Monthly Archives: April 2012

Doulton Fountain, People’s Palace and Doge’s Palace, Glasgow

A Brief History of Glasgow

The City of Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third most populous centre in the United Kingdom.

In the 18th Century it became an important trading centre with the West Indies and North America. This contributed to the wealth of the city and helped in the construction of many fine buildings in the City.

During the Industrial Revolution it became a major ship-building and heavy engineering centre and in the 19th Century was known as the ‘Second City of the British Empire’ after London.

20th Century Glasgow

In the 20th Century the City suffered a decline, but in the late 1980’s it managed to reverse this with the opening of the Burrell Collection in 1983 and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in 1985. Glasgow became a European centre for business services and finance and the economy started growing again.

This has resulted in regeneration of inner-city areas, including the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration and development of the Merchant City which has encouraged people to move back to the City.

Area Around Glasgow Green

Today, however we are going to visit the buildings around Glasgow Green in the East End of the City. Firstly, we will admire the Doulton Fountain which dates back to back to 1880.This was gifted to the city by Sir Henry Doulton and first unveiled in Kelvingrove Park in 1888, where the Empire Exhibition was being held. The fountain was then moved to Glasgow Green in 1890 before being re-sited to outside the People’s Palace in Glasgow Green.

Doulton Fountain, Glasgow

Doulton Fountain, Glasgow

Doulton Fountain

The Doulton Fountain is the largest terracotta fountain in the world and the best surviving example of its kind. It was designed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee of 1887, and celebrate Britain’s Imperial achievements. The fountain is decorated with images representing Australia, Canada, India and South Africa.

Doulton Fountain - Figures Representing India

Doulton Fountain - Figures Representing India

Queen Victoria stands at the top of the Fountain facing the People’s Palace and looking towards the River Clyde and the Gorbals area of the City.

Doulton Fountain - Queen Victoria

Doulton Fountain - Queen Victoria

Australia was another important country in the British Empire and is represented by the figures below.

Doulton Fountain - Australia

Doulton Fountain - Australia

Below the statue of Queen Victoria are some beautiful statues of young women.

Doulton Fountain - Women Figures

Doulton Fountain - Women Figures

In the first photograph of the Fountain a beautiful building can be seen in the background on the left. Was it the mansion of a wealthy Glasgow merchant? Or a townhouse of a member of the Royal Family? No – it was a carpet factory!

Templeton Carpet Factory or Doge’s Palace

This building was originally called the Templeton Carpet Factory or sometimes by its alternative name of ‘The Doge’s Palace’ due to the Venetian style of the building. It is now known as the Templeton Business Centre. It was built in 1889 and was designed by architect William Leiper.

The owner of the factory, James Templeton, had patented a chenille Axminster process which allowed him to manufacture carpets which were more densely patterned and richly coloured. He went on to become one of the most successful carpet manufacturers in Britain and produced carpets for state occasions, great houses, luxury liners including the ‘Titanic’, as well as carpets for domestic use.

Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, the Whitehouse, coronations since the mid-19th century and the parliament buildings of London, Canberra, Wellington and Cape Town all had carpets made by Templeton or another Scottish carpet manufacturer, Stoddart.

Templeton Carpet Factory or Doge's Palace

Templeton Carpet Factory or Doge's Palace

Below are some other views of the factory.

Templeton Carpet Factory or Doge's Palace

Templeton Carpet Factory or Doge's Palace

Close-up of the end part of the factory.

Templeton Carpet Factory or Doge's Palace

Templeton Carpet Factory or Doge's Palace

The building is no longer used as a factory but as office buildings by many companies in the city.

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Across from both the Doulton fountain and Templeton’s Carpet factory is the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens which was built to represent the people and culture of Glasgow. It is situated in Glasgow Green where Bonnie Prince Charlie camped there with 10,000 troops in 1745 during the Jacobite Uprising.

Glasgow Rangers played their football matches at Glasgow Green before moving to their present home in the Ibrox area of the city in 1899.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens were opened on 22 January, 1898 by the Earl of Rosebery. At the time,  the East End of Glasgow was one of the most unhealthy and overcrowded parts of the city, and the People’s Palace was intended to provide a cultural centre for the people. It was designed by the City Engineer, Alexander B. McDonald.

People's Palace and Winter Gardens

People's Palace and Winter Gardens

The People’s Palace has many items on display relating to the social history of Glasgow and Scotland while the Winter Gardens has many exotic plants and trees including some banana trees. It is much smaller than the Botanic Gardens in the affluent West End of the City, but is nevertheless an impressive building.

Interior of the Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens

Some full sized and miniature banana trees can be found here.

Glasgow Bananas

Glasgow Bananas

Some beautiful flowers are also grown,  including this one:

Flower in Winter Gardens

Flower in Winter Gardens

It is worth spending time at the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens for an insight into the social history of Glasgow.

On cold winter days, the heat in the Winter Gardens is very welcome during a walk on Glasgow Green. On the day I visited there was a cold wind blowing but lovely and warm in the Winter Gardens.

