Glasgow's new town hall: imperialism, nationalism and civic pride, 1877–1889

Miel Groten

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Nineteenth-century Glasgow was widely imagined and presented as the proud ‘Second City of the Empire’. This article investigates the implications of this identification with the empire by analysing Glasgow's great town hall, built 1883–89, as the main manifestation of the city's civic pride. It shows how the building's architectural style, sculpture and inauguration ceremonies created a specific image of ‘imperial’ Glasgow which emphasized loyalty to Union and empire. Instead of undermining each other, the layered political allegiances of civic pride, nationalism, unionism and imperialism were mutually reinforcing, shaping the town hall still in use today.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-662
JournalUrban History
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2020


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