IN his fine book, On Glasgow and Edinburgh, Robert Crawford, a professor at St Andrews, writes of the cities’ long-standing rivalry: “It is impossible to life live to the full in either place without occasionally thinking wistfully or smirkingly of the other.”

Within Scotland since at least the early eighteenth century, he adds a few pages later, “a sense of sparring and sometimes outright competition between the country’s two largest cities has been a defining aspect of the nation.”

Even Provand’s Lordship, that historic building in Castle Street, across the road from the Cathedral, the Necropolis and the Royal Infirmary, has, it seems, been pressed into service in the context of Glasgow one-upmanship.

The property, pictured here in 1956 (it’s interesting to note the tenement buildings that adjoined it at that time), dates from 1471.

Its masonry, Prof Crawford writes, is largely of the late Middle Ages, as are its oak floor beams. The house was extended in 1671, and its windows altered then or at a later date. Inside, its floor plan is medieval, with three equal-size rooms on each storey. “Furnished with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century items, Provand’s Lordship, like the Cathedral, speaks of Glasgow’s venerability.”

Glaswegians, he goes on to observe, “have the additional satisfaction of knowing that no small house of comparable antiquity survives in Edinburgh.”