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Visiting Lockerbie, Scotland, with its magnificent Town Hall: towered Scottish Baronial style architecture

Updated on September 14, 2013
Flag of Scotland
Flag of Scotland | Source
Lockerbie Town Hall
Lockerbie Town Hall | Source
Lockerbie High Street. The town hall clock tower is prominent on the right.
Lockerbie High Street. The town hall clock tower is prominent on the right. | Source
Map location of Lockerbie, Scotland
Map location of Lockerbie, Scotland | Source

Glowing stone and remembrance

Lockerbie, Scotland, has a magnificent example of civic architecture in Scottish Baronial- and Jacobean-style architecture. This fine, impressive building was completed in 1891. The town of Lockerbie is situated in the Dumfries and Galloway Region, in the Scottish Lowlands. It has historically been a trading centre for a district heavily involved in agriculture.

Some features of the building

A particularly noteworthy aspect of the building is the clock tower which forms an imposing landmark in the town and surrounding area. The tower incorporates bartizans: overhanging, wall-mounted turret features, redolent of French chateaux, which are rather striking.

The building has a moulded round-arched doorway with recessed columns (1).

The fact that the structure was executed in red sandstone has the effect that on a sunny day its walls easily catch the light, causing this civic building to glow magnificently. The stone is in fact a typical local building material.

Lockerbie's town hall clock tower reminds me of the similar-looking tower of the Town House of Aberdeen: the difference being that the Aberdeen structure is in granite. However, in the right light conditions, given the use of red sandstone in Lockerbie's Town Hall, it may almost be described as even more impressive than Aberdeen's historic, civic structure.

The Town Hall was originally planned by way of commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Architect David Bryce

Lockerbie Town Hall's architect was David Bryce (1803-1876), who died before the structure was built; another of Architect Bryce's creations was the Main Building of Fettes College, Edinburgh, and the frontage to the Bank of Scotland Headquarters, The Mound, Edinburgh.

Pan Am Flight 103

Complementing a Garden of Remembrance in the town, a window in the Low Chamber of the Town Hall incorporates a memorial, with poignant flag motifs, to the victims of Pan Am Flight 103. The town of Lockerbie is inextricably linked in the minds of many people with the air disaster on 21 December 1988, when a bomb explosion occurred on Flight 103 in mid-air over the town. 243 passengers and 16 crew members perished in the catastrophe. In addition, 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie also died in this most tragic of events.


(1) See: British Listed Buildings,

Also worth seeing

Glasgow (distance: 115 kilometres); its many visitor attractions include the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum; City Chambers; St Mungo's Cathedral.

Edinburgh (distance: 117 kilometres); its numerous places of interest include the Castle; the Scott Monument; the Royal Mile.


How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Glasgow Airport, where car rental is available. Bus and rail links are maintained between Glasgow and Lockerbie. Please note that facilities mentioned may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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    • MJFenn profile image

      MJFenn 6 years ago

      Although it hit the news for all the wrong reasons, yet quite apart from the important commemoration of the crash, it is an architecturally interesting place in its own right, so to speak.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Great hub and very informative. I have visited there many years ago and it brought back memories. Thank you for sharing.