Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Glasgow University Lion and Unicorn Staircase

I missed this set of stairs recently, when I started visiting the Glasgow University Memorial Chapel for organ recitals.

It doesn’t lead to the chapel, but to the adjoining building, to the right of the chapel, which is the chaplaincy.

Glasgow University Lion and Unicorn Staircase

Glasgow University Lion and Unicorn Staircase

A nearby plaque gives more detail.

Glasgow University Lion and Unicorn plaque

Glasgow University Lion and Unicorn plaque

The staircase originally formed part of the University’s Old College site on High Street, situated in the Outer Court and leading to the Principal’s Residence and the Fore Hall. In 1690, the University instructed William Riddel, a mason, to place stone bannisters on the staircase with figures of a lion and a unicorn on the first turn.

When the University moved to its new site in Gilmorehill in 1870, the staircase was transported and incorporated into the new building, together with parts of the High Street gatehouse, which were rebuilt as Pearce Lodge.

When first installed in Gilmorehill, the staircase turned right at its middle landing, but was later altered to turn left, as seen here.

There isn’t really any sort of higher viewpoint to get a better look at the pair, so without doing something silly, this is about as good as the view gets.

Click for bigger.

Glasgow University Lion and Unicorn

Glasgow University Lion and Unicorn

The pair has a historic significance.

The Lion and the Unicorn are symbols of the United Kingdom. They are, properly speaking, heraldic supporters appearing in the full royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. The lion stands for England and the unicorn for Scotland. The combination therefore dates back to the 1603 accession of James I of England who was already James VI of Scotland.

Advertisements

08/06/2019 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: