1881 – Glasgow Asylum for the Blind, Scotland

Architect: William Landless


Published in The Architect June 24th 1882. The Blind Asylum was founded in 1804, with the first building on Castle Street erected in 1828 by public subscription. A competition was held to design a replacement building in 1878. It was designed by William Landless in what is a variant of the Scots Baronial style and was completed in 1881 at a cost of £21,000. In 1934 it was purchased by the adjacent Glasgow Royal Infirmary, for conversion into an Out-patients’ Department but now sits derelict.

The structure is a rather curious mixture of architectural styles and has been described as “excruciatingly Franco-Flemish with a spire bristling with gargoyles,” and “Free Revivalist style combining Franco-Scots, northern European and Gothic.” Its predominant feature is the hexagonal corner clock tower with spire, crowstepped gables and a large statue which was placed in its canopied niche in 1881. TReflecting the Victorian religious based philanthropy of the age and represents Christ dressed in Medieval garb, restoring sight to a blind child, it is by Charles Benham Grassby.