Summer Walking Tours

This summer the Gilded Age team are proud to announce a series of four walking tours, highlighting how Glasgow has developed from a medieval town to the second city of the empire.

Niall Murphy, GCHT Grants Officer and walking encyclopaedia (not to mention award winning tour guide!), will be taking us on 2 hour evening tours in May and June, tickets are a bargain at £10 per person. To book, just email, or phone us at 0141 552 1331.  Tours will start at 6pm sharp and will leave from the GCHT offices at 54 Bell Street in the Merchant City, and will finish at 8pm.  For more information about the tour topics, keep reading!


1.The Medieval City – from Glasgow Cross to the Cathedral, 31st May, 6pm-8pm    SOLD OUT

A walk through time along the High Street- the spine of the medieval city- from Glasgow Cross to Glasgow Cathedral.  The walk will take in such notable features as the Tolbooth, the site of the Old College, survivors such as the British Linen Bank and Provans Lordship, the impat of the Glasgow City Improvement Trust, the Barony Church and Glasgow Cathedral, the Glasgow Museum of Religious Life and Art, the Royal Infirmary and Dispensary, the Martyrs School and St. Mungos RC in Townhead.  We’ll then head back to the Merchant City via the new developments on Cathedral Street.


2. The Enlightenment City – the 18th century city and Glasgow Green, 7th June, 6pm-8pm

Focused as a tour around the five churches of the Merchant City, this walk will examine how the area was reformed from the age of Scottish Enlightenment onwards.  The walk will take in the Tron and Tron Steeple, St Andrews in the Square, St Andrews by the Green, Glasgow Green and the Homes for the Future, the McLennan Arch, the High Court, St. Andrews Cathedral, the site of St. Enoch’s Station, the Briggait, Candleriggs, the Fruitmarket and the City Halls before concluding at the Ramshorn Theatre.


3. The Gilded City – the Victorian and Edwardian City, 21st June, 6pm-8pm

From the 1830s onwards, as the population rose and the rapidly industrialising city boomed, Glasgow was transformed.  This age gave rise to some of the city’s finest buildings and urban set pieces located along the gridded streets of the city centre.  Highlights include Royal Exchnage Square, the Ca’ D’oro, and Glasgow’s Central Station, one of the greatest Railway Stations in the UK, and the perhaps the best commercial work of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.


4. The Tenement Renaissance City – the New Gorbals and Laurieston, 28th June, 6pm-8pm  

Though the tenement formed the matrix of the Victorian and Edwardian City, from WWI onwards it fell out of favour becoming a by-word for urban poverty.  However, since the 1980s there has been a significant shift in thinking about the tenement.  The tour will head south along Crown Street, taking in the ruins of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s Caledonia Road Church before heading back back north through the tenements of Laurieston, past the last surviving tenement in the Gorbals – James Salmon Jnr’s British Linen Bank, then passing the underrated Glasgow Sherrif Court by Keppie Henderson and Partners into Carlton Place to take in Laurieston House before heading back to Merchant City via the Portland Street Suspension Bridge.


What are you waiting for, grab a ticket while you can, our first walk has already sold out!

Walking Tour

Image copyright Douglas Jarvis



Speaker Line-up Announced!

We are proud as punch to present this fantastic line-up of speakers for our conference at Websters on November 6th.  The study and celebration of Alf Webster’s life and works will be central to our day, but we will also be discussing numerous other related topics, such as Scottish war art and stained glass conservation.

09.00 – 9.30     Registration 

09.30 – 09.45   Welcome by Dr. Bruce Peter,

09.45 – 10.00   Karen Mailley-Watt

10.00 – 10.40   Professor Robin Webster

10.40 – 11.10   Gordon Urquhart


11.10 – 11.30        Coffee Break 


11.30 – 12.00   Professor John Hume

12.00 – 12.20   David Robertson

12.20 – 12.30      Open Discussion


12.30 -13.30        Lunch 


13.30 – 13.45   Welcome by Ranald McInnes,

13.45 – 14.15      Dr.George Rawson

14.15 –  14.45   Dr. Patricia Andrew


14.45 – 15.00       Coffee Break 


15.00 – 15.30   Meredith Macbeth

15.30 – 16.00   Peter Aiers

16.00 – 16.15   Closing remarks


16.15 – 17.00        Discussion


We hope that this array of experts will get you buying tickets, they are selling fast!  There will also be plenty of time for chatting amongst yourselves at the coffee breaks, as well as for formal discussions.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Double Lecture – 15th September 2015

JJ Burnet & Glasgow’s Entertainment Venues,
Niall Murphy & Dr. Bruce Peter

Lecture 1 by Niall Murphy: Sir JJ Burnet’s talent was equal to Glasgow’s other great architects, his career was stellar in terms of breadth and depth of achievement and contemporary respect. For instance, there are good reasons why an architect of his calibre was entrusted with the commission for the Glasgow Cenotaph. And yet he has become something of an unknown so much so that in his foreword to Gomme and Walker’s The Architecture of Glasgow Sir Nikolaus Pevsner remarks that Burnet is the most mysterious of the Glasgow architects. So who was Burnet and what did he achieve? Has his ability to be a stylistic chameleon actually helped this overshadowing?

