Origins and Evolution


Saturday 13 August 2016

Tour of Heraldry in Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Art Galleries, Glasgow Cathedral, Provandís Lordship, and the Burrell Collection

Guide: Gordon Casely

Glasgow University Chapel and Tower:
Glasgow University was founded in 1451, being the second oldest after St Andrews, but moved from its original site near the Cathedral in the 19th century.

There is a large range of heraldry within, of both Principals and Chancellors, as well as The Lion & Unicorn Staircase outside, from original Glasgow University buildings in city centre.

University Tower:
Stone-carved arms of University founder Bishop William Turnbull, and of Bishop Andrew Muirhead; and substantial views over Glasgow City as far south as the Renfrewshire hills.
  Glasgow University
Glasgow University Chapel

Kelvingrove Art Galleries:
Initially we shall walk round exterior to view extensive sandstone carvings of arms of Royal Burghs, other Burghs, Cities and Counties on the exterior. There is little of heraldic interest inside, beyond a maquette upstairs of King Robert I showing Bruce heraldry. However the Galleries rightly boast of the largest and most eclectic art and ethnographical collection in Scotland. Donít miss the restored WWII Spitfire hanging high among the paintings. Only Glasgow could do this!
  Kelvingrove Gallery
Early lunch available in garden restaurant, or basement cafe, or main floor coffee shop. Well-stocked shop and ample toilet facilities. Disabled access throughout.

Glasgow Cathedral:
This is the undoubted jewel of Glasgow architecture, dating from the twelfth century. The origin of the city was around the Cathedral of St Mungo, sometimes called St Kentigern. It is the most complete expression of Gothic architecture we have in Scotland. There is a substantial amount of heraldry in stone, wood, and glass.

Provandís Lordship:

Provand's Lordship is a medieval house built in 1471, and has for many years been the oldest house in Glasgow. Originally part of St Nicholas's Hospital, built by Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow, one of only four surviving medieval buildings in Glasgow, the Cathedral being the oldest. Muirheadís arms are visible on the exterior. Provand's Lordship was likely to have been used as temporary housing for clergy and support staff for the Cathedral. The house was later occupied by the Prebendary of Barlanark (and possibly also was shared with the priest of St Nicholasís Hospital and Chapel).

The medieval buildings surrounding the Cathedral and Hospital were demolished between 1700-1900, with only Provandís Lordship surviving. The house is furnished with a collection of 17th century Scottish furniture from the collection of Sir William Burrell. There is much heraldry in the interior, principally on furniture. 

Only ground floor accessible for those finding stairs difficult.
  Glasgow Cathedral
  Provandís Lordship

Burrell Collection, in Pollok Park:
Sir William Burrell hailed from Glasgow, made his fortune in shipping, and settled at Hutton Castle, in the Borders, where he amassed a large and important collection, which he left to the city of his birth. There is a substantial collection of stained glass, heraldry haphazardly throughout, and armorials in a reconstructed room from Hutton Castle.

Refreshments available in cafeteria. Well-stocked shop and ample toilet facilities. Disabled access throughout.
  Burrell Collection

Pollok House:
There is an option of visiting nearby Pollok House, which is a Palladian mansion designed by Adam, and home of the Stirling-Maxwells of Pollok. Excellent family mementoes inside, including some family heraldry.

Good tea room.
Pollok House

The cost of the Tour is £10. Entry to all places on the tour is included. If you want to visit Pollok House (administered by the National Trust for Scotland), there is a entrance fee (£6.50), but entry is free to members of NTS and of affiliated overseas organisations.


  To reserve your place on the tour, follow this link to the booking form.


Webmaster Last updated: 08/06/2016