Welcome to the site . . . .
It's a miracle that the Glasgow Network has survived. Though it was in use as far back as the Bronze Age, its original purpose has been forgotten and nowadays millions of people walk over it every day unaware of its existence. Centuries of housing and industrial development have obliterated surface traces of Glasgow's first settlements, but we now know that special sites in the area 4,000 years ago were placed in alignment with the surrounding hills.In the tree-covered wilderness of the Clyde Valley this helped you find your way back to them.
Because the first Glaswegians were so methodical about placing these sites in alignment with hills like Duncolm, Dumgoyne and Dunwan, it's surprisingly easy to pin-point the places in the city where the prehistoric alignments surface - it's just that up till now we never noticed it!
Though these sites were later built over, we are left
with a network of invisible lines that ran between them and can still be traced
through ruined castles, churchyards and ancient mounds in the hidden corners
of the city. Places like Govan Old Parish Church, Crookston Castle, and Provan
Hall are all linked to the Network. Not that these buildings themselves are
of any great antiquity - it's the sites they occupy that are important. Our
prehistoric ancesters chose the most suitable sites for their purpose and nobody
put a 'listed building' order on them. In many cases they were used time and
time again. Once you know the invisible pattern you'll never see Glasgow the
same way again!
Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis
The alignments were first described by Harry Bell in a small book called Glasgow's Secret Geometry (ISBN 0-9506219-1-9) first printed in 1984. The book was not taken seriously in 1984 because Glasgow was thought on as a medieval creation and alignments of sites from different periods in history were looked on as a map exercise rather than the result of serious research. Nobody realised back then that the real wonders of the Glasgow Network do not show up on maps - the intervisibility of distant sites, the way alignments cross and recross the most prominent points in the landscape, and above all the theory's predictive capacity - how new sites were discovered and others thought to be medieval or Roman when the book was first printed are now known to have had earlier Bronze Age occupancy.
Harry Bell was a certificated Field Archaeologist and his work makes no assertions that without substantial proof. His account of the Network's discovery, summarised on this Web site, is divided into the five necessary steps of any serious archaeological research - Observation, Classification, Hypothesis, Prediction and Test. It is also an engaging personal story of how a hobby gradually became an obsession. Harry Bell died in October 2001 and this site fulfils Harry's wish that his many years of research would be available for future generations. For more information on Harry Bell the man, click here.
The full text of the Glasgow's Secret Geometry book is now available in Microsoft Word format - you can access it from the link here. It's recommended that you download the file to your desktop rather than open it in the browser (right-click the mouse and use the "Save Target As" instruction).
These alignments run straight as a rifle shot through the oldest man-made structures in Glasgow, Bothwell, Carmunock, Crookston, Castlemilk, Dunbarton, Drumchapel, Easterhouse, East Kilbride, Govan, Hamilton, Inchinnan, Kilsyth, Old Kilpatrick, Paisley, Renfrew and Rutherglen. No matter whether it is a castle, church, burial site or habitation, the oldest known site in each of these 17 communities has an alignment passing through it. No amount of 'observer bias' could conjure up this result artificially. This is clear statistical proof that the present layout of Glasgow evolved from a long-forgotten framework of Prehistoric Site Alignments which are accurately sighted onto the surrounding hills.