This engraving depicts the tenements at the foot of High Street, numbers 21 to 27. The buildings were among the last survivors from the 17th century when Glasgow’s architecture was compared favourably with the more fashionable towns and cities of England.
By the 1770s many of the city centre's famous covered ways, known as piazzas or arcades, had disappeared as shop fronts were built out to the street edge. Here is a good example - the shop front on the left has already been extended and the surviving section of the arcade on the right is crowded with goods. The door in the centre of the image, beneath the sign of the goose, is a tavern.
High Street was renowned as a bustling commercial area especially here at its southern end at Glasgow Cross. Further north, towards the Cathedral, it contained some of the city's worst slums.
Reference: Mitchell Library GC 941.435 GOR
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
arcades, butter churns, crow-stepped gables, geese, houses, piazzas, pubs, shop signs, shops, streetscenes, taverns, tenements