The Anchor Line Building

An anonymous inquisitor who definitely isn’t cn-16c-41 asks:

Hullo Old Glasgow! Have you any information in the Anchor Line building just off George Square in Glasgow? Thanks!

The Anchor Line Building, now a restaurant, is the perfect example of one of those buildings which people walk past every day and don’t even notice. In fact, I’ve been putting this post off for a while because I needed to go and double check it was there. I’d never noticed it before.

More fool me. It’s stunning. 

Built in 1906 to a design by Old Glasgow favourite James Miller (he did the International Exhibition in Kelvingrove, dontchaknow?), it was originally the offices of The Anchor Line- hence the name- who ran liners from Glasgow and Liverpool, sailing to New York. They also went as far as India and “the Far East”

The first thing you notice about the building is that it’s as fresh looking today as it ever was. It’s been faced with white marble which was said at the time to be completely impervious to the ravages of time. That’s turned out to be quite true as it still looks stunning.

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Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Glasgow Architecture, Glasgow Museum, Royal Exchange Square, City Lights, long exposure, by abbozzo on Flickr.

This structure is a Dovecot at Newark Castle, located at Glasgow Port. History dates back to the 1400’s! Dovecots are used to house doves and pigeons as a resource for flesh, eggs, and dung. I snapped this through a window in Newark Castle. Amazing to be standing in a building so rich with history! The Lord of this particular castle was a murderer and abused his wife and mother of his 16 children. ☁ #scotland #travel #places #structure #building #castle #history #newarkcastle #glasgow #visitscotland #abandoned


Glasgow Cross Part IV: The Tron Theatre

The final part (for now) of our Glasgow Cross series takes us down the Trongate a ways to one of the oldest buildings in the Merchant City. 

The old Tron Kirk dates back as far as the 15th Century. The tower was constructed around 1593 and its steeple was added in the mid-1630s. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that this kirk is old.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Glasgow building without a chequered history. The church itself was destroyed by fire in 1793 and only the tower and steeple survived. This was no ordinary fire though, it was one set by a group of young men ‘of high standing’, who counted themselves among the membership of the Hellfire Club.

Fais ce que tu voudras’ - Motto of the Hellfire Club, meaning “Do what thou wilt.”

You might be thinking that this sounds like a satanic cult but the Hellfire Club was really more of a club for those ‘quality individuals’ who wanted to commit immoral acts on the regular. Their membership and practices are difficult to ascertain now, but their meetings often involved much blaspheming, referring to themselves as devils and dressing up as biblical characters to mock religion.


It’s not so simple with the fire at the Tron Kirk. Instead of being some kind of anti-religious political statement, the Hellfire Club’s members were just- to put it bluntly- drunken idiots. 

In an attempt to see how much heat they could stand they stoked up the fire being used by the nightwatchman to keep warm. Eventually they had created a massive fire and if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the… err… church.

They did a runner and the Kirk took alight and burned to the ground. I believe the modern term would be “quality banter”.

Unfortunately the records of the church were kept inside and the original design was lost in the fire. It was rebuilt to James Adam’s (whose brother, Robert, designed Culzean Castle) design in 1795. Arches were added to the tower and steeple in the mid-1800s to accommodate the widening of the Trongate’s pavement but aside from that, the tower and steeple remain largely as they were when they were originally built.

It was finally taken over by the Tron Theatre Company in 1981 and remains their home to this day.

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Day at the Museum

So back to tumblr! Its been a while … again but I promised I’d post on this more frequently during the summer so that I was doing something semi productive and keeping the mind active.

So despite not being as proactive as I would like on here I’ve not just been lazing about and fortunately I’ve got a backlog of photos and stories to tell. I’m loving my summer holiday right now and making the most of the free time I have before I start working in late July.

The first adventure I’ve queued up was the day my Mum and I visited Kelvingrove museum in Glasgow. Its something we’ve wanted to do since last year as it was signposted from the transport museum (which is amazing). My Mum hadn’t been since she was a child and it was an area she seemed to visit a lot in her youth so it was great to hear those interesting stories (she once broke down there forcing my grandpa to come and rescue he from Falkirk but on his arrival the car started without a hitch #awks).

It always feels like an occasion going to Glasgow on the train and more of an occasion going to Kelvingrove because you have to hop on the underground.  For some reason I just find underground trains really cool although the Glasgow subway is not a fine example of one.  Anyway we arrive in Kelvingrove and I was amazed by how much energy it had.  The buildings were nice, there were loads of people wandering about and the shops were pretty good as well.

The museum itself was an impressive building from the outside but to be honest I wasn’t expecting much since last year I’d been to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and spent the day in amazement essentially and thought it wouldn’t quite measure up.  I was staggered as soon as I walked through the front door.  Kelvingrove’s interior is one of the grandest I’ve ever seen. When we went it was one of those gloomy days and lighting from elegant robust looking chandelier made it feel warm and cosy.

The museums exhibits lived up to the standard of the interior with a great variety of artefacts from a spitfire to a crowd of hanging faces (with some quite funny expressions).  My favourite piece was the scale model of an engine designed to be fitted to a cruise ship. The detail was jaw dropping with every mechanical piece, rivet and even dials recreated perfectly.  A perfect fusion of my love for scale models and mechanical engineering.  Another piece I liked was the T rex skeleton.  It wasn’t full size but I’ve never seen one before and its really cool.

There were also collections of art (including a Van Gough) armour, stuffed animals (it was funny seeing a giraffe standing alongside the spitfire) and a whole host of other things. If you’ve never been I highly recommend you go!