Martyrs Public School

M105 Martyrs Public School

Address: Parson Street, Glasgow G4 0PX
Date: 1895–7
Client: School Board of Glasgow
Authorship: Authorship category 1 (Mackintosh) (Mackintosh)

Colour view of light well on first floor of Martyrs' School

This three-storey former board school in the Townhead district of Glasgow is symmetrically planned around a central light well. It is a relatively plain building inside and out, with a limited amount of carved ornament derived from 17th-century Scottish architecture. Inside, the design of the exposed roof timbers above the central hall, and especially above the stairs, is highly unusual. The school was converted to museum use in the 1990s.

Authorship: Martyrs Public School is one of an important group of buildings by John Honeyman & Keppie dating from the mid 1890s – others are the Glasgow Herald buildings and Queen's Cross Church – in which Mackintosh's distinctive contribution to the work of the firm can first be clearly seen. The design includes some strikingly unorthodox features, particularly the roof timbers, which suggest that Mackintosh took a leading role in the project. His handwriting appears extensively on the drawings approved by the Glasgow Dean of Guild Court, and he made an elaborate perspective drawing of the school, which was exhibited and reproduced in the architectural press.

Alternative names: St Mungo's Academy annexe, College of Building annexe.

Alternative addresses:
11 Barony Street

Cost from office job book: £9565 12s 8d

Cost from other sources: £9630 1

Status: Standing building

Current use: Glasgow City Council offices (2014)

Listing category: A

Historic Scotland/HB Number: 32619

RCAHMS Site Number: NS66NW 111

Grid Reference: NS 60081 65840

GPS coordinates: lat = 55.865388, lng = -4.237333   (Map)


1: P. Ballantine, 'Martyrs Public School', Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Newsletter, 9, Autumn 1975, p. 6.