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Facts about Glasgow for Kids


  • The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands.
  • Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become one of the largest seaports in Britain.
  • Expanding from the medieval bishopric of Glasgow and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 15th century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century.
  • From the 18th century the city also grew as one of Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with British North America and the British West Indies.
  • With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded exponentially to become one of the world’s pre-eminent centres of heavy engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels.
  • The present site of Glasgow has been used since prehistoric times for settlement due to it being the furthest downstream fording point of the River Clyde, at the point of its confluence with the Molendinar Burn.
  • After the Romans left Caledonia the settlement was part of the extensive Kingdom of Strathclyde, with its capital at Dumbarton 15 mi (24 km) downstream, which merged in the 9th century with other regions to create the united Kingdom of Scotland.
  • Glasgow grew over the following centuries, the first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross.
  • Glasgow’s substantial fortunes came from international trade, manufacturing and invention starting in the 17th century with sugar, followed by tobacco, and then cotton and linen.
  • After extensive river engineering projects to dredge and deepen the River Clyde as far as Glasgow, shipbuilding became a major industry on the upper stretches of the river, pioneered by industrialists such as Robert Napier, John Elder, George Thomson, Sir William Pearce and Sir Alfred Yarrow.
  • The city also held a series of International Exhibitions at Kelvingrove Park, in 1888, 1901 and 1911, with Britain’s last major International Exhibition, the Empire Exhibition, being subsequently held in 1938 at Bellahouston Park, which drew 13 million visitors.
  • There were active attempts at regeneration of the city, when the Glasgow Corporation published its controversial Bruce Report, which set out a comprehensive series of initiatives aimed at turning round the decline of the city.
  • The left-wing support emanates from the city’s legacy as an industrial powerhouse, and the relative poverty of many Glaswegian constituencies and wards.
  • The resultant general political bias against the Conservative party continued and currently they have only 1 of the 79 councillors on Glasgow City Council, despite having been the controlling party (as the Progressives) from 1969-1972 when Sir Donald Liddle was the last non-Labour Lord Provost.
  • Merchant City To the east is the commercial and residential district of Merchant City.
  • Since the late 1980s the construction of many modern office blocks and high rise developments have paved the way for the IFSD to become one of the UKs largest financial quarters.
  • The area is also home to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena and the Henry Wood Hall.
  • Surrounding these buildings are a series of innovative housing developments conceived as “Homes for the Future”, part of a project during the city’s year as UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999.
  • The area will also be the site of the Athletes’ Village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, located adjacent to the new indoor sports arena.
  • In addition, several new bridges spanning the River Clyde have been built or are currently planned, including the Clyde Arc known by locals as the Squinty Bridge at Pacific Quay and others at Tradeston and Springfield Quay.
  • The South Side also includes many great parks, including Linn Park, Queen’s Park, Bellahouston Park and Rouken Glen Park, and several golf clubs, including the championship course at Haggs Castle.