Monday, 20 January 2014

Historic Queen's Park, Glasgow

The forecast was for sunshine so I decided to walk around Queen's Park at lunchtime. The park is a short walk from my office in Mount Florida. I was accompanied by a colleague.

Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton

The park dates from 1857 and was laid out by the world renowned Sir Joseph Paxton. He designed the Crystal Palace in London and Glasgow's Botanic Gardens. The park is called after Mary, Queen of Scots and not Queen Victoria, as is commonly thought by many people. It was opened on 11th September, 1862, the year of Queen Victoria's Silver Jubilee.

Battle of Langside

Queen's Park was the site of the sixteenth century Battle of Langside and a large circle of stones at the highest point of the park is believed to be the remnants of an encampment which formed an important military position in the Battle.

Remains of emcampment from the Battle of Langside
On 13 May 1568, Mary Queen of Scots made a last desperate bid to keep her throne and her army faced the forces of the Earl of Moray. They met in battle at the village of Langside, now part of Glasgow.
 
Mary's army was defeated when Moray unleashed his cavalry and Mary escaped with her closest supporters.She rode from Langside to the Solway Firth.
 
Execution of Mary Queen of Scots
 
Mary turned to her cousin Elizabeth I of England for aid hoping that Elizabeth would help restore her to her throne. She was to be bitterly disappointed. She would spend the next 18 years in captivity in England. She was executed on  8 February 1587,in the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.
 
Today the park is much quieter than it must have been during the Battle.
 
The Glasshouse
 
We accessed the Park by an entrance behind the old Victoria Hospital building and made a fleeting visit to the Glasshouse. The Glasshouse was built in 1905 by Simpson and Farmer of Partick, Glasgow and is a Category 'B ' building. They also built the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow.
 
Glasshouse, Queen's Park
 There are tropical plants, reptiles and and fish in the Glasshouse.
 
Pond in the Glasshouse
 
 
 
Some Reptiles
 
Lizard
 
In the Park Itself
 
The park is too big to walk through in a lunch hour, so we walked through the south side of it.
 
 
The paths were hard-packed and suitable for mountain-bike riding. A small pair of eyes were watching us as we walked along - those of a Grey Squirrel.
 
Grey Squirrel watching
There were a number of Squirrels in the park as well as a variety of birds. Some of the paths got a bit muddy but fortunately our footwear proved up to the task of preventing us falling.
 
View of Glasgow City
At the highest point in the walk we got some good views of the City before making out way back to the office.
 
The sky became cloudy and the sun disappeared but we had had an enjoyable hour's walk.
 
Further Information
 
Queen's Park
520 Langside Road
Queen's Park
Glasgow
G42
 
Opening Times The park is open from Dawn till Dusk daily.

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