Monitoring work undertaken by staff from AOC Archaeology Group during the initial phase of work associated with a new retail development at Gallowgate, Glasgow, has identified elements of the late Georgian Barracks. Planning consent for this development was issued by Glasgow City Council with a condition attached requiring the completion of a programme of archaeological work, this condition being attached on the advice of the West of Scotland Archaeology Service because of the former presence of the barracks on the site, which was also the location of the Pighoose Pottery.
The late Georgian Infantry Barracks were constructed on the burgh's former bow-butts (which had fallen out of regular use and had been partially developed) and on adjoining land to the east in 1795. The barracks were mapped on Fleming's 1807 map (surveyed late 1806), on the 1st Edition O.S. map, and are depicted particularly clearly on the Ordnance Survey Town Plan of 1857. Three main buildings, and a number of others, were depicted. Two large barrack blocks faced each other across a central parade ground or barrack-square. The rear walls of the barrack blocks were very close to the enclosing walls to Barrack Street and Hunter Street, and the photograph at the top of this page shows a set of steps leading up from the rear of the barrack block adjacent to Barrack Street; the wall at the rear of the picture is the boundary surrounding the site, while a band of cobbles at its base represents the contemporary ground level when the barracks were in use.
The Town Plan of 1857 was surveyed at 1:500, and sufficient detail is recorded to allow the identification of individual structures. The building shown in the first of the photographs below can be identified as the small un-named structure shown in the south-eastern corner of the site, while the second picture shows the gap between the corner of this building and the remains of the armoury, illustrated on the map extract shown above.
From 1889 onwards, the site of the barracks was used as a railway goods yard, which resulted in substantial truncation across much of the central area. However, embankments of old ground surface were present along its eastern and western margins. These lay up against the enclosure walls, which are the walls of the 1795 barracks with various modifications. These embankments served to protect elements of the complex from the ground reduction that took place to create the level platform needed for the goods yard.