Online Talk: The Glasgow Lock Hospital for Unfortunate Females

Wednesday 9th March 2022 | 7.30pm BST | via Zoom

At 41 Rottenrow, hidden in plain sight, the Glasgow Lock Hospital for Unfortunate Females once stood. Opening its doors in 1845, this new purpose built hospital was Glasgow’s only provision for women with venereal disease, and it was quickly overwhelmed. 

The Annual Report covering the Lock’s first 10 years indicates thousands of women and girls applying for treatment. They are listed as mill girls, servants, widows, actresses, ballet girls and even schoolgirls. They were cited in their diseased state by codewords and terms such as ‘newly fallen’ or ‘hardened’. They were kept in reformatory conditions and medical treatments were more experimental than effective, for example mercury vapour baths were used as a potential cure It was common knowledge that few survived their stay at the Lock.  

Join us for this evening talk by Anna Forrest to find out more about this infamous place: who were these women and how did they end up there, and what happened to them once there? 

Anna Forrest has carried out extensive research on the Glasgow Lock Hospital. Her interest began whilst she was working as a Librarian at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, which features a ‘Lock Room’ containing records relating to the hospital. Over many years Anna pieced together the history of the hospital, which she had originally been told didn’t exist, with the aim of making sure the public knew the stories of  the women and girls treated there. 

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

Details Price Qty
Suggested donation £5.00 (GBP)  
Buy one, give one £10.00 (GBP)  
Times are tight here £2.00 (GBP)  
I can't afford it this time £0.00 (GBP)  
GCHT Friends Ticket £0.00 (GBP)  

Please note: Payment is taken via PayPal but you do not need to have a PayPal account to pay online. 

We are using Zoom to broadcast our live talks. You can join these events as a participant without creating a Zoom account. You do not need to have a webcam or a microphone to join the event as a participant.

All events are subtitled. We aim to make our events as accessible as possible but if you feel that you might need some additional help, please let us know when you book your ticket or get in touch in advance. We’re open to feedback and would welcome your ideas on how we can improve in this area.

You will receive instructions on joining the event by email. If you haven’t received anything by midday on the day of the event, please check your spam folder and then contact us.

You might also be interested in…

Online Talk: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

Focusing on architecture, window displays, and internal design, this talk will examine how Glasgow department stores, like their Parisian counterparts, became spaces not just of spectacle, but also of manipulation and disorientation.

The Map

“I feel like a bird soaring over the city when I gaze upon Sulman’s map, every nook and cranny with every detail so exact.

I can see where I came from and where I’m at.”

Edward’s story

A DIFFERENT DIRECTION Another day at the warehouse done. He’s a clerk, so there’s always lots of paperwork to get through and it requires great attention to detail. He’s a conscientious and well-organised individual though, so he enjoys it and the satisfaction he gets when a job is done well. 

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Each year, our events help over 2000 people to understand and appreciate Glasgow's irreplaceable built heritage. Can you help us to reach more people?

We are hugely grateful for the support of our Friends whose subscriptions help cover the costs of these events, thereby ensuring accessible pricing for everyone in Glasgow in these challenging times.

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