GLASGOW’S parks are a pure treasure and have been a significant a part of life for the Pricey Inexperienced Place’s residents down the years.
In the course of the present pandemic they’ve been used as locations to flee lockdown, to take pleasure in contemporary air and a way of freedom.
There are greater than 90 parks or inexperienced areas in Glasgow – the smallest is Pageant Park and the biggest, and most dramatic, is Pollok Nation Park on the southside of the town, dwelling to a photogenic herd of Highland cattle and a variety of wildlife.
Close by, Bellahouston Park has hosted two papal visits – Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in entrance of 300,000 in 1982 and Pope Benedict who did the identical to 60,000 in 2013 – and a number of other high music acts comparable to Eminem, The Remedy, Paulo Nutini and Calvin Harris, in addition to the World Pipe Band Championships, whereas Rouken Glen Park, just a few miles away, has hosted sell-out Electrical Glen winter gentle present.
Glasgow Inexperienced – the oldest park – has been the setting for numerous main occasions comparable to the primary ever T within the Park with the likes of superstars REM, Beyoncé and Kylie Minogue, and extra not too long ago its successor, TRNSMT, and the ending line for the Nice Scottish Run was on the Inexperienced as properly, displaying simply how a lot the town depends on its open areas in so many alternative methods.
Parks supply a significant, leisure outlet, simply as they did within the late 1800s when the town was one of many quickest rising on this planet.
Individuals wanted employment and houses, however additionally they wanted leisure to fill their leisure time; the town parks have been particularly designed with recreation in thoughts with bandstands, boating ponds and glasshouses typically included within the plans for this function.
Glasgow Metropolis Heritage Belief (GCHT) has been taking a better take a look at the town’s parks and particular person options therein to seek out out who have been the forward-thinking minds behind the planning and building.
GCHT, shaped in 2007, is an unbiased charity and funder whose grant programmes assist tasks which promote the understanding, appreciation and conservation of Glasgow’s historic constructed surroundings.
In the previous few months its crew has been exploring numerous parks across the metropolis, highlighting buildings, ponds, inexperienced homes, historical timber, sculptures and the minds behind them.
Silvia Scopa, Neighborhood Engagement Officer for GCHT, came upon extra about Elder Park in Govan, for instance, which was established in 1885 by philanthropist, Isabella Elder.
Isabella, who died 20 years later, devoted her life to bettering the town and the residing situations of its inhabitants.
Nearly all of her philanthropic tasks have been centred on Govan, together with establishing the park to supply “healthful recreation by music and amusement” to the folks of Govan.
The Isabella Elder Rose Backyard is the principle decorative backyard part of the unique design. It was restored in 2010 and contains the Isabella Elder statue, which is Class A-Listed and was the primary statue of a lady aside from Queen Victoria in Glasgow.
Isabella additionally keenly supported the event of medical coaching for ladies. In 1894 the College of Glasgow’s medical college produced Scotland’s first feminine graduates in medication. Isabella’s statue exhibits her wearing her graduate robes from the College of Glasgow, the place she was awarded an honorary diploma in 1901.
Gardener and architect, Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-1865), was the good thoughts behind a number of the most beloved parks within the metropolis, together with Glasgow Botanic Gardens within the West Finish and Queen’s Park on the Southside.
He participated within the design of West Finish Park, now referred to as Kelvingrove Park, and amongst his essential achievements was the design of the Crystal Palace in London for the Nice Exhibition of 1851.
“Final yr, we ran an internet Glasgow Park of the week sequence and lined about 15 of them,” mentioned Silvia. Elder Park gained a spot on the GCHT checklist.
“The smallest one to characteristic was Pageant Park, situated on Govan Highway and it’s the solely surviving floor from the 1988 Glasgow Backyard Pageant, which was held on the location of the previous Prince’s Dock, as soon as the biggest on the Clyde,” mentioned Silvia.
“One of many highlights of this park is doubtless the stays of the Highland river, lochan, and waterfall, which have been as soon as amongst the options of the Pageant.”
The honour of being the primary park of the week went to Linn Park on the town’s south aspect. Named after the waterfall on the White Cart Water, that is the second largest park in Glasgow masking 82 hectares.
With folks spending extra time within the metropolis parks, extra have been taking discover of bandstands and glasshouses, described by Rachel Kacir GCHT’s heritage outreach managers as “the liked and misplaced treasures” of Glasgow parks.
“Glasgow’s parks are lovely areas with many intriguing options comparable to glasshouses, bandstands, fountains, playparks, out of doors gyms and so forth,” mentioned Rachel, who spends a whole lot of time in Alexandra Park in Dennistoun.
She checked out corporations specialising in producing fountains, bandstands and architectural cresting and ornaments.
Essentially the most celebrated work of MacFarlane’s & Co, based by Walter MacFarlane (1817-85), is the Saracen Fountain in Alexandra Park, commissioned as their principal exhibit for the Worldwide Exhibition at Kelvingrove Park in 1901.
They gifted the fountain to the town and it was relocated to Alexandra Park in 1914 and was restored to working order to have a good time the Millennium in 2000. The corporate additionally manufactured the Queen’s Park bandstand – now a venue as soon as extra referred to as the Queen’s Park Enviornment – and the elements of the Kibble Palace, the jewel in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens crown.
Rachel mentioned that Simpson & Farmer have been the corporate that led the best way when it got here to glasshouses. Describing themselves as ‘Horticultural Builders, Heating and Air flow Engineers,’ they have been liable for the glasshouses, or ‘Winter Gardens’, in Tollcross, Springburn and Queen’s Parks.
The Tollcross Winter Gardens glasshouse was closed within the 1980s and far of the metal framework was misplaced as a result of vandalism. It was restored within the late 1990s/early 2000s, however storm harm throughout the winter of 2010-11 led to it being closed once more.
The GCHT, which has grant-aided a few of Glasgow’s most well-known buildings together with Hutchesons Corridor, The Waterproof coat Church at Queens Cross, The Britannia Panopticon and Argyll Arcade, says the Winter Gardens are as soon as once more classed as ‘At Danger’ on the Buildings at Danger Register for Scotland, whereas Springburn Winter Gardens have remained derelict for a while as a result of main structural issues. Springburn Winter Gardens Belief, a group led organisation, is working to revive them.
Queen’s Park glasshouse closed final yr and work started to take away its dome, which was in an unsafe situation. Associates of Queen’s Park are working with Glasgow Metropolis Council and others to make sure the long-term sustainability of the ability.
Regardless of such points, Glasgow parks will proceed to be an attraction.
So, whether or not you might be heading out for a quiet stroll, a jog, strolling the canine, a seat on a bench to soak up your environment, or long run, ready for that subsequent music gig, parks are making a renewed curiosity in all of us.
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