Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A walk to The Peoples Palace, Glasgow


To the traveller who doesn't do their homework, Glasgow can seem like a bustling city of shops but with a bit of research and extra effort, it can be a mixture of delight, culture and great atmosphere. As this blog normally portrays a journey that usually includes hidden friends and people, it can be very difficult to spend time looking for that extra special shot as I hurry by with quick captures that become relatively acceptable. With that in mind, I looked forward to revisiting this location and a few new surprises in the next post. From previous experiences for some strange reason, Glasgow seems to bring out the Google searchers in a big way, so apologies for the detail here ... it's for them as well.

On a side note, I can't quite take in how busy I have been lately, making my Mothers house presentable for the Estate agent to rent even though it's not going to cover the cost of the nursing care home. There are still lots of things to transport from it but are well hidden behind cupboard doors at the moment. Like other exhibits in this post, the transportation and renovation included upgrading and replacement of all but one internal doors, complete redecoration, three carpets and a fireplace. I need to start on the exterior work next.

Across the railway bridge to arrive into Glasgow Central
On leaving the austere but atmospheric Glasgow Central Station, I decided to follow The River Clyde eastwards as opposed to the conventional route along Argyle street and St Enoch's shopping centre. As you may notice in this post, it is possible to spend a day in a busy city and yet have a peaceful day out !

South Portland street suspension Bridge   GJC_DSC_1081
South Portland Street Suspension Bridge, Glasgow

There are numerous bridges over The River Clyde but none more spectacular than this small and yet grand South Portland street suspension footbridge designed by Alexander Kirkland and built by George Martin.

South Portland Street Suspension Bridge, Glasgow
Work on building the bridge commenced in 1851 and took two years to build due to one of the towers splitting vertically following the erecting of the chains. The design was quickly modified but less than twenty years later, the rest of the bridge had to be strengthened with further upgrades in 1926 and 2004 to keep the structure viable.

South Portland bridge GJC_DSC_1069_edited-1
"Masonry and Chains" South Portland Street Suspension Bridge, Glasgow
Despite the problematic design of the original bridge, the modified 1853 towers still appear resplendent today but it does seem a bit unusual to think about the amount of work carried out on what is primarily a light load bearing footbridge.

The Briggait, Glasgow   GJC_DSC_1084_edited-1
The Briggait, Glasgow
Continuing my walk, it was by chance that I took my eyes off the river and the eclectic mix of bridges and fancied a shot of this magnificent doorway. This was a late addition to the post as I had to locate the site once more on Google street view and try to identify the unmarked and unused building.
The Briggait was completed in 1854 after taking nine years to build was inspired by the design of a Paris market hall. It opened as a fish market in 1873 with further building extensions at the turn of the century but better facilities were found elsewhere and the building was no longer needed in the 1970's.
A Charity organisation was set up to prevent it from demolition although ideas about turning it into a successful shopping centre failed. After years of seeming inactivity, hopes are raised that something positive can be made out of the new visual arts centre it houses.

McLennan Arch, Glasgow Green  GJC_DSC_1088_edited-1
McLennan Arch final resting place ... moved and rebuilt 3 times ! Glasgow Green
The entrance to Glasgow Green is made up of the relocated preserved frontage of The Old Assembly rooms which was demolished in 1892.

Trees, Glasgow Green
The Green itself being the oldest park in the city has incredible history dating back to 1450 when King James II gave land to the Bishop for the people of Glasgow. Despite being used originally for more routine chores such as washing and grazing, the land was less than ideal until it was levelled and drained in 1826.
Coal was discovered below the surface in 1821 but on each occasion that mining was suggested throughout the nineteenth century, public opposition was so intense so such a sensitive site that it never took place. Unusual indeed for Victorian times when the ordinary public defeated the businessmen of their day.

Glasgow Green
At New Year in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army once camped on land that is now includes Glasgow Green and requested that the city provide them with new footwear and clothes whilst James Watt thought up some ideas for his steam engine whilst out on a walk 20 years later. Political meetings and anti war rallies were held here from as early as 1816 with other large gatherings in more recent times being for open air music events.

Templeton Carpet Factory  GJC_DSC_1123
Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow Green
One of the most unusual sights on the opposite side of Glasgow Green from McLennan Arch is The 1889 Templeton Carpet Factory. Based on the actions of the residents on Glasgow Green during the 19th century, it was suggested that the nearby wealthy residents didn't want to overlook a factory so a Venetian design was incorporated into the building, although I'm not sure how that theory fits in with the birth of The Peoples Palace (more of that later).

Doge's Palace, Venice ... nearly !! Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow Green
Despite the activeness of the facade, it's original collapse soon after construction and a later fire that claimed many lives in the lifetime of this building.

Flats, carpet factory   GJC_DSC_1128
Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow Green
Subsequent mergers and business ventures saw the transfer of use from a carpet factory into part offices and part residential flats.

Peoples Palace, Glasgow Green  GJC_DSC_1132
Doulton Fountain, Peoples Palace, Glasgow Green
The Doulton fountain was another structure that was built elsewhere by Royal Doulton for the International exhibition of 1888 to celebrate Queen Victoria's long reign and was moved to Glasgow Green two years later. It is claimed that this is the largest Terracotta fountain in the world.

