Tolbooth Steeple and the Mercat Cross

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Postby viceroy » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:59 pm

Yes, the Mercat Cross was designed by Edith Burnet Hughes, see here. Also gives some info on the wooden animals.

ps: JohnR just beat me to it
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View from The Tollbooth

Postby Alex Glass » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:07 pm

Dam I thought I was being artistic there Invy and you just burst my bubble. Don't usually do artistic.
::): ::): ::):
Just for you Invy

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Postby Sharon » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:09 pm

Love the first of those, great rythym (sp!) in the buildings :)

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some more roofs
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Postby Fossil » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:49 pm

The Bells. [some of them]
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Here you can play a wee tune on them
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The next two images are folk's names [crusty will fill you in on this]
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Postby tobester » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:51 pm

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id heard from somewhere u could play on these, was it hand or foot operated?
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Postby Fossil » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:52 pm

Hand but buy the looks of it prob a rubber mallet
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Postby tobester » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:54 pm

Thats what i remember about that now, was told, like playing a game of whack-a-mole

Cant remember who told me, ill need to recall.

Too much booze killing my brains, but in one of yer first pics Foss, defo not a place for the faint hearted or scared o height brigade
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Postby Alex Glass » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:00 pm

How is this for a hight?

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Or this

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Postby tobester » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:09 pm

Thats defo a 'JUMP' piccies AG
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Postby crusty_bint » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:38 pm

Thanks to Ken at GCC for arranging this and GCC for permitting the visit and also to Fossil for his amaaaaaazing organisational skills! :D This was a very special treat, for me anyway, and a memory I’ll cherish for a long time! It’s a pity more people could not have experienced it, unfortunately the nature of the building just makes it untenable and which I shall illustrate by the use of this plan (and some pics).

Plans of the tolbooth steeple
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The town records of March 1626 describe ‘the grund stane of the tolbuithe of Glasgow was laid’ and by March the following year this fine edifice received the town’s books and charters. The tolbooth, described as being of ‘very sumptuous, regulated, uniform fabrick’ stood five storeys high and five bays wide and adorned with corbelled square turrets and ogival roofs which rose above the crenellated/castellated parapet. The same buckle quoins and string-courses as the steeple dressed the façade, with each window dressed with alternating triangular and rounded pediments, something which would later be echoed in the neighbouring Tontine building.

Tolbooth, 1770
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At 7 storeys plus the gorgeous crown spire totalling 37metres, the tolbooth steeple stood higher than the tolbooth in order that the huge faces of the clock, painted blue like that of Scotland’s ancient inhabitants and adorned with gilded roman numerals, be see from all over and the toll of its bells not be stifled. The steeple is adorned externally with the buckle quoins and string-course described previously, and topped by four square turrets with pyramid roofs and gilded flags which act to direct the outward force created by the flying buttresses of the crown spire which rises up enclosing the belfry and supporting a miniature balustrade and spire, topped by the gilded weather vane.

Inside the steeple it opens into a surprisingly large newel/spiral stair which runs up to the 6th floor where you are presented with the keyboard that works the bells and eschewed up a tight cast iron spiral stair, without much of a hint that the clockfaces are just outside, and onto the roof. On the fourth floor theres is a blocked up doorway with a carved crown boss (there were traces of the original paint scheme where the wash had chipped off) with apparently led to the ‘King’s Room’. The clock mechanism is a tiny affair, only dating from 1993, there is also a disused mechanism dating from 1963 which replaced one of 1816. The keyboard I mentioned (and which I hope someone got a decent pic of?) dates from 1881 and replaced an earlier set of ‘tuneable bells’. There are a total of 16 bells atop the steeple.

door to the King’ Room
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clock mechanism
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This tolbooth was demolished was rebuilt in 1814 only to be sold as the various city offices housed in this and its ancillary buildings gradually moved out to their respective new homes in the High Court and former Sheriff Court (which was originally the Council House and Merchants House). Finally, in 1921, the tolbooth was demolished leaving only the steeple remaining, scarred on its east elevation and marooned on its little island by the new bank building, and of course, the road. The bank building which stands in the tolbooth’s place was originally to be echoed on the opposite side of High St but was, rather obviously, never completed. A few proposals were submitted for design, I’ve always liked this one by Keppie (CRM’s employer).

1915
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Anyway, enough with the history lesson! Here’s my pics…

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Last edited by crusty_bint on Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby crusty_bint » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:40 pm

Some views
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from the Mercat Cross
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Was talking to Sharon about the carved animals on the cross building and was wondering if they might be an allegory, loyalty, independence, fertility and wisdom?
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Postby cheesylion » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:46 pm

Was there any sign of 'Helmet-Man'? :wink:
Ching Ching!!!!!!!
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Postby MotoMad » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:56 pm

That looks superb, always wondered what was in there.
crusty_bint wrote: i.e. they're not a bawhair away from Dickensian!
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L S Lowry Tollbooth

Postby Alex Glass » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:49 pm

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Re: View from The Tollbooth

Postby invy » Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:57 pm

Alex Glass wrote:Dam I thought I was being artistic there Invy and you just burst my bubble. Don't usually do artistic.
::): ::): ::):
Just for you Invy


Cheers Alex - brill photos! 8)

Actually, the dirty window pic for some reason brought back memories of visiting my great aunt who lived in Spoutmouth. Probably the stairhead windows which were always a bit like that and walking past the cross was a regular occurence on the way to M&S or the fish place down in Saltmarket (I still love the smell of the sea in a fishmongers to this day) :)

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That'll be Fife I can see from the window :)
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