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  More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

(663,000 in 1991)
Scotland's largest city, a port on the river Clyde; administrative centre of Strathclyde. It is believed to have grown up round a Christian settlement established in the late 6C by St *Mungo, whose church was probably on the site of the present cathedral; his tomb is in the crypt or Lower Church of the 13–14C Gothic building. Opposite the cathedral is Glasgow's oldest surviving house, the 15C Provand's Lordship, now a museum of mainly medieval material.

The city's real prosperity began when the Clyde was developed as a port in the late 18C, enabling it to share with Liverpool and Bristol the profits from transatlantic trade. Shipbuilding followed, and the area became in the 19C a major industrial region; the world's last surviving sea-going paddle steamer, the Waverley, still takes passengers on the Clyde; and it was at the John Brown shipyards that the *Cunard liners, the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and QE2, were built, in addition to the royal yacht *Britannia.

This traditional side of Glasgow's economy suffered a major decline in the late 20C, but riches in other fields were sufficient to make it European City of Culture in 1990. The city was at the forefront of design in the early years of the 20C, as seen still in the buildings and furniture of Charles Rennie *Mackintosh, who took *Art Nouveau forward into the beginnings of modernism.

The Art Gallery and Museum, a very strong collection founded in 1854, is housed in a magnificently self-confident Victorian building by John W. Simpson (1858–1933) and E.J. Milner Allen (1859–1912); the surrounding Kelvingrove Park, laid out in the 1850s, was the scene in 1888 of an International Exhibition, the profits from which paid for the building. A much larger park to the southwest, Pollok Park, includes Pollok House (excellent Spanish paintings) and, since 1983, the *Burrell Collection.

The *Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery belongs to the university of Glasgow, founded in 1451 and the second oldest university in Scotland (St Andrews is earlier); the Gothic main university building, opened in 1870 and dominating one side of Kelvingrove Park, was designed by George Gilbert *Scott. The city's other university, Strathclyde, is one of the world's earliest colleges of technology; though only having university status since 1964, it derives from the late 18C Anderson's Institution.

Glasgow also has Scotland's two oldest schools. The High School of Glasgow is believed to have been founded in 1124, as the town's grammar school; it was given its present name when the town council took on its administration in 1834. Closed by the Glasgow Corporation in 1976, in a programme of merging schools into comprehensives, it was immediately revived as an independent school. Hutchesons' Grammar School is also now independent; founded for twelve poor orphans in 1641 by two brothers prominent in Glasgow, George and Thomas Hutcheson, it now has some 1700 pupils.

Glasgow Green (a municipal park from 1662, and as such the oldest in Britain) offers another kind of educational establishment – the splendid People's Palace, a late-Victorian cultural centre for the poor of Glasgow's East End (used now as a museum of social history), with a great conservatory attached as its winter gardens. Another impressive conservatory is the Kibble Palace in the *botanic gardens, while a recent and original piece of social history can be seen in the Tenement House in Buccleuch Street. Agnes Toward, a typist, lived in this building from 1911 to 1965, making few concessions to modern fashion; kept as when she died, her flat provides a vivid window on to the past. A notorious area of slums, the Gorbals, has been cleared and rebuilt in recent decades; the district includes the *Citizens Theatre.

Sauchiehall Street is Glasgow's main shopping street, but the city's centre is George Square; its east end is occupied by the huge and opulent civic building, the City Chambers, constructed in 1883–8 in an Italian Renaissance style to the design of William Young. An outstanding public reference library, the Mitchell, is named after Stephen Mitchell, a tobacco merchant who founded it in the 1870s. The Theatre Royal has been since 1975 the home of *Scottish Opera, and the *Glasgow Royal Concert Hall opened in 1990.

In sport Glasgow has Scotland's national stadium, *Hampden Park, and two football teams whose deep-seated rivalry has traditionally included a sectarian element – *Rangers being Protestant and *Celtic Roman Catholic. Since 1988 Kelvin Hall, opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, has housed a sports complex and the National Museum of Transport; it was previously Glasgow's main exhibition hall, until superseded in 1985 by the new Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the north bank of the Clyde. Glasgow was the first city after London to instal an *underground railway.

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