- Kelvingrove Park
- 1911 Scottish National Exhibition

The Scotland Guide
© David Williams


The 1911 Scottish National Exhibition was held in order to endow the chair of Scottish History and Literature at Glasgow University, so the industrial themes of the previous events (the 1888 International Exhibition and the 1901 International Exhibition) gave way to history. The exhibition came at a time when the city`s industrial might was in a less than secure position as it was facing competition from other great cities.

This was a Scottish event rather than an international one and it was strong on national image. The main architect was R. J. Walker and Scots Baronial architecture abounded, though there were numerous foreign pavilions, including one for Canadian Pacific whose facade included sculpted engine fronts with enormous cowcatchers. The history exhibits included all the charters of the Scottish kings and there were features on Mary, Queen of Scots, Charles Edward Stewart, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott; even Flora MacDonald`s slippers were displayed. An Auld Toon was assembled (complete with its keep and the Olde Toffee Shoppe) and An Clachan (a highland village) was built on the banks of Caol Abhain (in reality, the River Kelvin) - all the people working in it were Gaelic-speaking Highlanders and its site is still marked.

This exhibition ran from May to November and nearly 9½ million people visited it.

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

This is a memorial which few people will have paid much attention to!
Near the banks of the River Kelvin lies a stone with "An Clachan" inscribed on it and it marks the site of the exhibition`s "Highland village".

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