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Point G - Royal Exchange building

This Category A Listed building on Panmure Street, adjacent to the McManus Galleries is the Royal Exchange building and was designed by the architect David Bryce in 1855.

Royal Exchange Dundee – Photo J. Wilson

In the late 18th Century, Dundee’s Baltic merchants typically imported flax from St Petersburg and Danzig (now called Gdańsk) then made it into a rough fabric which they then exported to Charleston, South Carolina. The traders involved in this trade had previously been meeting in the Baltic Coffee House. However as trade expanded, the merchants began to look beyond the city walls and it was decided in 1850 to build the Exchange on marshland, north of the old city walls. It was modelled on Flemish cloth halls such as the one in Ypres in Belgium. The waterlogged ground meant the foundations kept slipping and the crown steeple that Bryce had included had to be removed. Parts of the building still tilt at an angle as steep as the leaning tower of Pisa! The building is still home to the Dundee Chamber of Commerce and in the past it was also the city’s Stock Exchange. The building was refurbished in 2012.

References: History of Dundee buildings – and Lost Dundee book.

Royal Exchange Dundee – Photo – J. Wilson

However this document might indicate that it was hard to get the traders to actually use the plush new building!