Royal Exchange Square

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Royal Exchange Square

The Royal Exchange Square is a public square in Glasgow, Scotland. The square lies between Buchanan Street and Queen Street, opening out at the junction of Queen Street with Ingram Street to the south of George Square. It is also easily accessible from Buchanan Street on the west side of the square, through two prominent archways at Royal Bank Place. The square is a landmark due to its distinguished architecture which attracts many visitors. It is one of six squares in the city centre.

Tobacco lord William Cunninghame's mansion and gardens fronting Queen Street, and central to the future square, were constructed in 1778 when the wealth of Glasgow soon eclipsed the remainder of Scotland. Five years later the Royal Bank of Scotland opened in Glasgow, being its first ever branch beyond its Edinburgh base. Under its agent, the merchant and philanthropist David Dale, the bank in Glasgow soon exceeded the business volume of the Royal Bank elsewhere, and to reflect its status the bank moved from the area of Glasgow Cross by buying over Cunninghame's mansion in 1817 and operating from it. In 1827 the Royal Bank sold the Cunninghame mansion to the city for fitting out as an Exchange and its new Glasgow Chief Office branch, designed by Archibald Elliot II, complete with its six pillars and wide stairs, was erected in 1834 facing onto Royal Exchange Square. In 1850 this was extended through to Buchanan Street.

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