WHERE IS IT?
In the city's West End, next to Kelvingrove Museum and the University of Glasgow
Thought to be Glasgow’s first ‘common land,’ it is named for the River Kelvin which cuts and bends through the park. The layout of the park, with its paths cutting down the hillside, was designed by English Gardner Sir Joseph Paxton. He was the leading landscaper of his generation and perhaps best known for his work on London’s Crystal Palace.
The park is home to three war memorial statues; the Highland Light Infantry Memorial, the Cameronian Rifles Memorial, and the Lord Roberts Monument, commemorating Field Marshall Earl Roberts of Kandahar. As well as points of heritage such as the Stewart Memorial Fountain, built for Lord Provost Robert Stewart, and statues of scientist Lord Kelvin and Field Marshall Lord Roberts, the park contains a large play area for children, and an extended skate park adjoining it.
Nearby is a small yet peaceful duck pond that attracts a great deal of birdlife, and was highlighted in the BBC’s now defunct Breathing Places program. Beyond the real wildlife, there is a sculpture of a Bengal Tigress, bought for the city by Glaswegian John Stewart Kennedy, who had emigrated to New York. There is a duplicate version in Central Park, also donated by Kennedy along with telegraph inventor Samuel Morse.
Here is a full list of the statues that can be found in the park, their sculptors and when they were created:
- Cameronian Rifles Memorial (by Paul Lindsey Clark - 1924)
- Port Sunlight Cottages (by James Miller - 1901)
- The Vital Spark (by George Wyllie, commissioned by Leslie & Alma Wolfson - 2006)
- Lord Lister Monument (by George Henry Paulin - 1924)
- Lord Kelvin Monument (by Archibald Macfarlane Shannan - 1908)
- Carlyle Monument (by William Kellock Brown - 1916)
- An Clachan Memorial (1911)
- Highland Light Infantry Memorial (by William Birnie Rhind - 1906)
- Lord Roberts Monument (by Harry Bates, original in Calcutta, 1888. Duplicated by Henry Poole - 1916)
- Bengal Tigress (by Auguste-Nicolas Cain (statue) and John Mossman (base) - 1867)
- Park Gardens Staircase (by Charles Wilson - 1855)
- Stewart Memorial Fountain (by James Sellars, John Mossman and James Young - 1871-72)
Just off Kelvin Way is the Kelvingrove Bandstand. Added in 1924, it was a popular venue for outdoor music, but fell afoul of vandalism and lay abandoned from the early 1990s. The charity Friends of Kelvingrove Park led the charge to have it brought back to life. Along with various MPs and bands including Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand and Teenage Fanclub, they petitioned to have the building restored. In April 2012, they were successful, with Historic Scotland awarding £245,000 from the Building Repair Grant Scheme. The refurbishments were completed by architect firm < Page\Park in 2014, in association with the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, costing a total of £1.6 million.