Just next to the Principal’s Lodging in The Square, at the southern end of the Stair Building, number 11, is the former residence of one of Glasgow University’s most famous professors. The round plaque on the right, from The Institute of Physics, commemorates the fact that William Thompson, Baron Kelvin of Largs, lived in this house from 1870 to 1899.
The buildings surrounding The Square, number 1-11 (number 13 belonged to the Principal), were designed and built by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1870, and used to be the residences of the Professors of the University until they were gradually converted to the use of departments and offices. The last professor left his house there in the 1980s. Back at the Old College on High Street, the professors of the University were housed at Professors’ Court, and in keeping with this naming scheme, The Square used to be called Professors’ Square.
The plaque to the left of the entrance reads:
In this house lived
William Thompson, Lord Kelvin
He matriculated in the University
at the age of 10, was its Professor
of Natural History from 1846-1899,
and died as its Chancellor. He is
buried beside Isaac Newton in
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