India  ...   Doulton Fountain, Peoples Palace, Glasgow Green
There are four facets to the statue representing the outposts of the British Empire at the time, Australia, South Africa, Canada and India. As with many other exhibits that you read about, damage and disrepair ensued. The exposed 48 foot high monument was subject to a lighting strike a year later and was partially destroyed with the Royal Doulton company paying for a second hand statue of the Queen to replace the old one. After falling into a state of dilapidation during the 1960's and the regeneration of the city that started at the time of the 1988 Glasgow Garden festival, the fountain was given a £2,000,000 refit and moved once again to the front of The Peoples Palace where it could be appreciated more.

Peoples Palace, Glasgow Green   GJC_DSC_1131
Peoples Palace, Glasgow
The Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens were opened in 1898. The concept was to provide a cultural focus for the overcrowded and poorer people in the east end of the city. At the opening ceremony it was stated by The Prime Minister, Lord Rosebery, "A palace of pleasure and imagination around which the people may place their affections and which may give them a home on which their memory may rest".

Stairs GJC_DSC_1146
Staircase  ...  Peoples Palace, Glasgow
The building tells the story including the history of the city and people of Glasgow.

Buttercup Dairy  GJC_DSC_1145
An interior period shop ...  Peoples Palace, Glasgow

Winter Gardens,  Peoples Palace, Glasgow
Extensive renovations taking two years were performed on the occasion of the 100th year anniversary.

Winter Gardens GJC_DSC_1121_edit-1 (1)
Possibly the largest conservatory in Scotland ??!!  Peoples Palace, Glasgow

Winter Gardens   GJC_DSC_1137
Peoples Palace, Glasgow
A place to relax once I had a few images and take in the atmosphere ...

Winter Gardens  GJC_DSC_1152
Peoples Palace, Glasgow

Something big ! ( Peoples Palace, Glasgow)

Cactus  GJC_DSC_1157
Something small !  (Peoples Palace, Glasgow)
It was a long time since I had eaten, I've seen better but the food from the cafe tasted good in these surroundings ... particularly the Lorne Sausage ....

Peoples Palace Brunch   GJC_DSC_1164_edited-1
The Winter Gardens (Late) breakfast, Peoples Palace,  Glasgow


  1. What a photogenic city. I don't know much about Glasgow, so I do thank you for the tour!

  2. I decided to stop in and see what was happening. Oh my goodness, what a treat! The photos are beautiful. Now I would love to visit Glasgow too. The People's Palace, the Carpet Factory, but my favorite are the bridges. I love the RR bridge into the city. I'm partial to bridges, which is reflected in the name I gave my GSD - Bridger. The information on the fountain was also so interesting. And although I'd tell you that breakfast doesn't look at all appetizing to me, Kevin would love it! :-)

  3. The Conservatory is really fantastic, J_on_tour! I like the photos here. Also the Carpet Factory and the Doulton Fountain are nice. I only stayed a coupke of hours in Glasgow, so I saw almost nothing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jay, a superb set. Glasgow is a great city....far better than Edinburgh.
    I must get a good look at the foot bridge. It is perfect to look at even if it is an imperfect structure.

  5. Very informative. I learned a lot about Glasgow.

    Those trees at the entrance of McLenann Arch look like cherry blossoms. The Terracotta fountain is my favorite.

    Happy weekend, Jay! All the best for you. Always take care.

  6. I have never been to Glasgow. From your photos it seems it has some amazing architecture.

  7. Love the photos in this post, the colour in the brick work, and the information, good to see you back.
    Just checked your list of places you have visited as we have booked our holidays to Appledore North Devon its looks a bit like Staithes but without the hills (I think!)
    I'll be back for your next post :)

  8. A very nice walk through Glasgow..
    An interesting visit with your guidance, dear Jay!
    I am not (really) back.. just to say, that I am sorry!!
    Nice to see you well..

  9. A palace of pleasure and imagination? I love that idea! The conservatory definitely looks like a place boosting my pleasure and imagination just seeing it in your photos, the reality must be so much more impressive. :)

    I really enjoyed this tour of Glasgow, J. We were passing through the city in 1995 and I got an impression of quite a dirty and not very nice industrial place. Great to see that the reality is different and the part we saw might not have been that representative.

  10. Fantastic photos, Jay. Especially the yummy breakfast at the end ;)

    I remember going through Glasgow on my own blog, and there was so much to write about! I'd love to go there someday.


  11. Sunny weather. Lots of walking in the sunshine, awesome. Love the photos esp the first one, perfect!

  12. Michelle ... Thanks, I've been looking forward to showing this set for months.

    Cranberry Morning ... Glasgow has an interesting set of bridges, shame I didn't show you more. I've had more photogenic breakfasts before but not many with Lorne sausage.

    Traveling Hawk ... I love this part of the city. Glasgow has some classic locations but unfortunately most of them aren't in the immediate city centre.

    Adrian ... Thanks, I agree with your Edinburgh / Glasgow assessment. There is another smaller footbridge (St Andrew's suspension bridge) beside Glasgow Green that may be worth a look. I tried a few shots but it didn't work out enough for me to depict here.

    Rizalenio ... Thanks for your comments, the terracota structure is an awesome structure, difficult to believe that it's been moved several times. Lets hope we get more sunshine soon.

    Cherry Pie ... Glasgow has amazing atmosphere, architecture and culture. It just needs a little pre planning before you go.

    George the Lad ... Thanks, nice for me to be a bit more regular here, hope you enjoy your holidays in North Devon.

    Monika ... Thanks, hope you are well

    Petra ... Thanks, you are right to observe those facts about Glasgow but there are exceptions to the rule all over the city as shown here.

    Abigail ... Thanks, too much to write about and photograph, 5 posts on this blog & there are other locations within the city that I would love to visit.

    Rizalenio ... Lets hope we get more sunshine soon.


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