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Text Box: Here are some interesting facts about Glasgow.  I hope to be able to add more as time goes on...
Don’t forget, there’s loads of information on the hidden Glasgow site, and for East End information and social history, there’s and (see links)
See below interesting facts:-
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Kelvingrove park

Scotstoun Cottages

Interesting facts
Text Box: Webmaster : Liz  Smith
Sir Thomas Lipton

Sir Thomas Lipton

Madeleine Smith

Madeleine Smith

Allan Pinkerton

Allan Pinkerton

Scotia Bar

Scotia Bar

William Miller

William Miller

Mitchell Library

Mitchell Library

Partick cricket ground

Partick cricket ground

Boys’ Brigade was formed here 1883

Is it true that Kelvingrove Art Gallery was built the wrong way around and the architect commited suicide?

Not true, The original road in to the Exhibition of 1901, for which the Kelvingrove Museum was the Palace of Art, went in from what is now the rear of the building.  Try this link:-

Is it true that the author of  the children’s poem, ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ is buried in the Necropolis?

Not true.  William Miller is buried in Tollcross Cemetery, but there is a memorial in his honour in the Necropolis.  Sadly, it is often vandalised.  More information - follow this link:-

The first International football game was played in Partick,

It was Scotland vs England in 1872 and was played at the West of Scotland Cricket ground in Partick. Use this link for more details:-

The famous dome on the Mitchell Library was not part of the original plans

It was added later at the suggestion of a City Councillor. More information about the Mitchell:-

At one time in the Gallowgate, there were 86 pubs from Glasgow Cross to Parkhead Cross

Raise a glass to the pubs of Old Glasgow on John Gorevan’s ‘Old Glasgow Pubs’ site

Madeleine Smith—did she or didn’t she poison her lover, Pierre Emile L’Angelier?

Everyone has their own opinion— Jimmy Powdrell Campbell thinks her innocent and has written a book on the subject.  The website is full  of detail—try it out..  

Allan Pinkerton was born in Glasgow. 

The famous American detective agency was formed by this son of a policeman who had fled from Scotland as a fugitive.

Sir Thomas Lipton was born in Gorbals, Glasgow. 

He was known as ‘The King’s Grocer’ and made his fortune mainly from tea and  other enterprises.  He was well-known for his hobby of sailing, too.

The relics of St. Valentine were sent to Scotland in 1868.

They were sent to a church in Glasgow!

The Boys’ Brigade movement was started in Glasgow in 1883.

It was started in this building in Glasgow’s west end by Sir William Alexander Smith and continued in that building for ninety years.  To find out more about the Boys’ Brigade and their history, follow this link

Kelvingrove 1901

St Valentine

Did you know that Glasgow had a professional Police Force before London?

The Glasgow Police Force was formed in  1789, 40 years before the ‘Peelers’.  Read more about the Glasgow Police on the Police Museum site.

 Police History

Was the so-called Stone of Destiny finally returned to Scotland in 1996?   

Well, we don’t really know.  At the time it was repatriated from Westminster Abbey by students in 1950, several copies were made.  A copy of the Stone (or is it the original?) is in the Arlington Bar in Glasgow’s West End. 


Of course, the actual Stone may never have left Scotland, but that’s another story…..

Did you know that Isabella Elder is the only female to have her name commemorated on the gates of Glasgow University?  (very top right of the gates)

Widow of  John Elder, of shipbuilding and engineering fame, she was a major benefactor to Govan and Glasgow and  made it possible for women to study medicine with a view to becoming doctors.

Glasgow University Gates

Do you know who have been given Freedom of the City of Glasgow?


This entitles the recipient to be allowed to graze his/her cattle on Glasgow Green!  Follow this link to the Glasgow Council website, to see what the benefits of this honour are, and you will see there is a link to a list of those who have been honoured in this way since the year 1800.

George Square—old engraving

The patron saint of Glasgow is St. Mungo, also known as St. Kentigern.


He was born in Culross!                       

Glasgow cathedral—old engraving

Did you know that Stan Laurel made his first stage appearance at a Glasgow Music hall?


It was the Britannia, which was renamed the Panopticon by A.E. Pickard.  Judith Bowers has written a book about it and you can still visit the Music Hall today…...

The Panopticon

Benny Lynch, world champion boxer, was another famous child of the Gorbals..


John Burrowes excellent book about Benny tells the sad story of his success and subsequent problems with alcohol.  This link will take you to a site about Benny.

Benny Lynch

Glasgow used to be known as ’Tinderbox City’ because of the number of buildings that went up in smoke, often accompanied by loss of life.


We recently marked the 50th anniversary of the Cheapside Street fire.


Here is the urbanglasgow forum’s thread on the James Watt Street fire of  1968.

James Watt Street Fire 1968

Cheapside St. fire

Did you know there had been a brass and bell foundry in the Gorbals?


Well, I didn’t.  Enlighten yourself with this book, available from their website (link below)



Until recently, I hadn’t heard of Thomas Muir.


He is known as the ‘Father of Scottish Democracy’ and was the son of a Glasgow Merchant.  Find out more here...





Also new to me was the story of Peter Pilcher. 


He lived in Byres Road, Glasgow and was 4 years ahead of the Wright Brothers in constructing and testing gliders, but met his untimely death in a flying accident.  Read more from this link to The Scotsman newspaper.



Postcard courtesy of


The Wright Brothers



Kelvingrove ,

William Miller ,

First International ,

Old Glasgow Pubs ,

A Most Curious Murder ,

Sir Thomas Lipton ,

St. Valentine

Boys' Brigade

Glasgow Police

Stone of Destiny

Isabella Elder

Freedom of the City of Glasgow

St. Mungo

Britannia Music Hall

Benny Lynch story

Cheapside Street Fire 1960

Peter Pilcher

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Mitchell Library ,

Allan Pinkerton