WHERE IS IT? In the very heart of the city centre, next to Queen Street Station and Glasgow City Chambers.
George Square is the heart of the city, nestled between Glasgow City Chambers and Queen Street train station. It is a sprawling square sporting a baker's dozen worth of statues.
Ironically, the only statue missing is the titular George himself, King George III. Although one was originally planned, 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 the 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.
Sir Walter Scott 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.
By the mid 19th century the square had been transformed from a dingy hole of muddy water where horses were slaughtered to the beating 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.
1. Robert Peel by John Mossman (1859)
2. Queen Victoria by Baron Marochetti (1854)
3. Prince Albert by Baron Marochetti (1866)
4. James Watt by Francis Legatt Chantrey (1832)
5. Robert Burns by George Edwin Ewing (1877)
6. William Ewart Gladstone by Hamo Thornycroft (1902)
7. Sir Walter Scott by David Rhind, John Greenshield
and Alexander Handyside Richie (1837)
8. Sir John Moore by John Flaxman (1819)
9. Lord Clyde by J H Foley (1868)
10. Thomas Campbell by John Mossman (1877)
11. Thomas Graham by William Brodie (1872)
12. The Cenotaph by Sir J J Burnet and Ernest Gillick (1924)
13. James Oswald by Baron Marochetti (1856)
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