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Around the Town Centre

Point F - City Chambers and George Square

Walking Route Instructions : You should have arrived at George Square where we will look at the War Memorial, the statues and then continue on to the imposing City Chambers building on the eastern side of George Square.

Glasgow War Memorial

Photo J. Wilson

This war memorial is the work of Sculptor Ernest George Gillick (1874 – 1951) and architect, John James Burnet and was erected in 1924.

Ernest Gillick, the sculptor was born in Bradford, the son of a local tailor and, aged 11, he left the city and went to Nottingham, where he was apprenticed to a lace designer. He then attended Nottingham School of Art, where he studied under the sculptor, Irishman Oliver Sheppard: Oliver Sheppard – Wikipedia. and #OTD in 1865 – Oliver Sheppard, sculptor, is born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. (  At Nottingham, Gillick won a scholarship that enabled him to study in London at the Royal College of Art, where he was tutored by the French sculptor, Edouard Lanteri, who helped Ernest obtain a traveling scholarship in 1902 to Italy and Paris where he gained inspiration for future work.

Ernest’s work in the 1930s included sculptures on the memorial to The Missing, at the Vis-en-Artois war cemetery, France.

Further Information: GILLICK, Ernest George – Not Just Hockney

John James Burnet is also mentioned on our tours regarding the Athenaeum in Buchanan Street. He also benefitted from traveling scholarships which took him to continental Europe.

Statues by Carlo Marochetti in George Square

Victoria and Albert statues – photo J. Wilson

The equestrian statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on George Square as well as the statues of James Oswald, were designed by the Italian born French sculptor Carlo Marochetti (who also sculpted “The Duke” statue in Glasgow town centre):

Baron Carlo Marochetti, of Vaux (1805-67), sculptor, a biography (

Carlo Marochetti – Wikipedia

The statue of Thomas Campbell in George Square:

Thomas Campbell Statue – Photo J. Wilson

The Scottish poet Thomas Campbell was, amongst other things, a co-founder of the literary association of the friends of Poland – he had other connections and travels in Europe – see Thomas Campbell (poet) – Wikipedia. Campbell was a staunch supporter of the Polish cause in 1832 – (see more here in this video features Joseph Gomoszynski whose grave is in Glasgow Necropolis- November Uprising and the story of Józef Gomoszynski – YouTube (see also our Glasgow Eurowalk 1)


City Chambers – Photo J. Wilson

The City Chambers features Western Europe’s largest marble staircase. The three ornate levels were built using Carrara marble imported from Italy.  As you climb the stairs there is a white lion carved in them. It is considered “lucky” to rub the lion’s nose every time you pass by. The City Chambers were designed by William Young,  The statue of a woman on top of the building is Truth and the statues beside her represent Riches and Honour.

The dark wood in the Council Chamber itself is made from Spanish mahogany.
The City Chambers also has on display information about links to Glasgow’s Twin Towns (Twin Cities – Glasgow City Council).

View of George Square from City Chambers – Photo J. Wilson (2014)
Commemorative Plate from European City of Culture year 1990 – Photo J. Wilson

The magnificent interiors include marble staircases, grand rooms and wonderful paintings. 

In the magnificent Banqueting Hall for example, you can this painting of Glasgow Fair on Glasgow Green:

Horses at Glasgow Fair on Glasgow Green painting – photo J. Wilson

Nelson Mandela received his Freedom of the City award in 1993 here, as did Alex Ferguson in 1999.

Walking Route Instructions : We go to the south eastern corner of George Square at the corner with Cochrane Street and South Frederick Street, just at the corner of the City Chambers building. Walk along Cochrane Street then turn right into John Street to find our next stop, the Italian Centre.