Skip Navigation / Jump to Content



Industrial Revolution: 1770s to 1830s


The Gorbals

By Ronald P A Smith

Main Street, Gorbals The last thirty years of the 18th century saw the doubling of Gorbals village's population to around 7,000. Weaving continued as the principal source of employment with over 550 looms in operation. Other recorded industries include cotton spinning and the manufacture of guns and shoes. Over 200 found work in the Govan Colliery, newly established in the countryside to the south.

Port Eglinton In 1790 the Gorbals lands were formally divided between the three owning partners. The old Gorbals village and certain other areas of ground became the exclusive property of Glasgow Town Council while the land later developed as "Tradeston" was transferred to the Trades' House.

City Views The remainder of the ground, on both sides of the old village, went to Hutchesons' Hospital which lost no time in establishing the new Glasgow suburb of Hutchesontown on the eastern portion. The neighbourhood's main thoroughfare, Crown Street, was directly linked to the city centre via Hutchesontown Bridge, later replaced by Albert Bridge.

Elphinstone Chapel The land to the west of the old village was sold by the Hutcheson trustees to James Laurie who, from 1802 onwards, promoted its development for another, more upmarket suburb, Laurieston. Its residential streets were mainly named after the English nobility but, of these, only Carlton Place on the riverfront still survives in the original form. In 1810, on an adjacent riverside site, was constructed a new Gorbals Parish Church, the spire of which had a height of 174 feet.

The Gorbals' own police force was established in 1808, initially based in the old tower house in the Main Street, but moved to new purpose-built offices in Laurieston in 1826.

Quick Search

Photo Album

You have 0 images in your photo album.

View Photo Album

Log-In (Optional)

Not a user? Register now for FREE!

Other Options