The 5 best Glasgow Glasshouses
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Growing plants using artificial methods in environmentally controlled areas has existed since Roman times.

But it is during the 17th century when the glasshouses with manual temperature control appeared in Europe. The French botanist Charles Lucien Bonaparte built the first practical modern greenhouse in the 1800s in Holland to grow medicinal tropical plants.

Finally, during the Victorian era, manufacturing innovations of the industrial revolution plus the repeal of the glass tax in 1845 and the window tax in 1851, reduced the cost of glasshouses and the upper class competed to build the most elaborate and largest glasshouses. In Glasgow, we can enjoy some of these brilliant examples.

Today, the greenhouses are mainly used to improve food production or as decoration, to showcase exotic plants from different areas.

John Kibble, the son of a Glasgow Metal Merchant, constructed in 1871 a glasshouse at his estate on the shores of Loch Long, in Coulport. The following year he sold the glass and iron structure to the Royal Botanic Institution of Glasgow, so it was carefully dismantled into pieces at Coulport, shipped on barges down the Clyde to Glasgow, and re-built and enlarged in the Botanic Gardens in 1873.

Dismantled again in 2004, its structural corrosion was repaired as a result of a 7 million refurbishment which lasted for two years.

Currently, this A listed building covers 2137 squared meters and contains a fish pond, art statues, plants from five continents and a distinguished collection of tree ferns.

Pin  Originally built at Coulport (Loch Long).

Situated to the West of the Kibble Palace, it is now called the Main Range of Glasshouses to distinguish them from the Kibble construction.

The eleven sets of communicated glasshouses were erected in 1878, and were built of teak rather than the traditional steel of the Victorian Glasshouses, covering some 1700 squared meters in total, with each compartment housing different kinds of plants.

There are several significant plant collections such as begonia species, orchids or cacti.

It is a B listed building which has been restored in 1988 and 2004, having its wooden frame replaced with metal.

Pin  Originally built in teak wood.

See People’s Palace & Winter Gardens

PEOPLE'S PALACE & WINTER GARDENS | 2017 & 2018 Glasshouse Bronze Winner

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, situated in the Glasgow Green, was opened on 22 January 1898.
It was described as “a palace of pleasure and imagination around which the people may place their affections and which may give them a home on which their memory may rest.”

Attached to the museum, the enormous Victorian glasshouse is home to a wide range of tropical plants and a coffee shop. It was built fully-glazed above red ashlar base, cast-iron and steel.

This grade A listed building received extensive restoration work in 1998 and repair work in December 2016.

Pin  Originally opened to be a cultural centre.

Discover Queen’s Park Glasshouse

QUEENS PARK GLASSHOUSE | 2017 & 2018 Glasshouse Fourth Finalist

Created in the mid-19th century, Queens Park is dedicated to the memory of Mary Queen of Scots, who fought her last battle in nearby Langside. The park was built in 1857, with a glasshouse located at the top of the hill around which the park is formed.

Situated within about 200 metres from the Langside Road entrance to the park, dedicated to the memory of Mary Queen of Scots, the structure houses a cafe, a Zen garden, ponds, tropical fish, a plant nursery, exotic birds and a reptile centre. It also has a fine collection of sub-tropical plants and many types of flowering and foliage plants.

Pin  Designed by the renowned Sir Joseph Paxton.

Calderglen Zoo, situated in Calderglen Country Park, was opened in 1982 and contains a children’s zoo, a tropical glasshouse and ornamental gardens.

The conservatory is home to a tropical plant collection, with plants and animals from all around the world, and a gift shop. The plants are divided into continents: South America, Africa, Australasia and Asia. There is also a large cactus collection along with a banana grove, an interactive rainforest tree, and also animals as ants or meerkats. The place also offers guided tours of the conservatory and gardens.

Pin  At this glasshouse you can feed the meerkats.


Glasgow Glasshouses

Cool Facts

The Quote

My policy is no stone throwing regardless of housing situation.

Demetri Evan Martin. American Comedian (1973-).


In 1873, when the Kibble Palace was re-built, its interior was lit by 600 gas lamps which could be coloured for a dramatic theatrical effect.


Greatest Glasgow Awards

Technical Criteria

Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 22-3 MARCH 2018 ׀
Publication date: 4 MARCH 2018
Review date: 12 MARCH 2019

Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
It exists today.Open to the public.
Premium+ criteria:

1 Historical
2 Uniqueness.
3 Maintenance / Condition.
4 Plant diversity.
5 Conservation of Nature.
6 Architectural.

7 Surroundings.
8 Horticultural.
9 Arboricultural.
10 Silvicultural.
11 Innovative construction techniques.
12 Size.

Premium Validation criteria:

13 Free entry.
14 Opening hours.
15 Lenghth of service.
16 Estimated visitors.
17 A-listed.

18 Scenic.
19 Explanations.
20 Indoor activities.
21 Decorative lighting.
22 Other features.

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