One can unravel many secrets within Glasgow’s historically rich streets. While it is not exactly known how old Glasgow exactly is, it is thought the city was founded in the 6th century. While the city is known as the biggest in Scotland, it was not the case in the Middle Ages. Glasgow only had four streets back in the day, with the oldest street being High Street.
High Street used to be Glasgow’s main street in Medieval times, a bustling place connecting the Cathedral of St. Mungo (now Glasgow Cathedral) in the north, to Glasgow Cross and the River Clyde. The street marks the boundary with the West End on one side and with Dennistoun and Calton on the other.
High Street also has a junction with Duke Street, which is Glasgow’s longest street, as well as the second longest street in the UK, connecting Merchant City with the East End.
What is more, before the West End existed, the University of Glasgow was based on High Street between 1563 and 1870. Once Kelvingrove was established, the academics then chose the scenic spot as what we know the university to be today.
High Street lost its “main character” importance by the 19th century, with the industrial revolution making the city much dirtier. The street was, quite literally, just slums, and was definitely not the place to be anymore after its glorious days in the Middle Ages.
Today, High Street is not as rough anymore, however, most locals cannot say the area is up to par, as the street has been said to be neglected. While new buildings have popped up such as the headquarters of Glasgow Life, Glaswegians have reported raw sewage under the tenement buildings, as well as the foul smell that follows it.
Thankfully, some efforts are being made to salvage the situation by Glasgow City Council, with a new project High Street Heritage in place. The project focuses “to further understand the heritage of High Street and create a new strategy for its interpretation, with a celebration of built and cultural heritage at its core. This strategy will support future plans for High Street, and present a set of key recommendations to reinvigorate and retain High Street as a ‘historical thread’ in the city.”, according to High Street Heritage.