SOLD OUT Online Talk: The Evolution of George Square

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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. 

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