I hope you enjoyed the article above. I will be continuing my articles on the City of Glasgow in the next few weeks, working my way from East to West of the City.

Further Information

Address

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1AT
0141 276 0788

Opening Hours

People’s Palace: Monday CLOSED, Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday 10am–5pm, Friday and Sunday 11am–5pm. The Winter Gardens is open 10am–5pm daily

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Filed under Baron's Haugh, Buildings, Lanarkshire, New Lanark

Some Popular British Birds

I do not often get the chance to photograph birds close up but recently I had an opportunity to do so. Here are some photographs:

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a striking black and white bird with a touch of red on the back of the head.

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

The Blue Tit is a small bird common all over the UK.

Female Chaffinch

Female Chaffinch

Chaffinch is a common, often tame finch found in gardens, woodland and parks .

Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

The male Chaffinch is much more colourful than the female.

Male Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

Blackbird

Blackbirds have a beautiful song and can be heard early in the morning.

Male Blackbird

Male Blackbird

Mallard Duck

Female Chaffinch

Male Mallard Duck

Mallard Ducks are common ducks in the UK.

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Filed under Bird Watching, Scotland, strathclyde

Loch of the Lowes, Dunkeld

Spent today at Loch of the Lowes and Dunkeld in Perthshire. It was a bit of a trek involving three buses, but worth the travelling time and changing of buses.

I travelled by Scottish Citylink, passing through the cities of Glasgow, Stirling Dunblane and Perth to arrive at Birnam, near Dunkeld. The bus does not stop at Dunkeld so Birnam was the nearest one. Fortunately, it was only about 1.5 miles from Dunkeld, so well within walking distance.

Birnam

For those familiar with Shakespeare’s MacBeth this is the same Birnam as mentioned there.

Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him.”

Dunkeld Cathedral

It was a pleasant walk to Dunkeld and I stopped at the Co-op for some chocolate.  When I came out of the shop I saw a sign for Dunkeld Cathedral, so stopped to have a look at it. It is still being used as a place of worship by the Church of Scotland.

Dunkeld Cathedral

Dunkeld Cathedral

Dunkeld was proclaimed the first eccelesiastical capital of Scotland by King Kenneth MacAlpin, Scotland’s first King.

After the Protestant Reformation in the 1500’s, the leader of the Reformation in Scotland, John Knox demanded that Dunkeld Cathedral be stripped of all ornamentation and statues relating to Catholicism. Unfortunately, the Cathedral was badly damaged in the process and was further destroyed at the Battle of Dunkeld in 1689.

Part of the Cathedral was rebuild and this is the part which is used for worship today.

Atholl Memorial Fountain, Dunkeld

Atholl Memorial Fountain, Dunkeld

Loch of the Lowes 

After walking round the Cathedral I proceeded to find the footpath to the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s (SWT) Loch of the Lowes nature reserve. It is a 2.5 mile walk, mainly uphill but not too strenuous for a reasonably fit person. It took about 25 minutes to walk to the reserve as I kept stopping to admire the scenery.

The Reserve has an excellent visitor centre run by the SWT which has a good indoor viewing area and two hides over-looking the Loch. Refreshments are also sold at reasonable prices and many animal-themed goods such as soft toys, bird food and environmentally friendly cleaning materials.

Ospreys

At present, a pair of Ospreys have built a nest overlooking the Loch. The female bird is now in her 22nd year at the reserve which is pretty good considering Ospreys only live for 10-15 years.

While I was there, she was sitting on the nest while her partner was out catching fish for her. He flew back to the nest twice while I was there bringing her food.

There is also a webcam of the nest which allows people to keep updated on the progress of the birds. Pictures from the webcam can be seen here.

Red Squirrel

The Loch had some Mallards, Mute Swans, Crested Grebes, Tufted Ducks and Reed Bunting.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

I went back to the visitor centre to view the birds at the feeders and saw some Red Squirrels, a female Great Spotted Woodpecker, male and female Pheasant, Mallards, Chaffinches and a Yellowhammer.

Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

The Red Squirrel numbers are in serious decline and it is an endangered species in the UK. Grey Squirrels were introduced into the UK from America by the Victorians and carry a virus called squirrelpox which kills Red Squirrels, but leaves the grey ones unaffected.

Pheasant

Pheasant

The Red Squirrels were very entertaining and kept all the visitors amused. Similarly the Yellowhammer caused a great deal of excitement as most people had never see one before.

At 16.00 I made my way back to Birnam along the path I had taken earlier. It was a bit late to visit the Beatrix Potter Museum but I did get to see her gardens. Beatrix Potter, creator of  Peter Rabbit, spent many holidays in Birnam as a child. It was in the Perth countryside she got to know nature which enabled her to write stories about it.

The bus arrived outside the Birnam Hotel on schedule to take me on the long journey home. Another enjoyable day.

Further Information

Scottish Wildlife Trust: http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/
Loch of the Lowes: http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/visit/loch-of-the-lowes/
Dunkeld Cathedral: http://www.dunkeldcathedral.org.uk/

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Filed under Bird Watching, General, Scotland, Wildlife