Royal Faculty building set for renovation work

Ten year programme of vital repairs begins this month, as Jane Barrie describes.

The iconic building of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow is about to be given a £200,000 programme of vital repairs.

Beginning this month, the category-A listed building in Nelson Mandela Place will undergo 10 years of maintenance and renovation including work on the roof, masonry, windows, doors and interior.

The Italianate “palazzo” style structure designed by architect Charles Wilson, which dates from 1857, was modelled on Sansovino’s Library in Venice and is designed in the style of a Venetian “palazzo” or townhouse. With its richly decorated interior it houses the Royal Faculty’s 200 year old law library as well as its many events.

The impressive library dates from 1817 and is one of the oldest libraries in Scotland. Its treasures include both legal and non-legal texts and manuscripts.

The exterior will be fully restored using paint scrapings and stone sampling to ensure that the renovation is as sympathetic to the historic character of the building as possible.

A £57,344 grant towards the £117,000 external repairs has been awarded by Glasgow City Heritage Trust, funded by Historic Environment Scotland and Glasgow City Council. The remainder will be funded by the Royal Faculty.

To mark the occasion, the Royal Faculty, which is rarely open to the public, has arranged  a series of events, which began with a virtual exhibition of the premises during Glasgow Doors Open Day in September, which can still be viewed at

An advice clinic in conjunction with Strathclyde University Law Clinic is also planned, along with a tour of legal architecture in Glasgow and a series of public lectures.

The Dean, Donald Reid, commented: “This is an exciting time for us.

“The renovations have been two years in the planning and are an important milestone in the history of the Royal Faculty. “We are very proud of our important building and over the years have done our best to maintain it to a standard worthy of its standing in our city. We’re delighted to see this stunning building restored and enhanced. It is a jewel in the city’s architectural heritage.”

Jane Barrie is a solicitor with Austin Lafferty Solicitors and a council member of the Royal Faculty