Wednesday, 8 August 2012

St Vincent Street Church, Glasgow

St Vincent Street Church by Alexander "Greek" Thompson stands majestically on a hillside in central Glasgow.

Glasgow city centre is shaped by steep, wavy hills which allow great views along its grid-like streets to such monuments as the university, the necropolis, or the many churches which fill the city.

St Vincent Street was designed in the 1850s by Alexander "Greek" Thompson who, despite his name, incorporated many Egyptian features into his buildings.

The church makes the most of its hilltop setting, with the body of the church raised up above the streets in the form of a classical temple. The landmark tower, of an idiosyncratic and complex design, is almost detached. There are complex bands of details, all in stone and beautifully discoloured by decades of Glasgow's polluted air. Unfortunately, recent developments of office buildings have started to overshadow the church.

The church is not in great condition and has plants pushing through it, but its survival is all the more important because of the ruinous state of Thompson's other great church, Caledonia Road in the Gorbals.

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