Welcome to the site . . . .
This site began as a little fun personal project back around 1998 I think. I had just learned the very basics of creating a web page for work and thought it would be nice to surprise my dad by taking some of the photos and texts from his book "Glasgow's Secret Geometry" and putting them online for the world to see. Something that could be done incredibly quickly now took me a while back then, but it was well worth it as I remember how happy he was when I showed him my handywork. There was a little web counter on the page and as the months went by he was pleased with the visitor numbers and especially that people had found the site from many different countries, maybe 20 countries in all. When the free web host Geocities was shut down many years later lots of people lost their personal web pages. However just yesterday I downloaded some web page software so I thought I would publish this site again, warts and all (it's a bit embarrassing to look at now, so you'll have to trust me that lots of web pages looked like this in 1998). Since Glasgow's Secret Geometry is long out of print at least the text of it is here as a Word document together with some of the photos. Amazon still lists the book and there are some nice words about my dad left as a book review on the link for it, see :- Amazon link Now that this page is up online again, who knows maybe some budding archaeologist will pick up the baton and make further investigations to verify the claims made in the book. I hope you enjoy visiting this site and apologise for the design limitations.
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
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.