Copy of'Criticisms of Sir George Gilbert Scott's Design for the Building for the University of Glasgow' by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (1817-1875)

Scope and Content

Photocopy of holograph text of 'Criticisms of Sir George Gilbert Scott's Design for the Building for the University of Glasgow' by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson c1966. Copy made by 'TG'

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1864 , the University of Glasgow, Scotland, awarded the architectural commission to build a new university campus on Gilmorehill to the west of the city centre to the English architect, George Gilbert Scott ( 1811-1878 ). Scott had already completed a number of notable buildings in London and his appointment was controversial with many local people feeling that the commission should have been awarded to a local architect. Upon his appointment, the University committee peppered Scott with advice and in March 1866  the plans for the new buildings were approved. Building began in earnest in 1867  and although building work was disrupted by strikes and the unexpected discovery of a coal seam, the buildings were handed over to the University in the Summer of 1870, although some buildings were still incomplete. The University finally vacated it previous High street premises in July 1870, handing the old site over to a rail way company for development.

One of the most outspoken of objectors to Gilbert Scott's appointment and neo-gothic design was Alexander Thomson, known to his contemporaries as 'Greek' Thomson. On the 7 May 1866  he delivered a paper to the Glasgow Architectural Society entitled 'An inquiry as to the appropriateness of the Gothic Style for the proposed buildings for the University of Glasgow, with some remarks upon Mr Scott's plans.' This paper was later printed in the Society's Transactions (1865-7) and reprinted in the University of Glasgow's College Courant: the Journal of the Glasgow University Graduates Association vols.12-13 (1954).

Mischael Moss, J Forbes Munro and Richard H Trainor, University, City and State: The University of Glasgow since 1870 ( Edinburgh, 2000 )


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Transfer : University of Glasgow offices : 1966 : ACCN 4165

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at  searching by the call number MS Gen 798

Alternative Form Available

This material is a copy

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, March 2003

No alterations made to date

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held within the University of Glasgow


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 GUA Records of the University of Glasgow. Includes original correspondence and plans by Gilbert Scott for the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance

Location of Originals

This material is photocopied


The text of this document was published in Vol vi/12-13The College Courant: The Journal of the Glasgow University Graduates Association (Whitsun, 1954)

Corporate Names

Geographical Names