Town Plan of Glasgow – Cattle Market, Gallowgate

The next Town Plan of Glasgow sheet shows what was the main cattle market in Glasgow throughout the 19th century. This live cattle market was opened in 1818 by order of the then Superintendent of Public Works, James Cleland. Covering six acres it occupied an area of land between Duke Street and Gallowgate and initially housed an inn, sheds and accommodation for sheep, bullocks and other livestock. The market gained a roof after the passing of the Glasgow Markets and Slaughterhouses Act 1865 (c.lxiii) and the surrounding meat markets opened in 1875. This local and personal act of parliament can be accessed in the official publications collection of the library.

Image of Gallowgate Cattle Market in 1893 from the Town Plan of Glasgow 2nd edition

Sheet VI.11.19 of the Town Plan of Glasgow shows the Gallowgate Cattle Market in 1893. Click the image to view a high resolution zoomable image of this map.

This map provides a fascinating snapshot of an important commercial hub in Glasgow at this time. Bellgrove Station is surrounded by cattle pens and sheds, reflecting the volume of livestock transported into Glasgow. The hides, tallow and other by-products of the slaughter houses were used by neighbouring businesses (soap factories, chemical works, etc). Wednesday was the regular day for showing cattle and this also functioned as a feeing (hiring) fair for Lanarkshire’s agricultural industry.

As an interesting aside, ‘P.H.’ on OS maps from this era stands for ‘Public House’. So while there are many things we can infer from this map about the livestock trade in Glasgow at the time, one thing is certain: it was thirsty work.

The Zoomable version of this map can be viewed by clicking the map image above or by clicking here. If you have any questions about this map series, or on accessing historical parliamentary material, feel free to contact the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit.

Other entries in the series:

Gilbert Scott Building

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Pollockshields Town Houses and Villas

Queen Street Station and George Square

Sighthill Cemetery

Duke Street Prison

Western Infirmary

Categories: Library, Official Publications

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