First Hengler’s Cirque Glasgow

Hengler’s first circus building in Glasgow began it existence as the Prince’s Theatre at the corner of West Nile Street and Buchanan Street (nowadays West Regent St.).

Charles Hengler first came to Scotland in 1861 to Glasgow Green, and back again the next year. In June 1863 he took the lease of the Prince’s Theatre and converted it into a circus building. In 1877 Charles Hengler had the building completely renovated, it reopened on the 17th of November. 

Hengler’s Circus remained at the former Palace Theatre each winter season of about 6 months until their move twenty years after their first appearance there. Charles Hengler thought the time was ripe to construct a new building as the building was old and run down. He sold his interest in the property to H.M. Tax Commisioners in 1883.

The new circus was constructed at Wellington Street across Waterloo Street from the site that would become the Alhambra Theatre. By then Charles Hengler’s regular architect and friend J.T. Robinson had died so the building was designed by his son-in-law: the famous theater and circus building architect Frank Matcham. 


100, West Nile Street
G1 2QH Glasgow

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