Lecture 2 by Bruce Peter: Glasgow, with its burgeoning population, developed a significant leisure and entertainment culture in the latter-nineteenth and early- twentieth centuries. The first section of this lecture will address the architecture and social history of Glasgow’s entertainment venues and entertainment culture in the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods. Subsequently, from around the turn of the century, the cinema took hold of Glaswegians’ imaginations. Then – as now – the architecture of entertainment was fashionable and ephemeral, often eclectic and sought directly to address popular taste. Most of the buildings to be examined in the first half of this lecture have been demolished and some exist as fragments.

Date: 15th September 2015

Lecture: 7-9pm

Lectures are free to GCHT Friends or £5 donation for non-friends.
Please note, booking is essential for the lectures.

To book please email:
or call 0141 552 1331.

Another wonderful Gilded Age event!

The City Talks: Is Mackintosh the only champion of Glasgow’s architecture?

Glasgow City Heritage Trust hold a series of quarterly events called ‘The City Talks’. As opposed to the more traditional format of our monthly lecture series, The City Talks are two-way debates between a specially selected panel of experts and the audience.

The idea of June’s The City Talks is to discuss Glasgow’s architecture and try to elevate the lesser known architects to the same status as Mackintosh. Can our speakers make a convincing argument for their favourite architect in this built environment face-off? Or will Mackintosh still be seen as the most popular, well-known Glaswegian building designer?

Each speaker is allocated 5 minutes presenting 3-5 slides to make their case for their chosen architect. We will be discussing; Is Mackintosh the only champion of Glasgow’s architecture? at Cottiers Theatre. Speakers include Dr. Robyne Calvert, Research Fellow at the Glasgow School of Art, who will be defending Mr & Mrs Mackintosh, Niall Murphy, Architect, defending JJ Burnet, Fergus Sutherland, GCHT Co-opted Committee member for the Heritage & Outreach committee, championing Salmon Jr, Sally White, Secretary for the Alexander Thomson Society will promoting Alexander Thomson and Dr. Bruce Peter, Research Supervisor at the Glasgow School of Art will be making a very strong case for James Miller. It should be a fun and lively event to say the least…

Venue: Cottiers Theatre, Hyndland

Date: 30th June 2015

Time: 6-8pm


To book please email: or call 0141 552 1331.

Events are free to GCHT Friends or £5 donation for non-friends. Please note booking is essential for the events.
Hope to see you there!

Conference 1: Success Story

Just a quick post  to let everyone know that the conference was a great success!! Thank you to everyone who attended, or helped to make the day so special.


We have already had some feedback from people inducing:

“What a marvellous conference! I was sorry not to be able to hang on for the discussion nevertheless felt very privileged to have had the benefit of listening to such “accessible “experts. Very stimulating! Please let me know of future events!” Conference attendee via email.

“It was a fantastic day that ran very smoothly. All lectures were incredibly interesting and my mind felt adequately blown away by the information presented to me that day. It was a wonderful venue and the servers were very helpful. The planners of the day have much to be proud of to bring such a fantastic community together. I have been to GCHT events in the past and have been constantly and continually impressed. Looking forward to November!” Conference attendee via SurveyMonkey.

“This is the best organised conference I have ever been to.” Prof. John Hume – High praise indeed!

“First class conference today by @GlasgowHeritage – best I have been to in ages – well done guys!” David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Scotland via Twitter.

“Today, I greatly enjoyed the superb ‘Glamour and Grit’ conference about ‘Glasgow in the Gilded Age.’ It was fascinating and engrossing from start to finish – so well done Karen Mailley-Watt and Erin Walter. That force of nature Robyne Calvert gave a great paper with all the enthusiasm and enlightening commentary we so admire.” Bruce Peter, attendee/Lecturer at GSA via Facebook


Please click here if you would like to leave feedback regarding the conference on the 8th May 2015.

If you didn’t mange to make it along to this one, why not book a ticket for the Alf Webster: Glasgow’s Lost Genius Conference on the 6th November (call 0141 552 1331 to book)? Or if you can’t wait that long, come along to the Grand Recital of the Father Willis organ at Cottiers on the 20th of May.



The Gilded Age Team

STV Debut & Conference has now sold out!!

The Glasgow’s Gilded Age team  made their television debut on last night’s STV Riverside Show. Rachael and Karen were up at the fabby Cottiers Theatre (with Daniel Cottier himself) filming all morning to promote the conference.

