- Glasgow University
- Quincentenary Gates

The Scotland Guide
© David Williams


In 1951 the university celebrated its five hundredth birthday (it is the fourth oldest university in Britain) and these gates were erected by the graduates` General Council in 1954 to mark that occasion.

The gates` piers have the dates 1451 and 1951, and are topped by a lion and a unicorn, echoing the design of the old Lion and Unicorn staircase. The gates feature the university`s mace and the names of twenty-eight well-known people associated with the university. The names are ordered chronologically from the base up, the five levels representing the five particular centuries (fifteenth to nineteenth) to which these people belonged.

They are (starting from the lowest level): King James II (1430-60), Archbishop William Turnbull (c.1400-54), James Douglas Morton (c.1516-81, Regent of Scotland), Zachary Boyd (1585?-1653, benefactor), Andrew Melville (1545-1622, Principal), Lord James Hamilton I (d.1479), Patrick Gillespie (1617-75, Principal), Viscount Stair I (1619-95, Regent of Scotland), Sir John Maxwell (1648-1732, Rector), Robert Baillie (1599-1662, Principal), Duke of Montrose (1682-1742, Chancellor), Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715, Professor of Divinity), William Hunter,William Cullen (1710-90, Professor of Medicine), John Millar (1735-1801, Professor of Civil Law), James Watt, Adam Smith, Thomas Campbell, Thomas Reid, Robert Foulis, Marquis of Bute (1847-1900, Sir William MacEwan (1848-1924, Professor of Surgery), John Caird (1820-98, Principal), Lord Kelvin, Lord Joseph Lister, Andrew Cecil Bradley (1851-1935, Professor of English Literature), Edmund Law Lushington (1811-93, Professor of Greek) and Isabella Elder.

This article is based on the guidebook "The Glasgow Guide".

The Quincentenery Gates stand on University Avenue and their design celebrates many people who were connected with the university over its first five hundred years.

The two side gates contain panels showing the university`s four nations. The walls which flank these smaller gates bear the words Universitas Glasguensis and the university`s motto Via Veritas Vita (`The Way, the Truth, the Life`).
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