The land was acquired by the City of Glasgow in 1857, who drafted in world renowned park designer Sir Joseph Paxton to outline plans for it, having worked on large parks all over Great Britain. It was named after Mary Queen of Scots, who fought her last battle in nearby Langside. The park is built with a central hill, upon which stands a massive flag pole. From the base of the pole, Ben Lomond and the Campsie Fells can be seen to the North. Along from this resides the glasshouse nursery for exotic plants, as well as the reptile centre where you can see all manner of slithery creatures.
Further down the hill is Camphill House and Langside Halls, the latter a former National Bank of Scotland. In 1891 the area split from Glasgow, and in need of a public hall, the bank was dismantled from its location on Queen Street in the city centre and reassembled here between 1902 and 1903. In the area where the Camphill Hothouse used to be now lies the Scottish Poetry Rose Garden, where roses bloom among statues and dedications to Scotland’s best wordsmiths.
The park is a central point for Southside residents and popular all year round, with the hills good for sledding in winter snow. There is even a music festival held at winter times inside the glasshouse called The Wee Chill. Throughout the year there is also a Farmer’s Market on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, offering fresh, locally sourced produce.