A postcard view of the old Tontine Hotel at the Trongate, some time between 1903 and 1906. It was built in 1781 by William Hamilton behind the existing frontage of the town hall with its pedimented windows and street-level arcade. The keystones of the arches of the arcade were carved with heads and grotesques known as the "Tontine Heads", clearly visible here.
During the 18th and 19th centuries the coffee shop under the piazza was a meeting place for leading figures from the community. The hotel was reputedly the first in the city and was popularly known by Glaswegians as the "Hottle".
The Tolbooth and the Tolbooth Steeple are on the right of the photograph, at Glasgow Cross. The equestrian statue, of King William III, was erected in the Trongate in 1735, moved to the middle of the street in 1898, and removed to its current location in Cathedral Square in 1926 after three years in storage.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC Postcards
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
arcades, carvings, coffee shops, equestrian statues, hotels, Hottle, municipal buildings, Old Tontine Hotel, piazzas, postcards, steeples, Tolbooth, Tolbooth Steeple, Tontine Heads, town hall