Justiciary Courthouse

With its giant Doric-columned portico and fluted columns the Justiciary Courthouse was one of the earliest and finest examples of a Greek revival building in Glasgow.

Built from 1807-14 it originally combined a courtroom, offices and a gaol. The building was later remodelled and, in 1910-13, completely reconstructed as courthouses only.

From 1814 to 1865 public executions took place in Jocelyn Square outside on the Green, facing the Nelson Monument, thus giving rise to the expression, to die 'facing the monument'. 67 men and 4 women met this fate.

Architect William Stark

The architect, William Stark (1770-1813), died tragically young. One of the formative influences on his career was a visit to St Petersburg, which was built almost entirely in neo-classical architecture.  He entered practice in Glasgow in 1803. His domed and porticoed design for the Hunterian Museum was much admired but was sadly destroyed after the University of Glasgow moved from its old site in the High Street to the healthier and more spacious surroundings of Gilmorehill in 1870. You can now see a model and some of the original furnishings and collections in the Hunterian Museum. At the same time that he was working on the Courthouse, he was designing St George's Tron (1807-09) in Buchanan Street. He was also something of specialist at lunatic asylums, designing them for Glasgow (1804-6), Dundee (1812-20) and Gloucester (1813-23). He is now best known for designing the Advocates' and Signet Library, Edinburgh (1812).

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