JOCELYN Gate, at the entrance to Glasgow Green, has a gruesome history attached to its name.

A flagstone in front of the impressive archway which marks the way in to the Green, sums it up.

“Jocelyn Gate. This area, formerly known as Jocelyn Square, was the site of both the famous Glasgow Fair and, until 1865 of public executions.”

Hardly believable today, that an execution could be a public spectacle, but many decades ago, crowds often flocked to see criminals brought to justice in the most awful way imaginable.

Before executions were held in Duke Street jail and later Barlinnie, they used to be held at Jocelyn Square, facing what is now the High Court building in Saltmarket.

The first executions at the spot were in 1814 and over the years 67 men and four women were hanged there. The last was poisoner Edward Pritchard who killed his wife and mother-in-law.

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The name commemorates Bishop Jocelyn, a Cistercian monk who was Bishop of Glasgow in the 1100s and a city founding father.

In the 1170s Jocelyn persuaded King William the Lion to grant Burgh status to Glasgow, enabling it to hold an annual fair – which became the famous Glasgow Fair…