January 1859: The Queen’s Rooms, West End

An article from a “Glasgow paper” was published on page seven of The Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire

Advertiser, on Saturday the 8th of January, 1859. It reads:




Last Friday we had the opportunity of visiting the spacious and costly fabric which has just been erected

by David Bell, Esq. of Blackhall, in Claremont Street, at the north side of the West End Park. For grandeur

and completeness of design, and for the artistic ability displayed in its ornamentation both inside and out,

it is not surpassed by any building in the city, and is in all respects creditable to the taste and enterprise of

the respected proprietor. We have on former occasions given some account of its outer aspect, and mean

now only to say that the internal arrangements are completed, and the halls available for public services.

The lower or basement story is fitted up as a kitchen, and besides, affords space enough for the

entertainment of a large assemblage, and may be very useful for that purpose on occasions of special interest.

On the second floor there are two spacious halls, each 54 feet in length by 36 in width. That on the north side

is specially handsome, the roof being supported by twelve massive columns, and sixteen pilasters, in the

Corinthian order, and the roof is ornamented in a very chaste yet highly effective style. It has also a balcony,

or gallery at one end for musicians, &c., and there are attached to it side-rooms, and other conveniences

essential to the comfort of large assemblies. The adjoining hall to which we have alluded is precisely the same

in dimensions, and all other respects, with only the omission of the ranges of columns, the roof being

supported by the walls only. The grand hall is on the upper story, and occupies the entire extent of the

building. It is truly a magnificent hall, the dimensions being 100 feet by 53, and the ornamentation

remarkable for massive elegance. It is lighted from the roof, and the spacious walls are very beautifully

decorated in gold and colours. The ground is a faint neutral green, with vaulting of blue towards the top,

which arrangement has an agreeably warm yet light and aerial general effect. There is on three sides a

balcony, and on the south a gallery with pews. The north end is occupied with the grand organ, which,

from the architectural skill displayed in its erection, is a very  effective and harmonious feature in the

arrangements. This hall completely eclipses any of the Corporation galleries; and we understand there is a

heavy press of applications for it already on hand. In the evenings it is illuminated by thirty star-lights,

which being distributed over the ceiling throw a uniform light on all parts of the hall, and all dark shadows

being thus overcome, the whole is a mass of brilliance. This method of lighting has also been adopted in the

other two halls, the lights being supplied and fitted up by Messrs Henry Feld & Son, Buchanan Street. The

coloured decorations and general painting are by Mr Thomas Lawrie, Union Street, and the plaster work by

Mr Steel. We may remark, also, that the stairs are wide and spacious to a remarkable degree, and there is

ample means of egress from every part of the hall. The Rooms were opened in state last Saturday.— Glasgow




The British Newspaper Archive.



George Fairfull-Smith, April 2023.