Glasgow

George Square Glasgow's historic urban space

01 Jun 2019
The statue of Sir Walter Scott has pride of place in the center of the square
The statue of Sir Walter Scott has pride of place in the center of the square
Adorned with statues of royalty and great Scotsmen, George Square plays host to to everything from the Hogmanay extravaganza to concerts and political gatherings.
Named after King George III, the Square was laid out in 1781 as part of the innovative Georgian central grid plan that initially spanned from Stockwell St. east to Buchanan St. George III's statue was originally intended to occupy the centre of the Square. However, turmoil caused to the city's Tobacco Lords by the 1776 American War of Independence and the eventual British defeat in 1782 - coupled with the King's bouts of madness - created mixed feelings towards the monarch. So celebrated Scottish scribe Sir Walter Scott got the top spot instead.

The Square is  home to the city's Cenotaph, originally built in 1922 to commemorate Glaswegians killed in WW1. Many of Glasgow's public statues are situated around the Square and include the only known equestrian statues of a young Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert. Look out, too, for poets Robert Burns and Thomas Campbell and inventor James Watt.
Today the East side of the Square is dominated by the ornate City Chambers, HQ of the City Council, which opened in 1888. On the South side you can find the city's main Tourist Information Centre.
The North side consists of Queen Street Station and the Millennium Hotel, both of which date from the 1840s. The former Bank of Scotland building, now offices and a Wetherspoon restaurant and bar, sits on the West side.


 

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