Glasgow Cathedral is Scotland's only complete medieval cathedral to survive the Reformation; the verticality of the interior and the elegance of the clustered piers are monuments to the power of the Gothic tradition. The building itself is an amalgam of influences, from the Early Pointed style of the east end of the choir to the magnificent Late Gothic vaulting of the lower church. Like other churches in Scotland, the Cathedral of Glasgow suffered attacks during the 16th century. The only two Glasgow martyrs of the Reformation were burned at the stake in the churchyard. During the years following the Reformation all images were removed and all chapels stripped of their furnishings. In pre-Reformation times there were altars at each of the fourteen pillars of the Nave. The enormous quire screen, which practically divides the church in half, was emplaced at the end of the 15th century. It is the only one of its kind left in any non-monastic pre-Reformation church in Scotland.
Stained Glass Windows
- The Great West Window is "The Creation" by Frasic Spear and below it is a modern clock, both installed in 1958.
- The Trades House Window shows the arms of the Trades House of Glasgow whose forbears, according to tradition, saved the cathedral from destruction at the hands of a mob in Reformation times.
Only fragments of the church's original glazing, found during a 19th century restoration campaign, remain. In the 19th century windows were installed by artists such as Clayton & Bell, Ballantine & Allan, Pompei Bertini, Thomas Williment and Henry Hughes. Major windows had glass manufactured in Germany following an 1857 decision to employ the Royal Bavarian Stained Glass Establishment of Munich to manufacture and install stained glass windows. However, most of the "Munich Glass", as well many of the other 19th-century windows, were removed in the 20th century partly because of pollution which caused some of the glass to deteriorate.