The People’s Palace is situated in Glasgow Green, the large park in the east end of Glasgow. The Green is the oldest park in the city being established in the 15th century and has often been the place of demonstrations over the last two hundred years.
It was in the park that the People’s Palace was opened in 1898 by the Earl of Rosebery, the Palace was originally designed as a cultural centre for working people but since the 1940s the building has been used as a museum dedicated to the history of Glasgow.
The museum presents the social history for the city of Glasgow from 1750 to the present day. The collections and displays show how the city has changed over time and how the character of the city has been developed by its industrial past.
The Single End is special gallery that tells the story of housing in Glasgow especially the tenements and how they changed from the 18th to the 20th century. There is a reconstruction which shows a typical single-roomed house that a 1930s working class family would have lived in.
Even if the living conditions were basic, Glaswegians knew how to have a good time with dancing at the Barrowlands Ballroom. The display about the venue shows although music and dancing have changed, it still remains one of Glasgow’s iconic buildings.
In the early 20th Century Public Baths and Wash Houses opened across the where women would bring the weekly washing to clean by hand. It was also a place where women could catch up with friends and gossip. The display shows the small stall space, and shows some of the rudimentary equipment used.
There is also displays about some of the prisons in the city, shopping and some famous Glaswegians including Billy Connolly with his Banana Boots.
At the rear of the People’s Palace is the Winter Gardens which is a huge conservatory full of exotic palms and plants, inside the gardens visitors can enjoy a coffee or lunch at the café.
Just outside of the front of the People’s Palace is the Doulton Fountain which is the 46 feet high and 70 feet across at its base and is the largest terracotta fountain in the world. It was originally gifted to the city in 1888 after the International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry by Sir Henry Doulton to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
A trip to Glasgow Green and the People’s Palace will give visitors some insights into how the city’s social history has moulded the character of its population. The displays in the palace provide plenty of evidence of the importance of humour for Glaswegians to deal with some hard and difficult times.
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