Wayfarer Column- Glasgow boasts the world’s only moving statue

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I wander through the archives of story telling looking for items of interest for my readers, then I have to tell them in a many which will captivate them.

Therefore forgive me if I recount a tale which is well known to you, but in bringing old tales to light it is there for future generations as some tales should never be forgotten. One such tale is thatof the origins of Glasgow, a city well known to us all which probably got its name from the gaelic word ‘Glaschu’ meaning ‘The dear green place’ and there are still plenty of parks and dear green places in the area. The origins of Glasgow go as far back to the 6th century when St. Mungo, no doubt impressed by the green and pleasant land surrounding the area, built a church where Glasgow Cathedral now stands. Originally it was a small wooden affair, but by 1136 David I had consecrated a new stone church, the first to be built in Scotland. However in the 13th century it was replaced with the core of the present building to become Glasgow Cathedral. Today St. Mungo’s is the only complete medieval cathedral and the largest Gothic building in Scotland.

So there you are, but remember that the Scots although religious minded can also be single minded in the pursuit of profit as you will appreciate from the following tale.

George Square was first laid out in the 1780s in honour of George III with the original plan to have as a centrepiece a column on top of which would be a statue of the king. But the city fathers went off the idea due to the loss of the American colonies during George’s reign, which resulted in the end of Glasgow’s lucrative tobacco trade which impoverished a number of prominent businessmen. Instead a statue of Sir Walter Scott was erected on top of the column with a plaid draped over his right shoulder obeying a convention which identkifies him as a native of the borders, rather than of the Highlands.

There are many statues in George Square commemorating Scots who have brought credit to their nation. However in Cathedral Square there is the only traditional statue in Britain which actually moves. It is that of William Of Orange mounted on a horse dressed as a Roman Emperor, but as it was being erected its tail dropped off.

It was re-attached using a ball andsocket, consequently it swings with the wind. Watch out for it when next you pass that way. See you next week.