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Bradshaw’s Guide


Glasgow. — The first port and seat of manufacture in Scotland and a parliamentary burgh, two members, in the lower ward or division of Lanarkshire (which county also returns one member), on the Clyde, 50 miles from the open sea. That which was the ruin of many small places in this part of Great Britain, namely the Union, 1707, was the grand cause of the prosperity of Glasgow, which from its admirable position on a fine navigable river in the heart of a coal-field, and from the spirit of the inhabitants, has risen to be reckoned as the fourth port of the United Kingdom, and a rival to Manchester. When Bailie Nicol Jarvie and his worthy father, the deacon, “praise to his memory,” lived in the Saltmarket, before the American revolution, it was a great place for the tobacco trade, but since 1792 cotton has been the staple business.

Population 394,864, of which, perhaps, 50,000 are employed in the spinning, weaving, bleaching, and dyeing of cotton goods, worsted, muslin, silks, &c., while a large number are engaged in the manufacture or iron, brass, steam engines, glass, nails, pottery, umbrellas, hats, chemicals, and other branches of trade, and in wooden and iron ship building, besides numbers engaged in maritime and commercial transactions. These are the distinguishing characteristics of modern Glasgow, and the commercial activity and restlessness of its inhabitants have caused the immense impulse its trade has received within the last fifty years. The site is a level, four or live miles square, chiefly on the north side of the river. On the south side are the suburbs of Tradeston, Laurieston, and Hutchesonton. Its port is the open river, fronting the Broomielaw, lined by noble quays about two miles long, and so much deepened that first-class ships, which used to stop at Port Glasgow, 18 miles lower down, can now come up to the city. Formerly people could cross without wet feet, where now there is 20 feet of water.

Bridges. — Six cross the Clyde, in some parts 400 feet wide. Jamaica Bridge, near the South Western railway and Broomielaw, rebuilt by Telford in 1833, 500 feet long, 60 wide. Victoria Bridge, rebuilt in 1851-3 by Walker, on five granite arches, the middle one being 80 feet span, and the next two 76 feet; it replaces old Stockwell Bridge, which was begun in 1345. Hutcheson Bridge, built in 1833, by R, Stevenson, the builder of the wooden bridge, opened 1855. Rutherglen Bridge near the King’s Park, in which stands the Nelson pillar. There are also two suspension bridges.

City and Commercial Buildings. — The large new County Buildings are in Wilson-street. Justiciary or Law Courts, foot of the Saltmarket, near Hutcheson Bridge, has a Grecian portico, imitated from the Parthenon. County Bridewell, Duke Street, an excellent self-supporting institution, built in 1824, in the Norman style. Large City Hall, in the Candleriggs-street, built in 1840. Old Town Hall in the Trongate — in front is Flaxman’s statue of William IV. Exchange in Queen Street, a handsome Grecian building by D. Hamilton, erected in 1840,200 ft. long by 76 broad; fine Corinthian eight-column portico and tower; news-room, 130 feet long. In front is Baron Maroehetti’s bronze statue of Wellington. Hamilton is also the architect of the Theatre Royal, in Dunlop-street, and the City of Glasgow bank, the latter copied from the temple of Jupiter Stator. Union Bank and the handsome Assembly Room, now the Athenæum, in Ingram-street. Corn Exchange, Hope-street, in the Italian style, built in 1842. Trades’ Hall, a domed building. Western Club House, in Buchanan-street, opposite which is the statue of Her Majesty the Queen. Cleland Testimonial, in Sauchiehall-street, raised to commemorate the services of Dr. Cleland to the city. Post Office, in George-square. Campbell’s warehouse in Ingram-street. The Vulcan Foundry, belonging to Mr. Napier, who established the steamers between this, Greenock, and Belfast in 1818, where iron steam-ships and engines for the great mail steamers are built. St. Rollox’s Chemical Works, north of the town, having an enormous chimney 440 feet high. Monteith’s large cotton and bandana factory at Barrowfield.

