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It’s no secret that my heart belongs to Glasgow. I’ve talked about falling in love with the city in one of my first posts. So many of my photos are of Glasgow, as I adore wandering around there when I’m in Scotland.
But even in spending a bunch of time in Glasgow, I still haven’t done everything there is to do. During my last trip, after finishing a walk-through the Necropolis, I popped into a place that I hadn’t ever been.
The Provand’s Lordship is one of the oldest buildings in Glasgow, building originally built in 1471. The building itself is of the medieval period, showcasing Glasgow’s history, and is only a single house in what was once a bigger hospital complex. The Provand’s Lordship is the last standing relic from the original build.
Though the outside appears as it was originally built, inside is a modern museum which you can walk through for free, though a donation accepted and welcomed. I was greeted by friendly staff, who handed me a laminated sheet filled with information about the estate. Then, I was free to roam the house at my leisure. The staff recommended that I start in the house and go all through, before going outside to the garden. A great choice that day, since there was wee bite in the air.
On the ground floor, the main entrance area opens up to an old fashioned kitchen area. Here, you can see examples of olden plates, bowls, and cutlery upon the wall. Further beyond this is the door that goes to the back garden, but I didn’t head there just yet. I turned to the right to go into the first room.
You’re able to sit down and watch a wee video on the home and its history, while surrounded by a collection of artifacts and drawn images of Glasgow through history. There’s also a collection of furniture, supplied by Sir William Burrell in the 1920s after the Provand’s Lordship Society worked to purchase the site from the Morton family—who’d run, interestingly, a sweet shop there until the end of World War I.
As you finish the lowest floor, there is a small stairwell off to the side where you can ascend to the second (or first, depending upon how you count flights) to see Canon Cuthbert Simson himself, seated in his chambers.
This same floor also has more portraits of figures connected to Scottish history and further relics of time. This floor shows the house as though it still presently being lived in by the canon. The ground floor, on the other hand, is more reminiscent of the house’s medieval origins.
For those who might not know, a lot of times in the UK (and in other parts of the world), the entry floor might be called "the ground floor", and the floor that one ascends to up the first flight of stairs would be "the first floor", and so on. This took me a while to get used to, as in the US, I'd refer to the bottom floor—the entry floor—as the first floor, the next up as the second floor, etc, which could lead to a different floor numbering system. Just a wee fact to go along with what you're already reading!
There is one more trip up the spiral staircase you can make, and that goes to the top floor. This floor feels more like a modern museum than the first two we’ve experienced. The final floor contains more artwork of Glasgow in earlier years, as well as some wonderful interpretive art of a more modern Glasgow. There was also an interesting series of images on Glasgow Characters, which I found fascinating to read about while there.
In addition to the more modern feel of the upper room, there are also some wonderful views from windows. There’s also a children’s room, where kids can have some fun coloring while learning a little history.
Finally, the garden.
What a wonderful way to end the tour of the Provand’s Lordship. It is such a peaceful hideaway and I had the entire thing to myself. There’s a path to walk around under an overhang, as well a stone walkway in the garden, including a place to sit.
The garden is not just beautiful and peaceful, but medicinal as well. All of the plants have their purposes for healing ailments, and are labeled throughout the garden. It’s the dream of apothecaries, herbalists, and witches all in one.
Then, of course, there is the walkway under the overhang. There’s more history and information to be learned from several signs, but also a “Once Upon a Time” throne for fun photos.
The big pieces to note around the pathway are the Tontine Heads. There are thirteen in total dating back to 1737 for some, and up to 1873 for the later ones. They are unique pieces to admire and see each of their individual faces.
If you want to visit the Provand’s Lordship, it’s recommended that you do that, Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis, and St. Mungo Museum Of Religious Life & Art all at once. This is because they are all within a short walking distance of each other. St Mungo is just across the street from the Provand’s Lordship, and the Cathedral and Necropolis just a few steps beyond.
(But, obviously, please wait until after quarantine to go traveling once more)
Glasgow Life: Provand’s Lordship