Merchants' Steeple

The original Merchants' House or Guild Hall and hospital was constructed from 1651 to 1659 and the Steeple was completed in 1665.

Despite its date the triple tiers and lancet windows of the Steeple mark its style as essentially Gothic with a Renaissance balustrade.  It is an easily identifiable landmark in early prints of the city and no doubt also served as a useful lookout for merchants anxiously awaiting valuable cargoes from around the globe.

Given the importance of trade in Glasgow it is not surprising that the Merchants' House, founded in the 17th century, became an influential body.  It campaigned for the deepening of the Clyde and was active in support of British attempts to crush the rebellion in the American colonies in the 18th century in order to protect the tobacco interests of its members.  Later it was instrumental in founding the Necropolis.

In the 1870s the merchants removed to a splendid new Merchants' House at the corner of George Street and George Square, commissioned from J. J. Burnet,  which incorporates some panels and carved stone probably salvaged from the earlier building.  The old Merchants' House was demolished to make way for the Briggait Fish market.

Also at Victoria Bridge and the Merchant City (Back to Listing)