Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lion and Unicorn on historic Glasgow University staircase smartened up for 330th

With a year in hand before the actual 330th anniversary, I wasn’t in a hurry to go get new pics of the Lion and Unicorn in Glasgow University.

I had collected some pics fairly recently, and you can find some more detail of their history in that post. No need to repeat here.

However, the historic pair are, it seems, set to celebrate their 330th birthdays next year, and the gold paint has already be drawn from stores in preparation for the event.

So, since I was nearby, AND has some unexpected spare time in hand, I just had to make the effort and walk up the hill to the university.

Lion and Unicorn Retouched

Lion and Unicorn Retouched

It’s a bit unfortunate that you can’t really get a good angle/view of the pair from the front, as they sit part way up the staircase.

The views are all from just below, or just behind and to the side.

For what it’s worth, my colours are accurate and realistic, unlike some other pics seen online, where they seem to have been made more vivid.

29/07/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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.

08/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


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