A Street Under Argyle Street

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A Street Under Argyle Street

Postby DVF » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:23 pm

Hello folks,

I'm new, I have said hello in the introductions thread, but hello again anyway.

I have some questions about the city underground and I'll start with this.

I have been informed that there is a street, one storey high, with intact shops etc., under Argyle Street between Central Station and Argyle St. Station. I am told this is not Grahamston, but further along.

I am suspicious myself as there would have been a steep hill just east of Central Station, since the street level under the umbrella is Grahamstons original street height, indicated by the Grant Arms pub, an original Grahamston building.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

David.
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Postby Fossil » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:50 pm

i've heard there is a street under the argyle arcade. An exact copy of whats up on the ground level. i think the shops use them for storage.
anyone else got info?

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Postby Ronnie » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:23 pm

I think all the stories of intact streets below the cobbles of central Glasgow are urban myths. Here's three reasons why:

Anyone with a business in one of these streets would need to have an address, pay rates, get planning permission to build or alter their property, buy or sell the property, and let people know that they were open for business. Yet in all my years of reading back issues of the Herald, council minites, Post Office Directories and other lists official and unofficial, I have never come across any reference to these phantom streets.

Any street beneath Argyle Street between the two stations would be in the same space as the low level railway line between these two stations, and be crossed by the subway line from Buchanan Street to St Enoch.

Unless they were built as strongly as the tunnels, they would flood, since they would be beneath the water level of the Clyde.

One day - remind me - I will post a serious cash reward for any real evidence of streets beneath the street (':D')

Best, Ronnie
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Postby crusty_bint » Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:03 pm

hahaha ::): ::): ::):

I wouldnt be forthcoming with that reward Ronnie... there was a time when the stories of secret tunnels under Glasgow were attributed to myth.
Although, I must admit, a street under Argyll St sounds like something out of harry Potter...

...would lurv it to be true tho :wink:
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Postby jim » Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:38 pm

What about the stuff underneath the Royal Exchange Square?
Perhaps not 'streets' exactly but . . .
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Postby DVF » Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:47 am

This is interesting, The Fossil says theres a street under Argyle Arcade, could be the same myth, or part of it, as the Arcade is in the exact section of the Street that I mentioned.

Ronnie, records may not have been kept for this or have been lost, we may be talking about 200 years ago now but most probably in the Victorian era. The addresses would have been the same, even the street numbers, so they wouldn't have been any help.

The railway and Underground, the Underground is 2 storeys down, at least, and it passes over the top of the railway, so that should be 3 or 4 storeys down. Someone told me it's 70 feet under street level, plenty of space, especially when you note all the buildings in Argyle Street have 'basements'.

The flooding of the street, that would be the perfect reason for raising the street level up one storey, until the retaining wall was built on the Clyde, it probably did flood quite regularly.


Also, has anyone noticed how flat the land is between the Clyde and George Square around that area, doesn't look natural to me, also if you have a look around at the buildings in Argyle Street around Queen Street, somethings not quite right compared to the rest of Glasgow, can't quite put my finger on what though.

Now what's all this about stuff under Royal Exchange Square?
Massive 'car parks' under Queen Street?
I'm beginning to think theres something in this now.


Thanks,

David.
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Postby james73 » Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:49 am

DVF wrote:The railway and Underground, the Underground is 2 storeys down, at least, and it passes over the top of the railway, so that should be 3 or 4 storeys down.


I'm disputing that - The 'Argyle Line' is a cut and cover tunnel, that is to
say, Argyle St/Trongate were dug up, the tunnel side walls built, and the
girder structure laid over the top. It's all evident when you go down to
Argyle St station or Central Low Level. Dont forget, the underground
only has a short distance to go from Saint Enoch to the River. There's
a picture available somewhere of the re-generation of the Underground,
which shows the old Saint Enoch underground station perched on
supporting structures whilst the new station is being dug out. It gives you
a good idea of the depth of the Underground lines.



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Postby Fossil » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:44 pm

I’ve heard there is inspection hatches under Debenhams (Lewis) Building for flood control. used to smell quite damp in the basement(job interview years ago was told when its high tide water does come up that far). Does anyone know how many basements are in that building. I’m guessing 1( that’s in use) plus a further sub.
Does anyone know someone who work/works in top shop hmv virgin Lewis to shed some light.
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Postby crusty_bint » Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:44 pm

DVF wrote:. Also, has anyone noticed how flat the land is between the Clyde and George Square around that area, doesn't look natural to me, also if you have a look around at the buildings in Argyle Street around Queen Street, somethings not quite right compared to the rest of Glasgow, can't quite put my finger on what though.


I get your thinking David.

So I did some checking... it appears this area was always relatively flat. Check out the conceptual Glasgow Plan of 1560

http://groups.msn.com/glasgowstuff/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=5

Although it doesnt show the underlying topograghy, names such as 'meadowflat lands' can give some indication to it. Also, the Greyfriar monks were also known to have used these lands for pasturing.

When the West Port was taken down in 1751 Glasgow grew by 11 streets in that direction culminating with Buchannan St in the 1770's for the residences of the new merchants of Union.

