Ancient Glasgow: The 13 original streets of Glasgow that shaped the city in chronological order

These are the 13 original streets of ancient Glasgow - which in their entirity made up the whole of the medieval city

Glasgow’s oldest streets, what are the origins of Glasgow’s medieval streets, where are they, how close are they to their original layout, and how much have they changed? In this article we aim to answer all of these questions and more.

Up until 1750 there were only thirteen streets in Glasgow, the thirteen streets are explained in detail in the picture gallery at the bottom of the page. In the present day there are well over two thousand streets in our fair city.

Our city was built around Glasgow Cathedral, founded by none other than St. Mungo himself, it’s believed Glasgow began life as ‘Glaschu’ or ‘the dear green place’ - in the sixth century.

Little is known about this time, our understanding of Glasgow’s history only truly begins in full with the introduction of mercantilism which would eventually become the tobacco trade that would begin Glasgow’s ascension into a pivotal British city, laying the groundwork for the ensuing rise of the industrial revolution and the introduction of shipbuilding as the main trade along the River Clyde.

It was the meticulous notes and recordings of the literate merchant class that help us better understand the history of Glasgow at the time - as prior to this there was very little writing of the history, heritage, or even trade of Glasgow prior to the medieval mercantile period.

Glasgow as a religous centre upon the Clyde drew in pilgrims, but there wasn’t much else of note in the Glasgow colony other than the massive cathedral.

It’s hard to imagine what Glasgow could have looked like so long ago - it would have been a much darker, much smaller place. The streets were lit for the first time with limited oil lamps in 1717, with gas lamps introduced 101 years later in 1818.

Most of these streets you can still walk down today in one way or another, although it’s difficult to tell given generation upon generation of modernisation work on the roads around the east end. This is why today we wanted to expand upon ancient Glasgow history, and tell the story of the roads that lay down the foundation of Glasgow as a whole.

Take a journey with us through time, as we take travel down the 13 original oldest Glasgow roads and share their history.

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