Online Talk: The Evolution of George Square

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Like many other charities, the coronavirus outbreak is having a major impact on our activities, threatening our crucial work to protect, repair and celebrate Glasgow’s rich built heritage. As a result, we expect to lose an important part of our income this year.

We are therefore asking that if you are able to support our conservation and outreach work,
please consider adding a donation when you book your ticket
simply select the ‘Standard + Donation’ option to donate £5

Wednesday 29th July 2020 | 6pm BST | via Zoom

George Square – the heart of Glasgow and central to its identity but currently a place of intense social debate – it was ever thus…

So, how did the square come into being, how has it evolved over three centuries, is there a pattern behind the locations of the monuments and why were their subjects selected for immortalisation in bronze? In this lecture, Niall Murphy of Glasgow City Heritage Trust will explain the background to the Square.

The talk will discuss the many permutations of the square in its journey across three centuries – from farmland in Jacobean times, to a muddy waste in the heart of James Barry’s New Town, to a late Georgian private romantic garden, the influence of Paris and the City Improvement Trust on the mid-Victorian layout of the newly public square, to the civic square embodying the values of the Second City of the Empire, to the space which commemorates the sacrifices of Glaswegians in the First and Second World Wars.

While charting the changes to the Square over time the talk will ask if the positions of the monuments are haphazard or if there is an intelligence behind it all?

The talk will also look at why the Cenotaph is located where it is and why the Parks Committee was so opposed to the site. Find out more about Sir JJ Burnet’s subtle design for the Cenotaph, what influenced him and how it compares to the other war memorials he produced. Was there an alternative design for the Cenotaph and if so, why was it rejected by the Corporation? Finally, the talk will touch on the sometimes controversial backgrounds to some of the monuments.

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

Details Price Qty
Standard £0.00 (GBP)  
Standard + £5 donation £5.00 (GBP)  
GCHT Friends Ticket £0.00 (GBP)  

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Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Glasgow City Heritage Trust is an independent charity and your support is crucial to ensure that our charitable work promoting the understanding, appreciation and conservation of Glasgow’s historic buildings for the benefit of the city’s communities and its visitors continues now, and in the future.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our loyalty scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.