If you missed last night’s episode, why not catch up on the STV player? Please note that tickets for the conference on the 8th May have now SOLD OUT!

filming at cottiers    Filming at cootiers glasgow cottiers windows

To avoid disappointment stay tuned for further awesome events from the Gilded Age Team!


The Gilded Age Team

Organ Recital: 20th May at Cottiers Theatre

Just Announced!!

Cottiers theatre will be hosting an Organ Recital on the 20th May at 7.30pm for the Restored Father Willis Organ with Organist John Kitchen.

When the 1876 ‘Father’ Willis was first open at Downhill UP Church, the Glasgow Herald warned that the organist should ‘beware of the powers at his command.’

This wonderful instrument was at risk when the building, now Cottiers, was taken over by the Four Acres Charitable Trust in the 1980’s. In 2004 The Heritage Lottery Fund approved a 63% grant for restoration.  On the 20th May the results of this can be heard in the first official concert recital by John Kitchen, organist at the Usher Hall.

Willis organs are famous for their qualities of boldness and brightness matched in this case by the boldness and brightness of Daniel Cottier’s decorative scheme.

Restored elements of this famous provide the setting for the organ – this unique event will provide its privileged audience with a profound insight into the thrill of Glasgow’s Gilded Age.


Tickets are £10 at the door, or can be booked on through the Cottiers website!


Associate funders:

Four Acres Charitable Trust

The W M Mann Foundation

Iain McGlashan

Kelvin Taylor


Organ Consultant: James MacKenzie

Curator: Matthew Hynes

The Organ has been restored by Harrison and harrison Ltd


For further information please go to 

Four Acres Charitable Trust is a company Ltd by Guarantee Registered in Scotland No. 85096 Registered Office: 292 St Vincent St. Glasgow. Recognised by the Inland Revenue as a Charity: Scottish Charity Registration No. SC004689.



Dr. Helena Britt confirms!

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Helena Britt will be speaking at the conference on the 8th May.

Helena Britt is a lecturer in the Department of Fashion & Textiles at The Glasgow School of Art. Research activity encompasses aspects of historical and contemporary textile design. Postdoctoral projects include Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005. Doctoral research examined the role of the designer educator in the development of digitally printed textiles. Helena is Chair of the Association of Fashion & Textile Courses. She has an MA from the Royal College of Art and has worked as a textile designer for a range of clients.

Speaker Schedule Finalised

We our excited to share our finalised speaker schedule for the first Gilded Glasgow Project conference.  Please click on the link below to download it.  We are now accepting cheque payments, see our previous post for more information, and get buying your tickets!


Please note, the schedule is subject to change.


Glasgows Gilded Age Conference line-up(pdf)


 Schedule: 8th May 2015


09.00 – 09.30 Registration 


09.30 – 09.45 Welcome by Ranald MacInnes, Chairman of the morning session 


09.45 – 10.30 A Solid Background: 1780 -1865 

Prof. John Hume, Honorary Professor at both the Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrews


10.30 -11.00 The Glasgow Architectural Ironfounders – Innovation & Global Reach 

Dr. David Mitchell, Director of Conservation for Historic Scotland


11.00 -11.20 Ship Models, Design & Display

Emily Malcolm, Curator of Transport & Technology at Glasgow Museums


11.20 – 11.50 Coffee Break 


11.50 – 12.35 Title TBC.

Dr. Robyne Erica Calvert, Mackintosh Research Fellow, Glasgow School of Art


12.35 -13.00 Title TBC.  

Dr. Helena Britt, Lecturer, Undergraduate Pathway  Coordinator, Subject Leader Printed Textiles, Glasgow School of Art


13.00 -14.00 Lunch & Organ recital (approx.20mins)


14.00 -14.15 Welcome Dr. Peter Burman – Chair of Afternoon session 


14.15 – 14.45 Holmwood House 

Ian Gow, previous Curator of the National Trust for Scotland.


14.45 – 15.15 Glasgow in the 1860s and the beginning of ‘a better condition of things in Scotland as regards stained glass

Dr. Sally Rush, senior lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow.


15.15 – 15.30 Coffee Break 


15.15- 16.00 Gilding the lily: Daniel Cottier and the Aesthetic interior

Max Donnelly, Curator of Nineteenth-Century Furniture at the Victoria and Albert Museum


16.00 – 16.15 Closing remarks by Sir Angus Grossart 


16.15 Discussion

Ticket Payment

If you would like to pay for your conference tickets by cheque, then please contact Karen on 0141 552 1331 or by email at

Please make your cheques payable to Glasgow City Heritage Trust and send them to 54 Bell Street, Merchant City, Glasgow, G1 1LQ.

We have a great line up, and the tickets are a bargain at £28, or £24 for students.

So get buying those tickets and don’t miss out!