01 April 2008

Woollie Weekend Part 2 - The People's Palace, Glasgow

After an evening of eating in Edinburgh at one of our favourite restaurants, the gang moved to Glasgow on Sunday for lunch with a friend. We met in the cafe at the People's Palace on Glasgow Green.

Glasgow Green is the oldest public park in Britain, the first written documentation of the Green being in 1450 when it was gifted to a local Bishop. and the People's Palace and the attached Winter Gardens were built in 1898 to house a social history museum. It was used for centuries as a common grazing ground and was also the site of traditional "Scotch washing" where women trampled clothing in large tubs of water, before local steamies (wash houses) were built. Even then, the Green was used for drying clothing and the communal drying poles can still be seen today. 


The Green was also used for strolling and in 1765 James Watt was walking on the Green when he was inspired by the idea which led to him inventing the steam engine and starting Britain's Industrial Revolution. 

The Green was also the site of public executions in the City until the last in 1865 when Dr Edward Pritchard was hanged for the murder of his wife and mother-in-law! As you can see the Green has a colourful history. 

The People's Palace was built in 1898 and is a museum of social history charting the lives of Glaswegians from 1765, focusing on the poverty, the camaraderie, the political turmoil, World Wars and entertainment.  The adjacent Winter Gardens is an elegant Victorian glass house full of tropical plants.

The Barrowlands is the local music venue, where I remember seeing The Pixies in 1991, the bananas are Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly's Big Banana boots which he wore on stage during the 1970s. 

I love the Ten Commandments Glasgwegian style!!

Across from the People's Palace is the Templeton Carpet Factory, one of Glasgow's most colourful buildings - built in 1889, it was designed by architect William Leiper, who designed the facade inspired by the Doge's Palace in Venice.

I can't believe that I lived in Glasgow for 4 years and never visited the People's Palace before!!


Monkee Maker said...

Wow, it looks like a stunning building .... don't think I'd want to be around there at night though, after reading about it's history!

Fabs pics, as ever, and those commandments are great!


Ali said...

Incredible architecture!
I've only visited Glasgow very briefly once and got myself into a right state trying to buy a doughnut. The man serving had NO idea what I was saying and vice versa. I'm still traumatized. Perhaps it was all about Commandment 10.

Claudia said...

I love all your little travel journals. It is so easy (you know...short and sweet) and fun. And I enjoy your pictures. xox

Charlie P said...

Heh heh - Glaswegian 10 commandments. I like reading your blog- it makes me feel like I'm learning something and not just putting off having to make feet for pigeons! Glasgow is definitely an underrated town, have you ever been to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh museum? The horse is fab and the stitching on the eyes and nose is unbelievably neat. It would make a great unicorn too if you could work out how to knit a cone.

Bethany Hissong said...

I loved that version of the ten commandments too! I might have to share that with my students! And the idea of a public wash line area is sort of funny to me! Here's a little more history trivia: Robert Fulton was so inspired by a trip to England when he saw James Watt's steam engine, that he developed the steam boat! And Robert Fulton was from my town! We have the Fulton Opera House here in Lancaster, PA, named after him.
As you have already seen, I've tagged you! When thinking of the interesting people I know, I would LOVE to hear your philosophy on life! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for taking me on your travels. I love learning about all of the history. Thank you.