This evening, I am posting some images of today’s foray into the old tobacco quarter of Glasgow.

Glasgow was transformed through trade in the period 1740-1775, principally the trade in tobacco which was inextricably linked with slavery and the slave trade. Glasgow supplied the American colonies with manufactured goods, linen cloth and iron. The ships returned with tobacco from Maryland and Virginia and with sugar and other exotic products of slavery form the Caribbean.
Ultimately Glasgow controlled over half of all British trade in tobacco which in turn made up over one third of Scotland’s imports and over half its exports. This trade in turn created huge profits resulting in the tobacco traders becoming some of the richest men in the world. The trade ultimately collapsed in 1775 with onset of the American revolution. However, the physical legacy remains as shown in the images below.

Here is the Gallery of Modern Art which site was built a mansion by William Cunninghame, one of Glasgow’s richest tobacco lords. Glimpses of the original mansion can be seen in the current building: the first floor mansion house galleries and in the ellipse area with its roof-light and plasterwork.

This somewhat nondescript building is known as the Corinthian which was built by David Hamilton on the site of the Virginia Mansion which, of course, was connected with the tobacco business. It subsequently became a bank head office and then the city’s High Court. The interior of this ‘A’ listed heritage building is particularly stunning and now comprises a restaurant.


Place names near the Corinthian which hark back to the tobacco trading with America.


The following three images are of the Tobacco Merchant’s House at 42 Miller Street. This is an ‘A’ listed house built by John Craig.The first inhabitants were leading Glasgow merchant family of Robert Findlay.



This section of Glasgow is very compact and easily accessible on foot. Contact me for more information.

Be Sociable, Share!