University of Glasgow Memorial Gates

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The Memorial Gates in the snow

The Memorial Gates at the University of Glasgow were erected in 1952 as a celebration of the University's quincentenary, or five hundredth anniversary. They form a portal through the University Avenue side of the perimeter fence around the University's original site on Gilmorehill. They stand before the Hunter memorial and Hunterian Museum, on the other side of the John McIntyre Building from the Main Gate. The large gates in the centre are generally locked, although the small pedestrian gates to the left and right are opened during the day. The gates bear the names of thirty distinguished figures associated with the University. The gates are protected as a category B listed building.[1]


The Memorial Gates were erected in 1952 to commemorate the University's quincentenary, which had been in 1951. They were presented to the University by the General Council, the body of graduates of the University, on 18 June 1952.[2] They are attached to older gatepiers, which were erected in 1889 to designs by A G Thomson.[1]


The Memorial Gates were designed by architect A Graham Henderson.[2] The installation is formed of two large central gates, suitable for admitting vehicles, held up by large stone gateposts, with a smaller pedestrian gate on either side. The gates are set back from the main fence and connected to it by curved walls of the same stone as the gateposts. The central gates bear the names of thirty distinguished figures associated with the University (originally twenty-eight with two names added later), with a figure of the University Mace running between the two gates. The gateposts are topped by a lion and unicorn, and the dates 1451 and 1951, on the right and left respectively, while the two pedestrian gates have two each of the heraldic emblems of the University's former nations at their top. The curved wall on one side bears the University's motto, Via, Veritas, Vita, while the other bears the inscription, Almae Matri Alumni Pietatis Causa, indicating the gates represent the devotion of the alumni to their alma mater.[2]


The Memorial Gates bear the names of the following people connected with the University:

Bute Macewen Caird Kelvin Lister Bradley Lushington Elder
Hunter Cullen Millar Watt Adam Smith Campbell Reid Foulis
Gillespie Stair Maxwell Baillie Montrose Burnet
Dewar Morton Boyd Melville Hamilton Smith
James II Turnbull
  • Elder: Isabella Elder, benefactor of women's education, provided North Park House as the home for Queen Margaret College
  • Foulis: Robert Foulis, Printer to the University, founder of former Academy of Fine Arts

*During the University's 550th anniversary celebrations in 2001, the names of Donald Dewar and John Smith were installed on the Memorial Gates to mark their contribution to Scottish politics in the late 20th century.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Gatepiers and railings Quincentenary Gates". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Memorial Gates". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Memorial Gates". Glasgow University in Photos. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 

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Coordinates: 55°52′20″N 4°17′18″W / 55.87225°N 4.2882°W / 55.87225; -4.2882