Located just across the road from the top of Byres Road, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens are a pleasant mixture of a public park and a botanical garden, free and open to the public since the late 19th century.
Established in 1817 at Sandyford, off Sauchiehall Street, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens were originally intended to supply the Department of Botany at the University of Glasgow and to serve as a venue for public events and concerts, although being in private ownerships. In 1842 the 8 acres of land reserved were getting too small and the Botanics were transferred to Kelvinside, where they stand today. In 1891 the Botanics became open for everyone, having been annexed by the City of Glasgow when the Burgh of Hillhead became a part of the city.
The Botanics, although being a fantastic place to go for a picnic and some ice cream on a hot day, are also quite extensive a worthy of exploring. I just recently looked at a map of the Botanics and discovered that there’s still plenty I haven’t explored. Of the two glasshouses, the central one is actually made up of 11 smaller greenhouses. Kibble Palace, the more famous and picturesque of the two glasshouses, I’ll feature tomorrow.
Glasgow Trivia #4: There are three blue TARDIS-esque police boxes in Glasgow, out of some 12 remaining in the UK. The first of these sits to the side of the entrance to the Botanics. The second one is on Buchanan Street and the third at the corner of High Street and Castle Street by the Glasgow Cathedral. There might be one more at the corner of Wilson Street and Glassford Street, but I don’t recall seeing one. (Someone correct me if I’m right or wrong.)
The first police boxes in the UK (different from the TARDIS-like ones) were actually introduced in Glasgow in 1891. Interestingly, until the 1960s, the police boxes in Glasgow were not blue like elsewhere in the UK, but red. More on the police boxes here.
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