Here is a selection of some of the sights you will see during your tour of the grounds here at the University of Glasgow.
Perhaps one of the most striking buildings in the city is the iconic Gilbert Scott Building, named after its architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, who died before he could see the building completed. The bell tower, which dominates the Glasgow skyline, was originally intended to be a clock tower before its height made this plan unfeasible.
The neighbouring University Chapel was a later addition, designed by Sir John James Burnet and constructed between 1914 and 1929. Construction took longer than anticipated due to the outbreak of the First World War, and the Chapel became a Memorial Chapel to commemorate those who died in the war. The plaque honouring students and staff who died in the war was later updated to include those who perished in the Second World War. When possible the tour will include a visit inside the Chapel to see the stunning stained-glass windows by renowned designer Douglas Strachan.
Next to the main entrance of the chapel is the Lion and Unicorn Staircase, one of the few remaining curios from the old University site. It was created in 1690, nearly 17 years before the Act of Union that bound Scotland and England together. The Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland, a symbol of purity and strength while England’s lion is seen a symbol for bravery.
Just a mere step away, is the Principal’s Lodging, the official residence of current Principal Anton Muscatelli, and the only building in Professors’ Square that is still in residential use.
Also located in Professors’ Square is Lord Kelvin’s House – the location of one of his greatest achievements – it was one of the first houses in the world to be entirely lit by electricity. Number 11 on Professors’ Square was where Lord Kelvin worked on some of his most acclaimed discoveries such as the Kelvin Temperature scale, and the Kelvin Compass which safeguarded the lives of hundreds of thousands of seafarers. Kelvin also conducted groundbreaking work on the transatlantic telegraph cable that allowed the first telegrams to be conveyed across the Atlantic. Though it could be said that Lord Kelvin only achieved true fame and recognition for his scientific achievements after having the Starfleet vessel USS Kelvin in 2009’s Star Trek named in honour of him!
Heading into the centre of the Gilbert Scott building takes you to the Quadrangles, one for east and west with the atmospheric Cloisters in the centre. These are some of the most popular locations at the University of Glasgow.
The Cloisters leads to Bute Hall and the Hunterian Museum where, after your tour, you can walk through the displays and artefacts held there. The Hunterian holds what is widely considered to be one of the best university collections in the world. In the main museum, there are a number of instruments used by engineer James Watt, surgeon Joseph Lister, and physicist Lord Kelvin.
And finally, less than five minutes walk from the Main Gate is the Hunterian Art Gallery, home to the world’s largest collection of works by artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh.