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McPhater Street - - 995658.jpg
McPhater Street
Cowcaddens is located in Glasgow council area
Location within Glasgow
OS grid referenceNS587662
Council area
Lieutenancy area
  • Glasgow
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGLASGOW
Postcode districtG4
Dialling code0141
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°52′05″N 4°15′35″W / 55.868194°N 4.259635°W / 55.868194; -4.259635Coordinates: 55°52′05″N 4°15′35″W / 55.868194°N 4.259635°W / 55.868194; -4.259635
Glasgow's Cowcaddens Cross viewing east towards Hope Street in postcard c1900

Cowcaddens (Scots: Coucaddens, Scottish Gaelic: Coille Challtainn)[1] is an area of the city of Glasgow, Scotland. It is very close to the city centre and is bordered by the newer area of Garnethill to the south-west and old Townhead to the east.

Cowcaddens was originally a village and became an industrious and thriving part of the expanding Glasgow, being close to Port Dundas and the Forth and Clyde Canal immediately to its north. Its boundaries merged into the City of Glasgow in 1846. By the 1880s, the area was becoming a slum district with the highest level of infant mortality (190 per thousand births) in the city, a figure which was three times that of the West End.[2]

The southern fringes of Cowcaddens have historically housed one of Glasgow's premier entertainment districts, with theatres and music halls including the former Scottish Zoo and Hippodrome[3] in New City Road, the Grand Theatre[4] at Cowcaddens Cross,[5] Theatre Royal at the upper end of Hope Street, the massive Cineworld multi-storey cinema complex and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at the top of West Nile Street. The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now known as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is in Renfrew Street at its junction with Hope Street. From 1957 to 2006, the headquarters of STV were located there - having since relocated to Pacific Quay. Two other former theatres, the Royalty Theatre and the Glasgow Apollo (now occupied by the Cineworld complex) used to stand close to the area.

The former Cowcaddens Free Church now houses the National Piping Centre.

Housing in the area is primarily ex-council housing (there are no council houses in Glasgow since their transfer to the Glasgow Housing Association).

Glasgow Caledonian University is nearby.[6] Cowcaddens is served by Cowcaddens subway station on the Glasgow Subway system,[7] and by bus services through it and emanating from Buchanan Bus Station.

The socialist politician Edward Hunter, who was instrumental in helping build the Left in New Zealand, was a Labour councillor for Cowcaddens from 1937 until 1959.

In 2007 the Cowcaddens pedestrian underpass was decorated with 15 screen prints by artist Ruth Barker.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ List of railway station names in English, Scots and Gaelic – NewsNetScotland Archived 22 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Scott Graham - ABACUS. "TGS - 1830s to 1914 - Neighbourhoods - Cowcaddens".
  3. ^ "The Scottish Zoo and Variety Circus, and Glasgow Hippodrome, New City Road, Glasgow". Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  4. ^ "The Milton Colosseum, Cowcaddens Cross, Glasgow". 28 May 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  5. ^ Glasgow’s Crosses, Glasgow History, 28 May 2016
  6. ^ "Caledonian University".
  7. ^ "Maps & Stations - SPT".
  8. ^ "Cowcaddens Underpass Art".