The University of Glasgow Settlement

The University of Glasgow Settlement or “Queen Margaret College Settlement Association” as it was originally called, was founded in 1897 by female students and graduates of the University’s Queen Margaret College. The settlement quickly became a “launchpad for reform” and raised Glasgow’s reputation, in particular, “for excellence and innovation in municipal reform” (Hamilton:185-188).

Queen Margaret College Settlement c. 1908  Image Harvard Art Museums
Queen Margaret College Settlement c. 1908
Image Harvard Art Museums

Based first in Anderston and later in Drumchapel, settlement volunteers were pioneers in many areas of social work and social reform in the early part of the 20th century. The  University Settlement “acted as an incubator for…idea(s) that first saw life as a voluntary initiative, highlighting the need for such work to be placed on a more secure footing. The settlement women in Glasgow helped to establish a new relationship in Britain between government and the voluntary sector, which saw demands for public spending and social intervention…In an age when private profit rule supreme, the women of Glasgow…argued for the public benefit to be the driving force of change” (Hamilton:198-199).

Queen Margaret College Settlement, Harvard Art Museum
Queen Margaret College Settlement, Harvard Art Museum

Pioneering innovative responses to changing social needs in Glasgow for over a century