History and Heritage
Hope Sculpture Locations
Glasgow, Central Station, Rottenrow Gardens and Cuningar Loop
Glasgow, Glaschu, the Dear Green Place, developed from a religious settlement on the River Clyde, to a medieval city with a cathedral and university, to an eighteenth, century city of commerce and city of Enlightenment, to a Victorian city and thereafter to an imperial city and Second City of the Empire, to post-industrial decline and late twentieth century renaissance and ongoing regeneration.
Successful and ambitious regeneration and creative projects include the 1988 Garden Festival, the Glasgow’s Miles Better campaign of the 1980s, and the 1990 European City of Culture. As a city of music, Glasgow was named a UNESCO City of Music in 2008, and the city is noted for it’s creativity and also as a media centre. Global Glasgow’s profile includes the highly successful 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the forthcoming COY16 and COP 26.
People Make Glasgow is a defining logo of the city’s image and identity. Glasgow has always been a city of immigrants. Glasgow has often been referred to by American visitors as Scotland’s New York, with a melting pot of different ethnic and immigrant groups. Highlanders, Irish, Poles, Italians and the various communities from south Asia, to name but a few, have all individually and collectively contributed to the vibrant ethnic diversity of Scotland’s biggest city.
Glasgow’s architectural heritage and significance was recognised as the UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999. Despite the fact that most of the medieval city was destroyed and no longer exists (although Glasgow Cathedral and Provand’s Lordship, for example, thankfully survived), Glasgow’s Victorian architecture remains a dominant feature of the city’s architectural landscape, including the City Chambers and Kelvingrove Art Gallery. The various buildings designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who was born in Townhead in the vicinity of the University of Strathclyde campus, and those of Alexander Greek Thomson, attract global attention and admiration. These include Thomson’s Holmwood House, St Vincent Street Church (Thomson), Scotland Street School and House for an Art Lover (Mackintosh). Mackintosh’s Martyr’s School is particularly poignant, being located in Parson Street where Mackintosh was born
Glasgow’s industrial heritage dominates much of the city’s skyline, including the Finnieston Crane on the River Clyde, symbolising and recognising the city’s shipbuilding and engineering heritage.
Glasgow's Climate Plan sets out to achieve net-zero carbon by 2030 in response to the climate and ecological emergency, which was declared by the Glasgow City Council in May 2019.
Glasgow Central Station, Scotland’s busiest railway station, serving around 35 million passengers a year, has an important place in the city’s architectural and railway heritage. First opened in 1879 and then expanded in the early twentieth century, it’s architectural features include the famous ‘Hielanman’s Umbrella’, a large glass-walled bridge taking the station across Argyle Street in the city centre, nicknamed as such as it was a meeting place for the many Highlanders who migrated to the city. It is a category A listed building and was recognised as the National Transport Award’s and Europe’s Station of the Year in 2015 and won the Scottish Design Award for re-use of a listed building.
Rottenrow Gardens, the site of the former Glasgow Royal Maternity hospital, and the location of the Triptych Beacon, is an important part of the city’s medieval heritage. Designed by Gross Max landscape architects, it opened in 2004 as part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the University of Strathclyde receiving its royal charter in 1964. The gardens are home to a seven-metre-high sculpture in the form of a nappy pin by the Scottish artist George Wyllie, known as the Monument to Maternity.
Linking the past to the present and a green future, the Gardens are at the forefront of Strathclyde University’s ‘Heart of the Campus’ project for the transformation and further development of a green space for the university and the city. As the city plans towards a green future and with an ambitious green agenda, Glasgow may once again return to its historic roots as a Dear Green Place, but with a twenty-first century green agenda and future.
Cuningar Park, on the banks of the river Clyde is part of Clyde Gateway, Scotland’s largest and most ambitious regeneration project. It is situated at Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, and is directly east of Dalmarnock in the east end of Glasgow.
Cuningar park was once a major contributor to the industrial revolution.
From 1810 until 1897 the area to the north of this sculpture was a reservoir supplying Glasgow with water. Although small scale steam pumped water supplies had been built in London and Liverpool, this was possibly the earliest large scale pumped municipal water supply in the world
Loch Katrine, post-1859 also supplied Glasgow with their drinking water, but the industrial east end was still able to obtain a cheaper source of water from Dalmarnock.
It was also the location of Farme Colliery from 1805 to 1931 - the last colliery to be worked within Glasgow city boundary.
Following years of decline and neglect, in 2014 Cuningar’s fortune changed when it was chosen to become a woodland park as a legacy of the Commonwealth Games.
Today, the UK Geoenergy Observatory at Cuningar Loop, an open research facility operated by the British Geological Survey, is helping scientists, industry and policy makers to understand how warm water from these abandoned mines could be used as a renewable heat energy source and contribute to the UK’s ambition to decarbonise its energy supply and achieve net zero by 2050.
It is the only facility of its kind in the world for scientists to take forward research that is vital to understanding the role that shallow mine heat energy could have in decarbonising our energy supply, the risks involved and the environmental management regulation needed.
With thanks to Dr. John R. Young, Senior Lecturer of History at University of Strathclyde and The Rutherglen Heritage Society.