Situated in Nelson Mandela Place, the church proudly watches over the busy Buchanan Street, which was feuded in 1777, only a few decades before the church was constructed in 1808. The distinguished building was designed by the well-regarded William Stark, who favoured the Neo-Classic style. It was originally built to rehouse the growing congregation from the Wynd Church, so named because it had been built on the Back Wynd in 1687, a long, narrow, and by all accounts filthy street in the Trongate district. Likewise, St. George’s Church was so named because it was located in St. George’s Place. The name was changed to Nelson Mandela Place in 1986 to show Glasgow’s support for the campaign to free the political prisoner and future President of South Africa, much to the annoyance of staff at the South African consulate. The church itself also underwent a name change in 1940 when it was united with the Tron St. Anne Church, forming the St. George’s-Tron Parish Church.
WHERE? On a traffic island in the Gorbals district, near the start of Caledonia Road, where Cathcart Road and Laurieston Road diverge.
Standing tall, a proud survivor of the ages, Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s church rests on an odd traffic island that marks the former junction between Caledonia Rd and Cathcart Rd.
Thought to be Thomson’s first stab at designing a church, the building was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1965. Although now a Grade A-listed building, the church has lay derelict and abandoned for half a century, watching as the city around it has changed, but with a certain stubborn Scottish pride serving as a reminder of a grander past.
Across from the church on a small traffic island sits the box-like No.8 Corporation Weigh Office, which acted as a stop point for vehicles to be weighed, back in the days when they were not so frequent on the roads.