Glasgow High Court

1 Mart Street  G1 5JT

William Stark, Clarke & Bell, 1807; JH Craigie, 1913;  TPS Architecture, 1998

Category A Listed

Come see the most important court in Glasgow. It is a grade A listed building where notorious characters of bygone days were tried. Experience the majesty of the Victorian interior and contrast that with the stylish modern wing.

Started in 1807, the court complex is an imposing building. Its careful renovation re-using original material prompts a real sense of history. The neo-classical front of a colonnade of fluted Doric columns with pediment gives an authorative, library-like feel which is increased by high ceilings, interior frieze carvings, Ionic and square Doric and Corinthian columns. The two courtrooms behind this use dark wood to increase that feel. Plaster images, marble and wood decorate the hallway between the old North and South courts. All courts display the heraldic coat of arms uniting the Queen’s arms.

The infamous Peter Manuel, a “serial killer” from the late 1950s, was prosecuted in North court; it is still used. The courtrooms have been re-vamped over the years. Despite the introduction of electronic equipment, the courtrooms retain a Victorian look and feel which the “beast of Birkenshaw” would recognise. The cell detaining him can be viewed on the tour conducted by able G4S staff who will answer your questions. An underground passage linking the cells to gallows on Glasgow green, used by Dr Pritchard, the last man hanged in Glasgow, is now sealed.

In the new wing, courts feel like modern, high quality theatres, and show a marked difference in concept and style. Despite lower ceilings and pale wood panelling, the brightly lit rooms have a spacious, airy feel. The same equipment is strangely more visible here. Some of them will be setup for viewing and demonstration. Helpful guides will give a tour of courtrooms: feel free to tap into their expertise. Staff are placed throughout the buildings to enrich your visit. Some leaflets about the work of courts will be available.

There is an in-house café on the first floor which will be open to serve hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Part of the Childrens Programme: A quiz about visible features of the courtrooms aimed at under 12s with a reward for correct answers.

Number in Brochure: 17

Opening Times

Tours: Sat 10am 3pm, every half hour; 1/2 hour. Meeting Point: Court Room 6

Advanced Booking Essential

Additional Booking Information:

Booking opens at 10am on Wednesday 26th August 2015.

Please be aware that Doors Open Day events are very popular and will book out quickly.

Spaces are limited per person.

Please only book for events that you intend to go to and cancel your space as soon as possible if you are unable to attend.

If the event is fully booked please feel free to add yourself to the wait list, if a space becomes available you will be contacted and will have one day to respond. Please be aware that you must add yourself to the waitlist for every space and for the times that you want ie. if looking for three spaces at any time, add your name 3 times to each event time.



Restrictions on Access: Any place marked no entry including the office area on the ground floor and, with the exception of North and South courts areas and the cafe, the rest of the first floor
Limited Disabled Access
Access to the cell area is impractical.


Disabled Toilet
Hearing Loop
Refreshments Available

Getting Here

Nearest Train or Subway Station(s): Queen Street, Argyle Street, High Street & Central Station

Parking: On Street Parking Available Charges Apply
Public car parks nearby – King Street, Brigait, St Enoch’s  and Howard Street


0141 552 3795

[email protected]


Glasgow High Court

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Glasgow High Court
55.854188, -4.247125