A view of Glasgow Cathedral from the southwest, drawn by Robert Billings in 1847. The Blackadder Aisle can be seen protruding from the south transept. The transepts do not themselves project from the main building, being relatively short, and so do not create the shape of a cross common in most cathedrals. A line of gargoyles provides extra decoration above the windows on both levels.
This would be the first view striking most visitors at the time, on the approach from High Street. Billings describes the experience: "To reach it the traveller has to pass through a line of sordid filthy streets; and its first appearance is not inviting, from the unfortunate predominance of the north-western Tower, or Belfry, the upper portion of which is the work of a comparatively late period."
The northwestern tower's predominance was not to last, as it was demolished in 1848. The southwest tower, or consistory, had been removed in 1846. This is believed to the only surviving illustration from the years between the demolition of the two western towers.
Reference: Mitchell Library, f720.941BIL
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Blackadder Aisle, consistory, gargoyles, Glasgow Cathedral, towers, transepts