Today, I provided a short tour of the Gorbals region of Glasgow for a couple from Canada whose ancestors resided in the area in the 1830s before emigrating to North America.

The Gorbals has a recorded history dating back to 1285 when it was a small village close to the River Clyde. During subsequent growth and evolution te Gorbals was:

  • Home to a leper hospital in the 14th century.
  • Active in gun manufacture, weaving, skinning and metal working.
  • Mined for coal in the 19th century.
  • Industrialised in 19th century with construction of a canal and railway.
  • Home to large numbers of Jewish refugees.

The area declined in the early 20th century resulting in severe social deprivation. However, the past 50 years has witnessed a great improvement in the housing stock and living standards.

We drove around the key areas and then spent time at the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens on nearby Glasgow Green where there is a social history museum. Close by is the Doulton Fountain (19th century) and Templeton Carpet Factory.

The tour lasted about two hours after which guests were returned to central Glasgow.

Winter Gardens at Glasgow Green

People’s Palace, Glasgow Green

River Clyde at Glasgow Green

Washing Line Poles on Glasgow Green


Doulton Fountain

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