Interestingly... Queen St Station was once a sandstone quarry... wonder how deep it went?
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Postby Ronnie » Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:02 pm

David wrote

"Ronnie, records may not have been kept for this or have been lost, we may be talking about 200 years ago now but most probably in the Victorian era. The addresses would have been the same, even the street numbers, so they wouldn't have been any help."

OK, for what period are the records of the town council, the Dean of Guild Court, the Glasgow Herald (and other newspapers) and the numerous memoirs of Glasgow in the 18th and 19th centuries missing? And why would the addresses have been different, if we are talking about a separate street - how would the post office, the tax commissioners, the parish record keepers and numerous others have been able to tell the difference between the shop at 12 Argyle Street and the (other) shop at 12 Argyle Street? They wouldn't necessarily have been owned or operated by the same people.

And Crusty asked about Queen Street quarry. It was above ground, and quarried the area that now takes up Queen Street station up to the Buchanan Galleries. In between being a quarry and being a station, it was a very grand house with a park around it, and was well known for the rooks nesting in the tall trees there.

Best, Ronnie
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Postby DVF » Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:03 pm

Hi folks,

Ronnie, what I meant about the records was that the book keepers were then, as now, not infallible, things may have been lost over time or just not discovered yet.

I don't quite understand what you mean about the addresses. You seem to describe 2 separate streets, operating at the same time, which would cause the problems for the authorities. But they are the same street, 12 Argyle St. before would have been the same 12 Argyle St. after, just one floor up after the remodelling of the street.

The Crusty Bint states that the area was extended west to Buchanan Street in the 18th century, it is precisely this area that looks strange to me, between Buchanan St. and Trongate. This extension would have created the original street, which gives us a time zone to start from. If the street was raised up a floor it had to happen after this. When did development further to the west start? Were there any major works around Union St. or St. Enochs Square which could have incorporated a redesign of Argyle St.?

So the area was always flat, that narrows things down a bit, I think, it eliminates a theory anyway.

It looks like the area still floods going by The Fossils' post. This reinforces Ronnie's view that the street would flood, and gives weight to a reason to raise the street.

David.
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Postby Fossil » Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:41 pm

If you go through the Argyle Arcade you will notice that on the ground there are small glass “port holes”. These were for the “street” below. Unfortunately the street (urban myth 1?) was used as a workshop for many of the Jewellers. It goes from Bucannan street entrance to just before the link phone shop on the inside.

On another point I have just realised when discussing about the village under central station with streets and shops (urban myth 2?) could it have been what is “under the Hielanman's Umbrella “. Just a thought.. But think about it. It is under the station.
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Postby crusty_bint » Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:59 pm

hmmmm...???

The dismantling of the West port was the pre-cursor, catalyst even, of Glasgows westward expansion in the 18th Century. The streets were laid out in the following order:
Virginia St 1753
Argyll, Jamaica & Clyde St's 1761
Miller St 1762
Queen St 1766
Howard St 1768
Ingram Maxwell & Dunlop 1772
Buchannan St 177
St Enoch Sq 1768

St Enoch Sqaure was later re-aligned in the early 1777 with J. Jaffrey's church opening in 1782. The lands here appear as though they may well have landscaped. The following picture shows the square in 1782

http://groups.msn.com/glasgowstuff/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=6

Between 1785 and 1793 John, (Great) Glassford, Brunswick, Hutcheson, Wilson, Cochrane, Frederick, Hanover, Montrose, George and Garth Streets were layed out, with Albion and Union steets in 1802 (when was Central Station built? ...anyone?).

George Sq, or George's Sq was laid out in 1782 on the marshy lands known as 'Meadowflats'...are these meadowflats the the Glasgow Burn's or the Clyde's floodplane? Is this a reason to raise a street?

As a bonus, heres a map of Glasgow in 1796

http://groups.msn.com/glasgowstuff/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=7
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Postby Fossil » Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:11 pm

i think it was 1879.
the village if i remember right was demolished 1874 or 76 cant remember
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Postby DVF » Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:30 pm

Just been down Argyle Street and up Queen Street. I saw what it was that was annoying me about the street. All over central Glasgow, in Hope St., Sauchiehall St. and everything in between, all the buildings are, on average, 8 storeys or higher. In Argyle st., between Buchanan St. and Stockwell St. you'd be lucky to find a building higher than 4 storeys. It's all too small!

I'm sure this is something to do with foundation limits in that area or something but it is interesting in relation to what we're discussing.

Fossil, your talking about Grahamston yeah? It's actually on the map that Crusty Bints post links to, it's on the far left. I have seen pictures of Central Station getting built. They practically flattened the area, only leaving the cobbles on the streets and one or two course of brick from the buildings, except The Grant Arms and The Rennie Mackintosh Hotel, the only two original Grahamston buildings left (sorry if I'm reiterating things everyone already knows, I'm still new). There's a book just out called 'Grahamston, The Lost Village' or something like that. I got it out of the library last month but didn't get round to reading it, looked good though.... I started this paragraph for a reason, erm, yeah my source says that this story is totally unconnected with Grahamston.

James, I found that picture of St. Enoch Underground being rebuilt. It shows the tunnels just one storey down. The station roof would have encroached into the basements of any buildings that might have been there. I also found a drawing showing the proposals for another low level line there running north south beside the Underground. The drawing shows the existing low level line above the Underground. But there's not enough space according to the picture of the station getting rebuilt. I'm confused.

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