Provand’s Lordship - History and Facts | History Hit

Provand’s Lordship

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Amy Irvine

04 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Provand’s Lordship

The Provand’s Lordship was built in 1471 and is the oldest house in Glasgow – set in the heart of the most ancient part of the city. It is one of only four medieval buildings to survive in Glasgow, and has been extensively restored.

History of The Provand’s Lordship

Provand’s Lordship was built by Andrew Muirhead, the Bishop of Glasgow, and was originally part of St Nicholas’s Hospital, which stood to the south of the house.

Although it may originally have been built for the head of the neighbouring hospital, the house is believed to have become part of the accommodation provided for the 32 canons of the Cathedral Chapter, each representing an area of the Diocese of Glasgow. (A western extension, designed by William Bryson, was completed in 1670).

In the 1800s the house was occupied by a canon supported by income from the Lord of the Prebend of Barlanark. In 1906 the house was acquired by the Morton family and used as a sweetshop and factory, when the Provand’s Lordship Society formed with the aim of saving it. They eventually raised enough funds to buy the house outright, and later restored it to the state it was in around 1700.

In the late 1920’s, the house was then furnished with a selection of 17th-century furniture donated by Sir William Burrell, and royal portraits.

By 1978 major repairs were needed, and the City of Glasgow acquired and restored it, re-opening it to the public in June 1983.

The Provand’s Lordship today

Visiting Provand’s Lordship provides a flavour of what a home interior of around 1700 would have looked like. The house has three storeys, connected together by a spiral staircase and displays household interiors from around 1500-1700, including wooden furniture, as well as a gallery. The original oak floor beams have also been protected by false floors.

Today the house looks across a busy road to a castle-like building constructed in 1993, which houses the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.

Getting to The Provand’s Lordship

The house is located in the city centre, a short walk from Buchanan Street and Argyle Street. It is situated on Castle Street, opposite St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art and Glasgow Cathedral.

The nearest local train station is High Street. First Bus services 19, 19A, 38, 57 and 57A all stop near the house.

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