Tel: 0141 287 5108
Admission: Free (but some events on the Green may be ticketed)
Opening hours: The Green is open 24 hours per day
By far the oldest park in Glasgow, Glasgow Green is home to a number of big events each year, and to some of Glasgow’s most prominent historical landmarks.
Glasgow Green is situated within walking distance of the city centre, towards the east end of Glasgow on the north bank of the River Clyde. It has extensive open spaces, modern play facilities, and is home to the historic People’s Palace and Winter Gardens which allow the park to cater for all age groups whatever the weather.
Dating back to the 15th century, Glasgow Green is by far the oldest of the Glasgow’s parks. The Green was initially created in 1450 when King James II granted the land to Bishop William Turnbull and the people of Glasgow, for use as common grazing ground which was it’s main use until the 19th century. Back then the Green was quite different from what it is today, being an uneven swampy area composed of a number of “greens” including the High and Low Greens, the Calton Green and the Gallowgate Green.
The park served a number of purposes in its first few centuries; as a grazing area, an area to wash and bleach linen, an area to dry out fishing nets and for activities like swimming. The city’s first steamie (or washhouse) opened on the banks of the Camlachie Burn in 1732.
Between 1817 and 1826, efforts were made to improve the layout of the park due to frequent flooding. Much of the land was levelled and drained, and the Calmachie and Molendinar Burns (the latter of which is traditionally believed to be where St. Mungo baptised Christian converts in the sixth century) were both chanelled underground. Most of the work was carried out by unemployed weavers, made redundant by the introduction of power looms.
In recent centuries, events have taken place on the ‘Green’ that continue to touch the lives of millions worldwide. The following are just a few:
- 1732: The Washhouse, Glasgow’s first ‘steamie’, is built in the middle of a field on the banks of the Camlachie Burn.
- 1745 – 1746: Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) arrived in Glasgow with his army, their clothing in tatters. Rather than have the city sacked, merchants provided them with new garments and a revitalised Prince Charles reviewed his troops on Flesher’s Haugh.
- 1831 – 1932: Massive demonstrations on the Green associated with the Reform Bill.
- 1830 – 1914: The Green became a favoured meeting place of suffragettes.
- 1867: Hundreds of thousands met on the Green to hear about Gladstone’s Reform Bill.
- 1888: Sir Henry Doulton donated a terracotta fountain to the city. This was moved to the Green in 1890.
- 1889: Templeton’s Carpet Factory completed. The design of the façade is based on the Doges Palace in Venice. The façade collapsed on 1st November 1889 killing 29 women and girls.
- 1898: The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens opened.
- 1920’s: Football pitches and changing facilities appeared on Flesher’s Haugh.
- 1996: Glasgow received Heritage Lottery Award of £6.6m towards the £10.2m capital cost of renewal and revitalisation of the Green.
- The Doulton Fountain: Moved to the Green in 1890 after the 1888 International Exhibition in Kelvingrove. After a £5m refurbishment the fountain has been relocated to the front of the People’s Palace.
- The naval victories of Viscount Horatio Nelson are commemorated by the impressive grade A listed column erected by public subscription in 1806. This was the first monument in Britain to be erected in his honour.
- The Collins Fountain: Erected in 1881 by the temperance supporters of Sir William Collins.
- The McLennan Arch: Designed by Robert and James Adam, the arch is a remodelling of the centre of the piano nobile of Robert and James Adam’s 1890 Assembly Rooms, Ingram Street, as a triumphal arch. The building was demolished – and the arch was subsequently resited twice – the most recent being in 1992.
- Land and Environmental Services’ Park Rangers lead free tours of Glasgow Green. To book a tour call 0141 287 5064
- Play village (open 8.30 am – dusk)
- Local play area (open 8.30 am – dusk)
- Orienteering course – opens June 2004
- Clyde viewing platforms
- Heavy Horses: stabled and exercised daily within the park
- People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
- Glasgow Green football centre
- Public toilets
- Public telephones
Events in the Park
The Green boasts a purpose built events space capable of holding major national and international events, all within walking distance of the city centre. These include:
- The World Pipe Band Championships (August annually)
- The Glasgow Show (August annually)
- Great Scottish Run (September annually)
- Annual Fireworks Display (5th November annually)
- Pop concerts, funfairs and local events such as rowing regattas and charity events
The Green is currently undergoing a renaissance with major investment through the Lottery Heritage Fund providing a catalyst for the redevelopment of the local neighbourhood.
Getting to Glasgow Green (View location on map)
- By train: Glasgow Green is approximately 25 min walking time from Central Station and Queen Street Station. High Street and Bellgrove Stations are approximately a 10 min walk.
- By bus: Various routes operate from the city centre
- By car: Car parking is currently being redeveloped within the Green at the front of the Peoples Palace, access will be from Green Street and Greendyke Street. On street parking is also available on Greendyke street and car parks are located at Moir Street, Molendinar Street and High Street.
- By foot: Access on foot is available via The Saltmarket at McLennan Arch, Greendyke Street, Monteith Row, Greenhead Street and Kings Drive, Adelphi Street via the St Andrews Suspension Bridge, Richmond Park via the Polmadie Bridge.
- By bike: The park forms part of the Glasgow to Edinburgh Cycle Route, National Cycle Network Route 75.