Enjoy the Attractions of Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green is a large public park located on the north bank of the River Clyde. Having been granted by King James II to the people of Glasgow under the care of Bishop William Turnbull in 1450, the park is the oldest of its kind in the city, although it took a lot of work over an extended period of time to develop it into the landscaped treasure it is today, where visitors can enjoy the wide open stretches of well-tended lawns, stroll along the network of pathways and appreciate the architecture and history of its landmarks, including the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, the Doulton Fountain, the Nelson Monument, the McLennan Arch, St Andrews Suspension Bridge and Templeton on the Green.

When the land which is now Glasgow Green was granted by King James II, it was a swampy area with pieces of land, known as ‘greens’, divided by some streams – Molendinar Burn and Camlachi Burn. It became a multipurpose area used for grazing, washing and bleaching of linen and a place to dry fishing nets, as well as for leisure activities such as swimming. Starting in 1817 culverts were built over the burns and the park’s greens were leveled out and drained. Although coal deposits were located under the area in 1821, subsequent proposals to mine the deposits met with public opposition and were abandoned, and so the land continued to be developed as an area open to the public.

The Nelson Monument in Glasgow Green was erected the year after the renowned Admiral died in 1805. Fashioned as a 44 metre high obelisk, the monument was designed by Scottish architect David Hamilton, and was the first of several monuments to be erected in Scotland in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelson, victor of the Battle of Trafalgar in which the combined fleets of the French and Spanish navies were defeated. The monument was only four years old when a bolt of lightning destroyed the top six meters, but it was quickly repaired. Restoration work was carried out on the obelisk in 2002 and floodlighting installed to illuminate it at night.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens were opened by the Earl of Rosebery in January 1898 declaring that it would be “open to the people for ever and ever”. The building featured reading and recreation rooms, with a museum and picture gallery, and the glasshouse was brimming with exotic plants. At the time East Glasgow was one of the city’s most crowded areas, and a public place of this nature was exactly what the people needed. Today the museum details the lives of ordinary citizens dating back to mid-18th century and through to modern times – certainly well worth visiting when exploring the city of Glasgow.