The Highlandman's Umbrella – Glasgow, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Glasgow, Scotland

The Highlandman's Umbrella

Displaced highlanders would take shelter from the wet Scottish climate under the large walled bridge at Glasgow Central Station. 

Glasgow Central Station was the winner of 2015 Scottish Design Award for refurbishment of a listed building. It was built by Sir William Arol and opened by the Caledonian Railway in 1879. It has been rebuilt and refurbished many times but still retains its renowned architectural features, one of the most famous of which is a large glass walled bridge over Argyle Street.  

In the 19th century, when Scottish highlanders displaced by the second phase of the highland clearances arrived in Glasgow, they would find shelter under the bridge until finding accommodation. The bridge later became a gathering point for Gaelic speaking people from the highlands long after arriving in Glasgow, usually at weekends, and became known locally as Hielanmans Umbrella (Highlandman’s Umbrella) partly because of the very wet climate in western Scotland.

The station is fronted by the Central Hotel on Gordon Street and it was to here that the first long distance television pictures were transmitted in the UK (438 miles over a telephone wire) by John Logie Baird in 1927 (a month after a 225-mile transmission in the U.S.).

Currently guided tours of the station are available where visitors can visit many parts of the station not open to casual visitors including the subterranean vaults, the boiler house and the roof.

Know Before You Go

 In 2016 the price for the standard tour was £13.