Churches. — There are above 120 churches and chapels, the most conspicuous of which is the Cathedral, or High Church, at the top of High-street. It was part of a monastery planted here by St. Mungo (or Kentigern) in the 6th century, when the town was first founded, and was an Archbishop’ Cathedral till episcopacy was abolished by the General Assembly which met here in 1638, in the Mace Church. It is a venerable stone building without transepts, 300 feet long, having a tower 224 feet high, and an ancient crypt of the 12th century, full of monuments, and once used as a church (see Rob Roy). There are about 150 pillars, and as many windows, the whole of which have been replaced with stained glass, even to the crypts. This very costly work of art has been undertaken by the nobility and some of the wealthy merchants in and about Glasgow, and certainly presents some of the most gorgeous specimens of the art ever introduced into Britain. Most of the leading features of Scripture history are here delineated, and highly calculated to furnish material for the study both of the artist and divine for two or three days. Close to the Cathedral is the Barony Church. A short bridge crosses the ravine (here 250 feet deep) of Molendinar Bum to the Necropolis, where a monument to Knox was placed in 1845. St. John’s Church was Dr. Chalmers’s, many of whose labours and writings were commenced here. The College Church is as old as 1699. Tron Church tower as old as 14S4. St. Andrew’s has a good portico; St. George’s, a spire of 160 feet; St. Enoch’s was built by Hamilton. Near the Custom House is the Gothic Roman Catholic Chapel. Free Church College near the West End Park.

In George’s-square are — Sir Walter Scott’s monument, Chantrey’s statue of Watt, the inventor of the modern steam engine; and Flaxman’s of Sir J. Moore, the last of whom was born at Glasgow in 1761; and Sir Robert Peel. Queen’s Park, south side, from plans by the late Sir Joseph Paxton, whose name is associated with the great Exhibition of 1851.

University, Schools, &c. — The University, in High Street, visited by Queen Victoria in 1849, one of the oldest buildings in the city, was founded in 1453, by Bishop Tumbull, and consists of two or three brick courts, in the French style, with a good staircase at the entrance; at some distance behind is Dr. Hunter’s Museum, in the Grecian style, containing objects of anatomy, natural history, books, autographs, illuminations, and Chantrey’s bust of Watt, who was at first mathematical instrument maker to the University. The most curious thing is a Paisley shirt, woven without a seam or joining. The College Library includes about 80,000 Volumes. The senior students, called togati, dress in scarlet crowns, and the whole number of 1,200 is divided into nations, according to the district, they come from. Beyond the Museum Macfarlane’s Observatory.

Andersonian University, in the old Grammar School, George Street, is a place for gratuitous lectures, by the professors attached to it, among whom such names have appeared as Birkbeck, Ure, and Combe. It has a museum of models. The High School behind it was rebuilt in 1821. The Normal School, a handsome Tudor building:, is near Garnet Hill, which commands a fine prospect. The Mechanics’ Institution is in Hanover Street, near the Andersonian University. The Royal Infirmary, the Blind, and the Deaf and Dumb Asylums, are near the Cathedral, and the Town’s Hospital and Magdalen Asylum are not far from these; the former, shaped like a St George’s cross, with a dome in the centre. Hutcheson’s Hospital with a spire, is in Ingram Street, near the Post Office; the Lunatic Asylum, at the west end of the town, is in the Norman style.

The most bustling parts are in Buchanan Street, Argyle Street, the Broomielaw, &c; and in the oldest quarters are Trongate, High Street, Stoekwell Street, &c, round the cross; in Bridgegate stands the steeple of the old Merchant’s Half; Woodside and Elmbank are two of the finest crescents, not far from the Kelvin. The West End Park is said to be one of the finest in Britain. At Port Dundas, the Forth and Clyde canal terminates; and at Bowling, some miles down the Clyde, near Dumbarton, is a Pillar to the memory of Henry Bell, who ran the first steamer on the Clyde, the “Comet,” in the year 1812. Though the first cotton factory was Monteith’s, in 1795, yet calicoes were woven here in 1742, and the check union kerchiefs of linen as early as 1700, at Flakefield.

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