Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 58488 65749
258488, 665749


Classical three-storey and basement terrace block of three-bay houses, built around 1829. No 5 has a stylised Art Nouveau inset pedimented doorpiece by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The main frontage of the building is 21 bays long with outer three-bay sections raised and breaking forward with fluted Ionic porticos. The ground floor central section has arched entries.

All entries to Blythswood Square have stairs oversailing a basement area. Windows are mainly sash and case in architraves, some with 12-pane glazing. The ground floor windows are set in recessed arches with moulded cills and aprons. Basement and 1st floor cill band. 1st floor windows corniced. Eaves cornice and blocking course. Spearheaded cast-iron railings. The seven-bay returns to Douglas Street and to Blythswood Street largely repeat the main elevation detailing.

There is a rendered addition to the rear of No 5 Blythswood Square in Bath Lane with five-light timber mullioned and transomed stained glass window with wrought iron Art Nouveau grille.

Nos 2, 3 and 4 were redeveloped behind the principle elevation in 1987. Some interior work was reinstated following the rebuilding behind the façade.

Statement of Special Interest

Blythswood Square is the heart of Blythswood New Town. It was initiated in 1821 by William Hamilton Garden who went bankrupt promoting it, and was laid out by William Harley between 1823 and 1829 (Buildings of Scotland, p.214).

The Glasgow Society of Lady Artists' Club was established at 5 Blythswood Square in 1893. Mackintosh designed the pedimented doorcase for the entrance, a telephone kiosk for the hall and also made interior alterations. His name is given in the minutes of the Lady Artists' Club as the architect recommended for and awarded the work in 1908. Macintosh's architectural firm (Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh) also carried out other works at Nos 4 and 7 Blythswood Square, but there is no evidence that Mackintosh produced work for those commissions. 5 Blythswood Square was sold to the Scottish Arts Council in 1971.

The basement flat at 7 Blythswood Square was the home of Madeldine Smith and her family in the 1850s. Miss Smith was accused of poisoning here lover but after a long trial the jury reached a verdict of "not proven". Jack House records the details in "Square Mile of Murder".

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was born in Glasgow and is regarded internationally as one of the leading architects and designers of the 20th century. He became known as a pioneer of Modernism, although his architecture took much inspiration from Scottish Baronial, and Scottish and English vernacular forms and their reinterpretation. The synthesis of modern and traditional forms led to a distinctive form of Scottish arts and crafts design, known as 'The Glasgow Style'. This was developed in collaboration with contemporaries Herbert McNair, and the sisters Francis and Margaret Macdonald (who would become his wife in 1900), who were known as 'The Four'. The Glasgow Style is now synonymous with Mackintosh and the City of Glasgow.

Mackintosh's work is wide-ranging and includes public, educational and religious buildings to private houses, interior decorative schemes and sculptures. He is associated with over 150 design projects, ranging from being the principal designer, to projects he was involved with as part of the firm of John Honeyman & Keppie (Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh from 1901). The most important work during this partnership was the Glasgow School of Art (LB33105), which was built in two phases from 1897 and culminated in the outstanding library of 1907. Other key works include the Willow Tea Rooms (LB33173), the Glasgow Herald Building (now The Lighthouse) (LB33087) and Hill House (LB34761), which display the modern principles of the German concept of 'Gesamtkunstwerk', meaning the 'synthesis of the arts'. This is something that Mackintosh applied completely to all of his work, from the exterior to the internal decorative scheme and the furniture and fittings.

Mackintosh left Glasgow in 1914, setting up practice in London the following year. Later he and Margaret moved to France, where until his death, his artistic output largely turned to textile design and watercolours.

There are two listing dates due to a substitution on 08/05/1975.

Listed building record revised in 2019.




Maps and plans

William Harley, Copy of the Design for his Square on Blythswood Hill by Mr Burns of Edinburgh.


Glasgow, Mitchell Library (Glasgow Collection): The Glasgow Lady Artists' Club minutes, Ref: 891004/1

Kyle Estate Archive, Index to plans: S R Archives VII*

Printed Sources

Billcliffe, R (2009) Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, Moffat, Dumfriesshire: Cameron & Hollis, 4th edn, p.243.

Brown, A (2018) Charles Rennie Mackintosh Making the Glasgow Style. Glasgow: Glasgow Museums.

Crawford, A (1995) Charles Rennie Mackintosh. London: Thomas and Hudson.

Cooper, J. (editor) (1984) Mackintosh architecture: the complete buildings and selected projects. London: Academy.

Doak (ed) (1977) No 24.

Gomme A, Walker D (1968) Architecture of Glasgow, London and Glasgow: Lund Humphries Ltd, pp.75-8, 183, 232, 285.

House, J. (2002) A Square Mile of Murder.

Howarth, T. (1977) Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Modern Movement. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.

McKean C, Walker D, Walker F (1989) Central Glasgow: Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Illustrated Architectural Guide, Edinburgh: Rutland Press.

Neat, T. & McDermott, G. (2002) Closing The Circle Thomas Howarth, Mackintosh and the Modern Movement. Aberdour: Inyx publishing.

Robertson, P. (editor) (1990) Mackintosh: The Architectural Papers. Wendlebury: White Cockade Publishing.

The Glasgow Lady Artists' Club financial statement of 1908–9. Glasgow Society of Women Artists, A Centenary Exhibition to celebrate the founding of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists in 1882, exhib. cat., Collins Gallery, Glasgow, 8–30 September 1982, p.10.

Williamson E, Riches A and Higgs M (1990) Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow. London: Penguin Books Ltd, pp.215-16.

Online Sources

Dictionary of Scottish Architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, [accessed 30/05/2019].

Dictionary of Scottish Architects – Blythwood Square at [accessed 2019].

University of Glasgow, Mackintosh Architecture, 4, 5 and 7 Blythswood Square at [accessed 2019].

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 22/05/2024 17:45