W R Mainds' watercolour sketch depicts the view looking north-west along Merchant Lane to the tower of the Briggait Kirk at 118 Bridgegate, 1891. Merchant Lane runs along the eastern boundary of what was formerly the Merchants' House property.
The Bridgegate Free Church, or Briggait Kirk, was designed by John James Stevenson (1831-1908) and built in 1860. This was one of two churches in Glasgow with an outside pulpit from which the minister could address gatherings in the street. It is said that the sermons sometimes involved attacks on the Roman Catholic Church that provoked riots, and consequently they were banned. The church was demolished in 1918
Washing hangs from poles attached to several of the upstairs windows in the slane. The Bridgegate area was popular with street traders and the man in the foreground with a wheelbarrow is possibly a florist or a fruit and vegetables seller.Reference
: Sp Coll Bh12-x.3
Glasgow University Library, Special Collections
Bridgegate Free Church, Briggate Kirk, carts, church towers, churches, florists, fruiterers, lanes, market traders, Merchants' House, outside pulpits, street lamps, streetscenes, tenements, washing, washing poles, wheelbarrows, women