By this time their membership numbers had expanded beyond the church’s capacity, and so a competition was held for the design of a new one, with Thomas Lennox Watson beating out John Burnet. A suitable site was found on University Place, opposite the University of Glasgow’s main building which had moved west the decade before. Watson opted for a neoclassical design, favoured by the United Presbyterians, as opposed to other churches who at the time favoured the Gothic Revival style. The end result, completed in 1884, resembles a Greek temple, with a colonnade of Corinthian columns supporting the neoclassic pediment.
While Baird’s original church was demolished in 1909, the current Wellington Church is still very active, including the hidden gem that is the Crypt Café serving tasty lunches all through the working week.
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.