The Blind Asylum in Castle Street, photographed in 1901. A clock was later installed in the circular space in the tower. Lower down, a niche in the tower holds a sculpture, Christ healing a blind boy, by Charles Grassby.
The Blind Asylum was founded in 1804, with the first building on Castle Street erected in 1828 by public subscription. A competition was held to design a replacement building in 1878. It was designed by William Landless in what is almost a pastiche of the Scots Baronial style and was completed in 1881 at a cost of £21,000. In 1934 it was purchased by the adjacent Glasgow Royal Infirmary, for conversion into an Out-patients' Department. The hexagonal tower and other parts of the old building stand derelict in 2004.
Blind people were traditionally among the poorest in society. A report of the Glasgow Asylum for the Blind in 1884 stated: "The Asylum devotes itself to two modes of assisting the blind: 1st: Educating the young in various branches, including first-rate musical tuition; 2nd: Teaching various trades and providing employment in the workshops." Board and lodging was provided, as well as education. Costs were covered by subscriptions, donations, bequests and the sale of articles such as brushes, baskets and bedding manufactured in the workshops.
Reference: GC f920.04 GLA
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
arches, Blind Asylum, blind persons, clock towers, disabled persons, entrances, Glasgow Asylum for the Blind, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, out-patients departments, sculptures