Blythswood Square

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Blythswood Square, Glasgow, created in the 1820s.
Blythswood Square, Glasgow at the junction with West George Street.

Blythswood Square is a square in the Blythswood Hill area of the City of Glasgow, United Kingdom. The square was built as part of the New Town of Blythswood, first of a westward expansion of Glasgow upon the 470 acres (190 ha) of the Lands of Blythswood & Woodside stretching from the western side of Buchanan Street to the River Kelvin, near today's University of Glasgow. These open grounds, mills and quarries were acquired by the Douglas-Campbell family in the 17th century.[1]

The square is one of the residential developments on Blythswood Hill on the 35 acres (14 ha) of ground purchased in 1802 by William Harley, textile manufacturer and builder, from the Douglas-Campbells of Blythswood. Harley also owned the adjacent mansion and 10 acre estate of Willow Bank, upon which he opened his Willow Bank Pleasure Gardens, and the hill to its north which he named as Garnethill. His plan for the square and its adjacent streets was sketched out by architect James Gillespie Graham in 1819. The four Georgian terraces forming the square are Category A listed buildings and were completed in the 1820s by the trustees and successors of William Harley, and have facades designed by architect John Brash. Harley also developed his new business establishments at the eastern end of Bath Street, pioneering the supply of piped water, first public baths in Scotland, the advanced Willow Bank byres and dairy and associated bakehouses. [2]

From the 1900s the luxurious houses increasingly became offices and clubs, including on the eastern side the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, which was restyled internally by architect James Miller in 1923.[3][4]

In 2009 the former RSAC building opened as the 5 star Blythswood Square Hotel.[5]

The Blythswood Square Proprietors association own and maintain the gardens in the central area. In past decades the gardens were open to office workers at lunchtimes but are now only available for use on a hire basis.[6]


  1. ^ Glasgow Past and Present, by Senex and others, three volumes published in 1884
  2. ^ Glasgow Past and Present, by Senex and others, three volumes published in 1884
  3. ^ Architecture of Glasgow by Andor Gomme and David Walker, published in 1968 and 1987
  4. ^ Buildings of Glasgow by Elizabeth Williamson, Anne Riches and Malcolm Higgs, published in 1990
  5. ^
  6. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 55°51′49″N 4°15′47″W / 55.86353°N 4.26317°W / 55.86353; -4.26317