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Saracen's Head Assembly Room

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Saracen's Head Assembly Room

Visitors inspect the Assembly Room at the old Saracen's Head Inn building in Gallowgate, c 1904.

The Saracen's Head was Glasgow's leading inn during the late 18th century. It was opened in 1755 with thirty-six bedrooms and its assembly room was the scene of some of Glasgow's great society balls. The hotel's reputation attracted guests such as William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, as well as the Lords of Justiciary who stated at the inn when they visited the city during the Western Circuit. However, it was unable to keep pace with the competition of more centrally-located new hotels and it closed in 1792.

The premises were partly converted to flats but the hall was retained and used as a space for worshippers of various faiths, then as a reading room. The building was demolished c 1904 and tenements erected on the site, with a new assembly hall.

Reference: GC 941.435 OLD

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

assembly rooms, balls, hotels, inns, Old Glasgow Club, reading rooms, Saracen's Head Inn

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