Hutchesons' Hall Statues – Glasgow, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Hutchesons' Hall Statues

Hutchesons' Hall

A brother statue swap has adorned this building's facade for centuries. 


Just west of Glasgow’s centrally located George Square and City Chambers (where you can visit the building’s ornate, marble-clad staircase) is the Merchant City neighborhood. The 30-square-block neighborhood is bounded by Ingram Street to Argyle Street and Queen Street to High Street. Architecturally, the neighborhood is most known for its former 18th- and 19th-century warehouse buildings that have now mostly been refurbished into boutique hotels and upscale retail shops.

In Merchant City, at the intersection of John and Ingram Streets, sits a towering white building known as Hutchesons’ Hall. This building once served as both a hospital and school for boys and is named after the two brothers, George and Thomas Hutcheson, who founded it toward the middle of the 1600s. These carved facsimile of the two brothers, are the oldest statuary in Glasgow, and can be found at the main entrance to the building. Most local residents, as well as visitors, wouldn’t know that these statues have been accidentally switched!

The mix-up happened when the building was undergoing renovation at the beginning of the 1800s. During the construction project, the statues were put into storage. Once the renovation was completed, the best were dusted off and reinstated. But unbeknownst to the workers, the two brothers were returned to the incorrect plinth.

This was not the only error the builders made. George Hutcheson the elder brother was born in 1580 and died in 1639. Unfortunately, a mathematical error was made and the date of his passing was inscribed as 1663—miscalculating his age by nearly three decades! Even though these blunders have been identified, they remain uncorrected to this day.

Know Before You Go

The exterior of the building can be seen at any time. Hutchesons' Hall is owned by The National Trust of Scotland. You can visit the interior by having dinner at the 1802 @ Hutcheson Hall restaurant.

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June 8, 2023

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