were
available for export. By the late 18th century cotton had
replaced tobacco as the principal import, and cotton mills,
calico-printing works and bleachfields developed in and around
Glasgow. Progress in coal mining and iron manufacture saw Glasgow
in the 19th century take its place as a leading centre of heavy
industry, and particularly of shipbuilding, marine engineering,
locomotive building and sugar-machinery manufacture. It became
one of the finest of Victorian cities, with an enviable range
of municipal services. Concern, however, also grew over social
problems of overcrowding, crime and disease as the population
expanded to meet the demand for
labour, with many immigrants from Ireland and from the
Highlands. The population also grew with other immigrant
groups, notably Italians, mainly in the catering trade, and
Jewish refugees from eastern Europe.
Glasgow was clustered closely round the Cathedral, and one of
the few survivors of the period is Provand’s
Lordship, opposite the Cathedral, a late 15th century house,
rescued from demolition in the early 20th century, and now a
museum. Close by is the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and
Art, opened 1993, the first museum in the world dedicated solely
to the study of religion. The High Street descends to Glasgow
Cross, near the river. Of the seven-storey Tolbooth or Town
House, 1626, all that survives is the Tolbooth Steeple with
its crown tower. The nearby Mercat Cross is a 20th century replacement
of one long since demolished. Another survivor is the Tron Steeple
in the Trongate, completed in 1636, the remains of the Tron
Church which was burnt down in 1793; the church was rebuilt
nearby and now houses the Tron Theatre, founded as a
theatre club in 1979, but public since 1989.
the Cross the Saltmarket leads to Glasgow Green, for centuries
a focal point of city life, both for recreation and for meetings
of various kinds. The People’s Palace was built in 1893 to 1898
as a recreation centre for the east end; it is now a museum
of Glasgow’s social history. The 18th century merchant
city expanded west along the
river. The Trades House in Glassford Street, designed by
Robert Adam, was opened in 1794 as the headquarters of the Trades
House of Glasgow. Nearby in Ingram Street is
Hutcheson’s Hospital Hall, built in 1802—1805, by
David Hamilton, now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland;
its elegant classical facade contains two 17th century statues
of the brothers George and Thomas Hutcheson, who founded a hospital
for aged men and later orphan boys; their trust also set up
Hutcheson’s Grammar Schools. In Queen Street a mansion
house of 1778-80 was converted into the Royal Exchange in 1827-32
by David Hamilton. In 1954 the building became Stirling’s
Library and it is now the Gallery of Modern Art.
the river is St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, 1816,
by James Gillespie Graham, one of the earliest Gothic Revival
buildings in Glasgow. To the west is the Broomielaw area, which
grew round the ‘Bremmylaw Quay, built in the later 17th
century as Glasgow’s first quay. It was once an embarkation
point for transatlantic and Irish shipping, now for Clyde boat
trips. The area is being developed as an international centre
for financial services.
To the north of Glasgow city centre is Port Dundas, established
in 1790 around a basin where the Forth and Clyde and Monkland
Canals met, helping to create a flourishing industrial area.
The canal office, 1812, and the impressive warehouses have been
restored in recent years.
Middle class residential expansion began in the early 19th
century, first to the south in the Gorbals, which enjoyed a
brief spell of prosperity. There were later developments
towards the west, notably around the Botanic Gardens, laid out
in 1842. In 1873, the spectacular glass-domed Kibble Palace,
originally a conservatory built by John Kibble, a Glasgow businessman,
for his home on the Clyde coast, was re-erected here as a hothouse
and social venue. It has a collection of temperate plants including
the National Collection of Dicksonia tree ferns. In adjacent
glass houses there are national collections of Begonia species
The area became known as Kelvinside and increased in
popularity when the University moved here in 1870. The River
Kelvin flows through the west end of the city and near its confluence
with the River Clyde is Kelvingrove Park, in which The Gallery
of Modern Art contains the city’s Art Gallery and Museum,
1891—1901, by J W Simpson and E J Milner Allen. It has
one of the finest municipal art collections in the whole of
Britain, especially strong in 17th century Dutch paintings,
including The Man in Armour by Rembrandt and 19th century French
paintings; the Glasgow Boys are well represented.
The Clyde Steamers were instituted in 1812 when the wooden paddle ship, Comet, introduced passenger services from Glasgow to other Clyde ports, thereby inaugurating steam navigation in Europe.
The Clyde Puffers served the River Clyde and West Highlands for almost 125 years with a fleet of small steam lighters, which were to be found in every port of the river, on the Forth and Clyde Canal and frequently beached on remote but sheltered parts of the Hebrides.
Glasgow is above all else a Victorian city, evident in the
massive City Chambers in George Square, 1883 to 1888, by William
Young; the marble-clad interior, especially the staircase, is
a worthy monument to the opulence of 19th century Glasgow. The
area to the west developed on a grid pattern; now the commercial
and retail centre of the city, with Sauchiehall Street to the
north and Argyle Street to the south, it originally had elegant
residential streets, such as Blythswood Square, 1823—29,
by John Brash. Impressive commercial buildings include Stock
Exchange House in Buchanan Street, 1875-77, by John Burnet senior,
with addition by J.J. Burnet, and the Lion Chambers, 1905, by
J Salmond and J Gaff Gillespie. In central
Glasgow buildings include the former St Vincent Street Church,
the Grosvenor Building, the Grecian Buildings and the Egyptian
turn of the 20th century saw developments in the modern style,
including much Art Nouveau, most spectacularly in the work of
Rennie Mackintosh. The Mitchell Library, to the west of
the city centre,
is the largest civic-owned reference library in Europe, founded
in 1877 with a bequest from Stephen Mitchell, a tobacco merchant.
The current imposing building was completed in 1911.
While the shipyards and docks of the Clyde have dwindled, their
riverside sites have been put to good use. On the north bank,
the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre was opened in
1985. In 1988 the Glasgow Garden Festival occupied the site
of the Princes Dock on the south side of the river and the area
is now being developed with offices etc: as Pacific Quay. A
new headquarters for BBC
Scotland is also planned there.
On the south side of the city of Glasgow is the very large Pollok
Country Park, with Pollok House and the Burrell Collection.
To the north of it is Bellahouston Park, scene of the Empire
Exhibition of 1938 and the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982.
The House for an Art Lover has been recently constructed there
from designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Further east is Hampden
Park. Glasgow Airport, at Abbotsinch south of the Clyde, is
now a major international airport.
In medieval times, Newark Castle at Port Glasgow controlled the point on the Clyde where ships had to berth on account of shallow water.
St Andrew's in the Square is a beautiful 18th Century restored church right in the heart of Glasgow. The main gallery provides an amazing auditorium awash with natural light.
The history of Crookston Castle on the southern edge of Glasgow is one of chivalry and romance, a fact obscured by its besiegement by the housing estate of Pollock.
Auchentoshan Whisky Distillery, also know as " Glasgow's Malt Whisky " due to its close proximity to Glasgow.
Glengoyne Distillery is a whisky distillery continuously in operation since its founding in 1833 at Dumgoyne, north of Glasgow, Scotland.
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