10 Bizarre Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know About Glasgow

Katherine Notman Katherine Notman


Glasgow is full of interesting little secrets…

Once the second city of the British Empire, Glasgow is still a vibrant and growing place. Accordingly, Glasgow is full of hidden gems that give us a feel for the city’s past and make us proud of its present.

1. The name ‘Glasgow’ originates from Cumbric and means ‘green hollow’


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Cumbric is a language that was spoken in the Early Middle Ages by people in Northern England and parts of Southern Scotland. It’s closely related to the Welsh language and ‘Glasgow’ is believed to be an amalgamation of the Cumbric words ‘glas’ and ‘gau’.

2. Glasgow City Chambers have more marble than The Vatican


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In 1888, when construction on the building that is now Glasgow City Chambers was completed, Glasgow was the Second City of the British Empire. To make sure that people could see how rich and powerful the city of Glasgow was, the building was decorated ornately, with marble, granite, gold-leaf and alabaster. Pretty showy! Learn all about the Chambers here, and find out how you can visit.

3. Saint Valentine’s remains are buried in the Gorbals


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Well, one of his forearm bones is locked in a wooden casket in The Church of Blessed John Duns Scotus. According to an article written by Glasgow Live, monks brought the remains to the church because they were impressed by the depth of faith that the locals had.

4. Glasgow is the friendliest city


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Rough Guides polled their audience and asked them to vote for the friendliest city. Glasgow fared very well indeed, and was followed by Dublin and Montréal.

5. Glasgow’s Underground is the third oldest in the world


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The Glasgow subway is absolutely ancient. It opened in 1896 and has been ferrying us all around the city ever since. The London Underground was a way ahead, opening in 1863, but Glasgow was ahead of most capital cities. Paris didn’t have a metro system until 1900.

6. The tikka masala was invented in Glasgow

In 2009, the MP for Glasgow Central motioned the House of Commons to officially recognise Glasgow as the home of the tikka masala curry. He argued that it originated in Shish Mahal restaurant and was cooked by chef Ali Ahmed Aslam. The sauce was supposedly created using a tin of tomato soup and some spices.

7. The world’s first international football game was played in Glasgow


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More specifically, it was played in 1872, on the West of Scotland Cricket Ground, near Dumbarton Road in Partick. The game was between England and Scotland, but… neither side scored. The game did a lot to promote the sport though.

8. Glasgow was voted best city in the world for millennials


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Totally Money analysed data from 63 UK cities on subjects like living costs and things to do. Glasgow came out on top! London and Aberdeen followed, respectively.

9. Partick has been in existence since at least 1136


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In the 12th century, Partick was known as Perdyc. The feudal life known by the inhabitants of Partick was a world away from the experiences of those living in modern day Partick.

10. Victoria Park has tree stumps that are 330 million years old

Fossil Grove in Glasgow’s Victoria Park is home to 325 million year old tree stumps. They were discovered in the 19th century, during the construction of a road running through the site, and the decision was made to leave the trees where they were.

Read more: These Are The Best Streets In Glasgow, According To Secret Glasgow Readers

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