Queen’s Park: A short history

Queen’s Park, covering 60 hectares (148 acres) was created in the mid-19th century, designed by the renowned landscape architect Sir Joseph Paxton with design modifications by city architect, John Carrick.  It is the third oldest park in Glasgow.

Given Camp Hill’s commanding views over much of the surrounding countryside; it is perhaps not surprising that the flat-topped summit has been occupied since prehistoric times. The remaining circular earthwork may date originally from the Iron Age (1000BC – 1000AD), with evidence of some re-use in the medieval period.

The main historical event which took place on the lands now occupied by Queen’s Park was the Battle of Langside which was fought on 13 May 1568 between the forces of Mary, Queen of Scots and her half-brother James, Earl of Moray and Regent of Scotland.

The area now Queen’s Park was originally part of the lands of Langside which belonged to the Maxwell’s of Pollok. By the late 17th century, the western part had been sold off to form Camphill Farm, which passed through several generations of the Crawford family before being sold in 1799 to Robert Thomson, a manufacturer in Glasgow, who built Camphill House.  His son Robert Thomson bought the adjoining Pathhead Farm from Sir James Maxwell of Pollok in 1834 and his grandson Neale Thomson sold it for £30,000 to the Glasgow Corporation in 1857 for the purpose of forming Glasgow’s third public park.

Queen’s Park was laid out between 1857 and 1862 to the design of Sir Joseph Paxton, architect of Crystal Palace.

The original plans of 1860 showed a complimentary mix of formal and informal features.  These plans were considered too extravagant, and the plans were modified by the City Master of Works, John Carrick. The south side of Queen’s Park was laid out naturally, with pleasant grassy slopes and woodland areas with more formal structures to the north. Paxton’s design is evocative of the grand Victorian manner.  The main drive from the Victoria Road entrance sweeps through impressive entrance gates, up a grand granite staircase and on to a magnificent terrace some 750 feet long and 140 feet wide.

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