Òran Mór: A church turned cultural centre in the heart of West End
Gaelic for ‘great melody of life’, Òran Mór began as Kelvinside Parish Church and has had quite a history. While it has undergone various changes over the years, its architectural core has stood the test of time. A certain charm about the church-turned-venue remains and is a real feast for the eyes.
Bought by The Scotsman Group, the vibrant space comprises a number of bars, restaurants, private rooms and even an auditorium. It is located in the heart of Glasgow’s West End and the nearest subway station is Hillhead, just a few minutes walk from Òran Mór. With so many entertainment options, this cultural center is definitely worth a visit.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Òran Mór
1. The first foundation for the building was laid in 1862.
On 4 September 1862, publisher John Blackie Sr, the building’s main sponsor, laid the first foundation stone, which would mark the beginning of the construction of the church.
2. Many of the biggest names in music have graced the cultural centre.
Downstairs in The Venue, many renowned artists and musicians have played live including Amy Winehouse, Edwyn Collins, The Proclaimers, Calvin Harris, and many more.
3. One of Òran Mór’s best features is its bells.
The bells were gifted to the church by Mr. Nicol Paton Brown and were rung for the first time on Christmas Day, 1917. Today the bells can still be heard ringing at 11am each year on the 11th of November.
What can you do at Òran Mór?
This unique and charming space houses a Victorian Bar and Whisky Bar, John Muir Room Restaurant, The Fonn Mór Restaurant, Private Dining Room, Live Music venue, Night Club, and a beautiful Auditorium. Whatever you can think of when it comes to entertainment, Òran Mór has it all.
Apart from hosting the internationally renowned A Play, a Pie and a Pint lunchtime Theatre, Òran Mór is also highly sought after for corporate and private events, weddings, special celebrations and ceilidhs.
Many of the church’s Italian Gothic features are preserved and new additions like the cast iron columns that elegantly reach and create an arcade have only amplified the building’s beauty. The venue continues to hold its charm, which has made it popular for different events and concerts, including the world-renowned Candlelight series.
Classical and contemporary music favourites were revisited at this former 19th-century church that added the beauty of hundreds of flickering candles made for unforgettable evenings of live music.