Glasgow used to have four railway stations in the centre of the city; now it only has two. St Enoch’s is one that got away – it functioned between 1876 and 1966, though the hotel was not demolished till 1977. On the site today stands a modern glass shopping mall. Progress? Glasgow has lost many similarly splendid buildings to the developers over the years, though the other side of St Enoch Square has fared better. The Royal Bank of Scotland, for example, is adorned by early 20th century statues of Prudence and Adventure, and the red sandstone building in the middle of the square is the former ticket hall of the St Enoch subway station. It’s now a branch of a well-known chain of coffee shops.
So, St Enoch – are you wondering who HE might be? Wrong! St Enoch is a corruption of St Teneu (or Thenew), a 6th-century princess who was the mother of St Kentigern (aka Mungo – confused yet?) St Enoch Square allegedly marks the site of a medieval chapel dedicated to Thenew, built on or near her grave. As for Mungo, we’ll be meeting him again – he founded Glasgow. Gallus!
Tomorrow, F takes us even further back in time – millions of years.