Weddings are a funny thing. Different ceremonies, cultures, traditions and of course, different venues. I’m in no way a lovie-dovie person (ask my husband) but one of the main reasons I love weddings so much is due to the fact I can see a historic building brought back to life. There is something truly beautiful seeing a building buzzing with happy people, no matter what the occasion but the majority of people forget that these buildings are still there throughout the year, when there isn’t a wedding, function or concert.
In this blog post I want to draw your attention to one such building in particular – St. Andrews in the Square. Many Glaswegians walk past this beautiful building everyday, but how many actually go in just to experience it’s full glory when not strictly invited by a wedding invite or concert ticket?
Ok, so now for the ‘history bit’. St Andrews, Category A listed and designed by Alan Dreghorn, is an extremely important building to the city of Glasgow and forms an integral part in Glasgow’s complex history. Based on London’s St.Martins-in-the-fields, construction started in 1739 but wasn’t completed until 1756. Although built as a protestant reform church, the building is highly decorated and as one wedding guest pointed out ‘blinged up to the max’. You would be right in thinking that ‘protestant’ and ‘bling’ do not go hand in hand but we must remember that this building was being built as a status symbol. Churchgoers in the 18th Century had to pay a fee to attend St. Andrews, unlike other churches in the city. It truly was only the privileged who could enter God’s house. But unlike the 18th century churchgoer, you, yes YOU can walk in and experience it’s full glory most days of the week!
For a nice introduction to the building have a wee look at the video by local historian and heritage guru, Fergus Sutherland at the end of the post.
Now that we have touched upon the historical importance of the building, we now need to address the importance of sustaining such a building. Weddings, concerts, baptisms and other celebrations are all great in helping to keep a historic building and we should be extremely happy about that right? Well, I think we all need to realise that once a building is up and running that isn’t the end of the hard work. It’s just the beginning of a new, even harder struggle. Such buildings usually have a higher rate of insurance, need constant repair, up-keep and care required to be used to contemporary standards. So, although on the outside buildings may look as if they are constantly busy, this may not be the case. This is why hard working businesses like Cafe Source (St. Andrews in the Square), and organisations such as Four Acres Charitable Trust (Cottiers & Websters) are essential to success and survival of Glasgow’s built environment.
So next time you go to a wedding or even just out for a light bite to one of these venues, keep in mind that you are playing an essential role, no matter how small, in keeping heart of Glasgow’s built heritage beating.
To find out more about Cafe Source, or to hire St.Andrews in the Square please go to: http://www.standrewsinthesquare.com/ Honestly, we cannot recommend them highly enough!