Gallus Glasgow U: Umbrellas

This post is not about the Glasgow weather – though it’s true that if you visit you should always remember to bring an umbrella. However, this post is about two much bigger umbrellas.

Heilanman's Umbrella
Heilanman’s Umbrella

The Hielanman’s Umbrella (Highlandman’s Umbrella) is the local nickname for the glass walled railway bridge which carries the platforms of Glasgow Central Station across Argyle Street. During the Highland Clearances in the 19th century, thousands of Highlanders came to Glasgow looking for work. As they were dispersed throughout the city, this is the place they came to keep in touch with each other.

Bridgeton Umbrella
Bridgeton Umbrella

The second umbrella is in Bridgeton in the East End. Erected in 1874, it also sheltered the unemployed and, unlike the Hielanman’s Umbrella, was actually designed to do so. I’m disappointed to find its real name is the dull “Bridgeton Cross Shelter”.

For the next couple of days, we’ll be looking at equestrian statues. Anyone else remember the song by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band? No? Well, it’s nothing to do with that anyway. I just thought I’d throw it in.

36 thoughts on “Gallus Glasgow U: Umbrellas

  1. Lori L MacLaughlin May 12, 2015 / 18:39

    I agree Bridgeton Cross Shelter is a much more boring name. Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band cracked me up, though. 🙂


  2. clicksclan April 26, 2015 / 11:44

    I always love the architecture of Glasgow Central. I commuted through every day when I was at University and loved being able to sit and look around at it all. It’s kind of beautiful.

    Cait @ Click’s Clan


    • Anabel Marsh April 26, 2015 / 09:45

      It looks better from the outside! I tend to walk very quickly through it because of the traffic fumes. The history is interesting – the clearances were a shameful episode.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Alex Hurst April 25, 2015 / 11:59

    Interesting… Are they legitimately called “umbrellas” over there, or is that just the nickname? Shopping Arcade would be the first one for me, and then Pagoda for the second.


    • Anabel Marsh April 25, 2015 / 12:56

      It’s what they’re known as, but it their official name. Pagoda would normally be on a whisky distillery!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lostforwords101 April 25, 2015 / 07:28

    The Glasgow Central Station is the place I would recognize the most in Glasgow! 😀 Thanks for sharing a photo from there. Good memories. I like the interior of that station.


    • Anabel Marsh April 25, 2015 / 08:02

      It’s a very good design. All curved walls to keep people moving without bumping into each other.


  5. clarabellerant April 25, 2015 / 05:50

    Beautiful photos! I’m torn on the Bridgeton Umbrella. It’s great they built a shelter for the unemployed, but it doesn’t look like it shelters much 😉

    You can find me here:


    • Anabel Marsh April 25, 2015 / 08:00

      No, you wouldn’t get that many people under it. These days it’s purely ornamental. The people in the picture are on one of our women’s heritage walking tours.


  6. storycraftersx2 April 25, 2015 / 02:58

    Fun photos and great information. Visiting from A to Z and I’m glad I stumbled onto your blog. I remember Scotland fondly… -what a treat!! Jeri from — already read the Tardis one… 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh April 25, 2015 / 07:55

      Thanks for visiting! Glad you have fond memories of Scotland.


  7. Birgit April 25, 2015 / 00:45

    The architecture is so neat. I wish I could come up with grander words but…oh well, a writer I’m not. Anyhoo, I love the gothic look (neo-gothic) of those windows and the little pagoda is so nicely painted. It reminds me of Gingerbread houses


    • Anabel Marsh April 25, 2015 / 07:54

      Thank you, the first time I saw the Bridgeton Umbrella I was quite surprised as there’s nothing else quite like it roundabout.


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