ON historic Castle Street, many Glasgow buildings have come and gone, but one has stood the test of time.

If the walls of Provand’s Lordship could talk, they would tell a tale of a changing city, from the disease-ravaged streets of medieval times to the bustling, cultural hub it is today.

The building owes its existence to Dr Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow, who built St Nicholas Hospital around 1464, at nearby Stablegreen Port.

Glasgow Times: Provand's Lordship, 1975Provand's Lordship, 1975 (Image: Newsquest)

What is now known as Provand’s Lordship was built a little later, in 1471. The Muirhead coat of arms is still visible on the side of the building.

The hospital had a renowned herbal garden which was recreated in the 1990s.

Glasgow Times: The herb garden at the rear of Provand's Lordship

According to Glasgow City Archives, the original purpose of the hospital was to provide care and support for “twelve old men, who were provided by all the necessaries for their support and sustenance, and also a priest to celebrate divine service, that they might be free from worldly avocations in the decline of their old age.”

The building has had many uses over the centuries. It was likely required to house clergy and support staff from nearby Glasgow Cathedral, and it has also been a townhouse, occupied by the Lord of the Prebend of Barlanark.

Glasgow Times: Provand's LordshipProvand's Lordship (Image: Newsquest)

The name ‘provan’ probably evolved from prebend - the diocese of Glasgow was divided into 32 prebends, each of which had its own senior priest, all of whom were members of the Chapter of Glasgow Cathedral. The Barlanark Prebend was one of Glasgow's wealthiest areas at the time.

One of the more surprising uses for the building came in 1906, when the house was run as a sweetshop and sweet factory by the Morton family.

The Provand's Lordship Society formed with the aim of saving it for future generations, initially leasing it for £100 per year until the end of the First World War.

A funding boost from wealthy philanthropist Sir William Burrell in 1927, along with his donation of furniture, helped the society buy it outright.

By 1978 major repairs were needed, and the Provand's Lordship Society offered the property to the City of Glasgow, who oversaw its restoration and opened it to the public.

Glasgow Times: Inside Provand's LordshipInside Provand's Lordship (Image: Newsquest)

It is now a much-loved museum, part of the city's rich history. It is furnished with a fine selection of 17th century historic furniture and royal portraits.

Our archives have several fantastic old photographs of the place, including a picture, from 1957, of Mrs Margaret Gallie who was then curator, and one taken in 1975, which shows a woman on the way to the local steamie in the foreground.

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Is Provand's Lordship Glasgow's oldest house? It is generally considered to be, but there is some debate around this, as Provan Hall in Easterhouse - also recently revamped and re-opened to the public - could lay claim to the title.

The next chapter in Provand’s Lordship history begins on March 29, when the building will re-open following £1.6m upgrading works to the roof, chimneys and downpipes.

Doors and windows have been replaced in original styles and protection against rising damp has been added. New lime harling render, which helps preserve the building, has been added, making it look as it did in the 15th century.