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A Visit to Glasgow by Ed the Editor (2002 & 2010)


Rennie Mackintosh Stained Glass in Glasgow.

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You could take as long as you want and not be bored by Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow.

Sadly though, his presence their is definitely diminishing. The tour was planned around visiting places within walking distance of the station. Two more days later, would add a visit to Hill House and to the House of an Art Lover.
This article was written about year 2002 and updated late 2010.
Mackintosh panel
THE GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART is a 15 minute walk from the station. It is closed on Sundays (guided tours available if booked ahead, for weekdays).

From the outside we saw most of the famous features such as the incredibly high studio windows and many interesting iron work details.

Click here for More School photographs....

Click to enter the Tea Room

Nearby you can go for a cup of tea at the world famous Willow Tea Rooms. It is a very short walk and what a sensational place, particularly upstairs!

Behind the remarkable facade that Mackintosh created for Kate Winston, tea and light meals are still served in the Room de Luxe, and on the Gallery. Many of the original and quite fascinating, features have survived or been restored.
Click for more tea room detail....

The New Tower The original Glasgow Herald

Next port of call was the old GLASGOW HERALD BUILDING, known today as the Lighthouse.

Mackintosh was part of the team that designed this building, but I found it difficult to learn how much he actually did.

The original tower and facade (left) is still there but the interior has been completely gutted and redesigned. It now houses a fascinating gallery with many architectural and project displays that are worth a look.

Click for more photographs from inside the church

After lunch I walked to the Queen's Cross Church (take a taxi if you find a mile too far).

Home of the Rennie Mackintosh Society the church was the only one built by Rennie Mackintosh. I found the stained glass austere, but the wood carvings are magnificent.

Click here for more Queen's Cross images..

House for an Art Lover Mackintosh Stained Glass Panel

In 2011, I added a visit to the House for an Art Lover. This requires a half day including an easy bus ride from the Railway Station.

This building was really very interesting. It was built from Mackintosh designs, and I include the contents in that description. Very interesting and very inspiring, although it struck me that some of the work was more extravagent than Mackintosh in his hey day.

Click here for more images from the house including the fabulous piano....

Mackintosh chair
Although the Mackintosh exhibit at Kelvingrove Museum is of his later work it is nonetheless really good. Not only is the work different, there are also a few really nice typical pieces photographed here. A must see.

Mackintosh screen

The Rennie Mackintosh Hotel
Where better to stay in Glasgow than the Rennie Mackintosh Hotel?
There are two of them. One is on the same block as the railway station. The other is a a fifteen minute walk from the railway station and is very close to the Glasgow School of Art.

They have nothing whatsoever to do with Mackintosh himself, but were decorated in his style.

I found the decor great fun, and largely very good. The front door (station hotel) and some of the panels are excellent reproductions.

My original visit was in the late nineties but a re-visit in 2010 was a great disappointment. The two hotels have lost a lot of the interesting Mackintosh style evident when I first visited them. Some do remain and if you want an unusual budget hotel, then you can choose to stay in one. I preferred the hotel near the railway station.

Queen's Cross was a great finale to the visit but there are still yet more Mackintosh places of interest in and around Glasgow: The Burrell Collection, The Hill House, The Hunterian Art Gallery.
Well worth the visit?

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