Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Needless to say, Glasgow Live is all about the city we call home.

And whilst people will make fun of us, many also know that we’re one of the best cities in the world.

We were voted the friendliest city in the world by public vote last year after coming out top in a new poll carried out by travel bible Rough Guides.

Turns out people really do make Glasgow.

Glasgow Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit | VisitScotland

So looking at our city, we thought we would list some facts about Glasgow that you may not know – and hey, you’re welcome to use them for a pub quiz (you can thank us later).

Here are 19 facts about Glasgow you may not be aware of

…but if you already know 19/19 then kudos to you!

1. The name ‘Glasgow’ appeared for the first time in the early 1100s as ‘Glasgu’ or ‘Glascou’ which in Scottish Gaelic means ‘Dear Green Place’.

2. Gaelic is still spoken in Glasgow and its use in our city is one of the highest in Scotland outside the Highlands. We are also home to the Gaelic-only TV station, BBC Alba, whose studios on the River Clyde.

3. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, built between 1888 and 1901,is of the most-visited tourist attraction in Scotland. There is an urban myth that said it was built back-to-front by mistake which caused the architect to leap to his death from one of the towers. This however is not true.

4. An ancient right of way used to exist across the River Kelvin on stepping stones for the purpose of enabling villagers to pass freely to Pointhouse and from there by ferryboat to church at Govan. This ancient right was maintained by a footbridge attached to a railway bridge on the Stobcross Line that went over a viaduct until the 1960s.

5. The first international football game was held in Glasgow.

6. Fossil Grove, in Glasgow’s Victoria Park, is home to eleven very special tree which dates back to the Carboniferous Period, making them around 325 million years old – twice as old as the dinosaurs. The Fossil Grove is also the oldest museum in the world created specifically for geoconservation having been built in 1889.

The trees were discovered in 1887 during excavations to make a new park from an old quarry however the trees were said to once have grown in a swamp-like environment back when Scotland’s climate was hot and tropical.

Yes, we actually used to see the sun more than five times a year. You can read more in-depth about all that here.

Calling all New Yorkers.
Calling all New Yorkers.

7. We are home to our very own Statue of Liberty! Now we’re not exactly New York – though you would be forgiven if you visited when the city was transformed into New York.

The replica is kept in Glasgow City Chambers and we hate to break it to you, but it’s not the same size as the one in the big apple.

8. Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and it is predicted at between 2018 and 2028, the population of Glasgow City is projected to increase from 626,410 to 644,274 – an increase of 2.9% which compares to a projected increase of 1.8% for Scotland as a whole.

9. Glasgow’s underground railway system, aka the Subway, is the only one in Scotland and said to be the third oldest in the world.

The Subway is the best form of transport in Glasgow, let's be honest.
The Subway is the best form of transport in Glasgow, let’s be honest.

10. The Hunterian Museum, first opened in 1807 at the University of Glasgow, is one of the world’s leading university museums and galleries. This makes it Scotland’s oldest public museum and home to the world’s first-ever ultra sound machine.

11. The Glenlee, also referred to as the Tall Ship built in the Glasgow shipyard, is one of only five Clyde built ships still afloat in the world today and said to be the only one of her kind in the UK

12. The Mitchell Library is Europe’s largest public reference library with over two million books and 13 floors of reading rooms.

13. The IMAX Cinema, which opened in October 2000 is the first one of its kind to be built in Scotland. The cinema seats 382 people with the screens said to be larger than a 5-a-side football pitch The screen also has a digital 14,000 watt 6.1 surround sound system.

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14. The first place you could ever watch TV was in Glasgow. A Scottish engineer named John Logie Baird transmitted the first moving images in 1926 from London’s Royal Institution to Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel at the city’s Central Station.

Who knew our city was the first place you could watch TV? Amazing!
Who knew our city was the first place you could watch TV? Amazing!

15. The making of soft drinks in Glasgow began in Parkhead as ‘aerated waters’ by Andrew Stout, the landlord of the Black Bull pub in 1760 – Parkhead’s oldest pub.

He manufactured his own aerated water and brewed ginger beer from an old weaving shop in the back. The business was taken over in 1887 by A G Barr, who became known for producing Scotland’s other national drink, Irn-Bru.

16. Partick or ‘Pertneck’ was the Royal Residence of King Hydderch of Strathclyde and his Queen Languoreth, the lady on whose behalf St Mungo performed his miracle of the salmon and the ring. It would also become the country residence of the Bishop of Glasgow.

17. One of the earliest residents of Finnieston was a man named John Smith, who started the first circulating library in the Glasgow area – the firm which later became John Smith & Sons in 1751.

18. We were originally called ‘Glasgowensians’.

I think we prefer the sound of 'Glaswegians'.
I think we prefer the sound of ‘Glaswegians’.

19. Bath Street was the first street in Glasgow to have baths in its houses. The first public baths were opened in the city back in 1804 by William Harley.

According to the Glasgow Family History, as manufacturer of turkey-red gingham, in 1082 William purchased Sauchy Hall (renamed Willowbank House) and its estate in Blythswood. He soon began to collect water from the springs in his grounds, sending the barrels back by horse-drawn carts to those who wanted fresh drinking water.

A few years later, he opened public baths with four pools on the road leading from the city to the pleasure gardens he laid out on the estate. The road was later named Bath Street.


By Lala