Like many of Glasgow’s parks, this Southside gem is brimming with history dating back centuries.

The land upon which Queen’s Park sits became a park when it was officially acquired by the Glasgow Corporation (now Glasgow City Council) in 1857, but its significance goes further back to the era of the Queen it is named after.

Many think that due to the park being acquired and designed during her reign and being near Victoria Road, Queen’s Park is named after the famous monarch, but it is dedicated to Mary Queen of Scots.

Glasgow Times: Queen's Park, 1970s.Queen's Park, 1970s. (Image: Archive image. Newsquest.)

The reason for this is that the land was the setting for the Battle of Langside, which was fought on May 13, 1568, between Mary and her half-brother, James Moray, who was the regent of Scotland and acting on behalf of Mary’s infant son James VI.

The queen had been captured and forced to abdicate in favour of her son's ruling, but she escaped and gathered supporters for the battle. Only one of Moray’s men was killed, and the battle was seen as a tremendous defeat for Mary.

Glasgow Times: Queen's Park in December 2022Queen's Park in December 2022 (Image: Colin Mearns)

For many years, the land of the park was owned by the prominent Maxwell family of Pollok, who sold part of it to form Camphill Farm and another area was sold to Robert Thomson, who built Camphill House which still stands on the edge of the park.

Glasgow Times: Children playing in Queen's Park, 1971. Children playing in Queen's Park, 1971. (Image: Archive image. Newsquest.)

By the time the park was acquired by the council, there was a growing demand for more greenspace in Victorian Glasgow as well as open space to accompany the increasing middle-class homes that sprung up in the Southside.

Its layout was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, whose other works include stunning London parks such as Kew Gardens and the Crystal Palace at Hyde Park.

His designs captured the eye of architects here in Glasgow too, as the Crystal Palace Wetherspoons pub on Jamaica Street was originally built as a furniture manufacturer inspired by Paxton’s design.

Glasgow Times: The Crystal Palace pub on Jamaica Street was originally a furniture maker and its design was inspired by Queen's Park designer Joseph Paxton.The Crystal Palace pub on Jamaica Street was originally a furniture maker and its design was inspired by Queen's Park designer Joseph Paxton. (Image: Newsquest)

In true Paxton fashion, he had grand visions for Queen’s Park including a loch and a winter garden, but these were considered a little too ostentatious.

Plans were revised by city architect John Carrick, and while there were more formal structures erected in the north end of the park, the south features a more natural-looking design with grassy slopes and woodland areas.

With a hint of pleasant grandeur, the main entrance on Victoria Road features striking gates, a grand staircase and a 750-foot-long terrace.

Glasgow Times:

As Glasgow’s third oldest park, Queen’s Park is still one of the most visited and used by the people of Glasgow and beyond. Thousands flock to the produce markets in the summer and enjoy sledging down the steep hills when the park becomes a winter wonderland, as well as the range of leisure clubs.

It was also the inspiration for the name of Queen’s Park Football Club, the oldest association club in Scotland.

Glasgow Times: Queen's Park with view of Glasgow, 2022. Photo by Gordon TerrisQueen's Park with view of Glasgow, 2022. Photo by Gordon Terris (Image: Gordon Terris)