It’s hard to miss it, and yet Glasgow’s own Arc De Triomphe has become an integral part of the city’s fabric. Towering at the western entrance to Glasgow Green in front of the High Court is the McLennan Arch, a structure which once fronted one of the city’s bustling social clubs. The McLennan Arch originally featured in the facade of Robert and James Adams’ Assembly Rooms on Ingram Street in the 18th century. Locals flocked to this classical building for dances, music and cultural events in the 1800s before it became a club, the Athenaeum, in 1847.
After the building was demolished to make room for the post office, the arch was reconstructed as a standalone archway in Monteith Row, Calton in 1892. It was later moved to Greendyke Street, then at the North entrance of Glasgow Green in 1922, before being erected at the Saltmarket entrance in 1991 – its final home. The monument is inscribed with the date MDCCCXCIII (1893) and the words “This Arch was presented to his fellow citizens by Bailie James McLennan J.P” – who paid for it to be moved from Monteith Row. Who knew this iconic monument, which welcomes visitors to Glasgow’s oldest park, was so well-travelled? We hope the wanderlust McLennan Arch has now “found itself” after its wee jaunt around the city.
Glasgow Multi-Entry Multi-Directional Visitors Guide © Simon Newbound