George Square

Nearest train/subway

Queen Street train station / Buchanan Street subway

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WHERE IS IT?

In the very heart of the city centre, next to Queen Street Station and Glasgow City Chambers.

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about

George Square is the vibrant heart of the city, home to Glasgow City Chambers and Merchant House and many statues. Ironically, the only statue missing is the titular George himself, King George III. Although one was originally touted to take centre stage, the planning and building of the Square itself coincided with the War of American Independence in the late 1700s. This caused many problems for the so called “Tobacco Lords,” Glaswegian merchants who made their fortunes in trade with the American colonies. This animosity was compounded by loss of the war in 1783, coupled with the fact that the monarch was gripped by insanity leading to his nickname, “The Mad King.” As a result, the powers in Glasgow decided instead to erect the first ever memorial commemorating Sir Walter Scott, the famous Scottish novelist.

He is in good company, joined by fellow poets Robert Burns and Thomas Campbell, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Prime Ministers Robert Peel and William Ewart Gladstone along with MP James Oswald, army commanders Lord Clyde and Sir John Moore, with engineer James Watt and chemist Thomas Graham.

Here is a full list of the statues, their sculptors and when they were created:

- Robert Peel (by John Mossman - 1859)
- Queen Victoria (by Baron Marochetti - 1854)
- Prince Albert (by Baron Marochetti - 1856)
- James Watt (by Francis Legatt Chantrey - 1832)
- Robert Burns (by George Edwin Ewing - 1877)
- William Ewart Gladstone (by Hamo Thornycroft - 1902)
- Sir Walter Scott (by David Rhind, John Greenshield and Alexander Handyside Richie - 1837)
- Sir John Moore (by John Flaxman - 1819)
- Lord Clyde (by J H Foley - 1868)
- Thomas Campbell (by John Mossman - 1877)
- Thomas Graham (by William Brodie - 1872)
- James Oswald (by Baron Marochetti - 1856)
- The Cenotaph (by Sir J J Burnet and Ernest Gillick - 1924)

By the mid-19th century, the square had gone from a dingy hole of muddy water where horses were slaughtered, to the heart of the city. Queen Street station was opened to serve as the railway between Glasgow and the capital, Edinburgh, while in the latter half of the century, the Merchant’s House moved to the west side of the square, and the Glasgow City Chambers opened in 1888, coincidentally the year Celtic football club played their first game. In its lifetime the square has seen everything; public meetings, celebrations, ceremonies, political rallies, protests, riots, and was even ravaged by zombies for a major Hollywood production.

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