People's Palace, Glasgow

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    People's Palace and Winter Gardens

    by Drever Updated Feb 24, 2014

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    People's Palace and Winter Gardens
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    The People’s Palace sits at the heart of the historic Glasgow Green by the River Clyde. This free museum covers the social history of Glasgow, with displays on how ordinary people have lived their lives since the industrial age. You can see paintings, prints, and photographs displayed alongside a wealth of historic artifacts, film, and interactive displays - good for kids.

    The red brick building itself was purpose-built in 1898 as a cultural museum for the people of Glasgow’s East End. The large glass-topped atrium in the back contains an exotic garden, known as the Winter Gardens, and cafe. Wandering round the displays gives a real feel of living in Glasgow and what makes its people the way they are.

    Over 20,000 Glasgwegians lost their lives in the World War I alone. Personal stories bring the visitor into the period. For instance there is Private James Riley. A German Drill book he had picked up saved his life. The bullet went through the book but only dented a shaving mirror behind it. An Anderson Shelter on display, a small hut made of steel sheets, showed the poor protection for many from bombs in World War II.

    On the top floor is the Glasgow history painting series made by artist Ken Currie in 1987. The series commemorates the massacre of the Calton Weavers, which marked the birth of the trade union movement and visually presents the political history of working-class struggle in the city.

    The displays also explain the Glasgow dialect, speech patterns, and expressions that even Scots from outside the city can have trouble deciphering. I loved the shows featured clips of comedian Billy Connelly and the TV show Rab C Nesbitt.

    I also found the displays on dancing at the Barrowlands funny. The building opened in 1934 and could hold 2,000 dancers. Any woman not getting dances was likely to dread these words, ‘come on lads she paid her tanner and is entitled to a dance’. Beetroot red would probably describe her.

    Boards showing how petty hanging offences could be. A stark bare little prisoner’s cell showed little indication of the rights they now claim. Marriage and attitudes towards it receive attention. Total ignorance towards sex was the rule for many. Wife’s comments gave the impression that some of the men were sex mad beasts – headaches were of no concern.

    In overcrowded Glasgow, the tenement city, until the 1940s most Glasgwegians lived in a one-or two roomed house. An example room brings the grim conditions to life. These people worked in what was the workshop of the world. The industry then and its disappearance are explained.

    What I like about this museum is that it shows what people get up to in their spare time, how they live and entertain themselves. The People's Palace is the first port of call for anyone who wants to know why Glasgwegians are the way they are.

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    About the Glasgow of yesteryear

    by slothtraveller Updated Feb 15, 2012

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    The Doulton Fountain
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    The People's Place and Winter Gardens was worth a quick visit, although you would struggle to spend more than an hour or so here. The social history museum set inside the main building is a quirky look at Glasgow's past. I didn't think much to the museum as I found it quite disjointed and rambling.
    Attached to the back of the museum is a pretty little winter garden in a large greenhouse. There are lots of plants from all over the world here. I particularly liked the cacti. There is also a little cafe attached although we did not get anything to eat here.
    Just opposite the People's Palace, you can find the impressive terracotta Doulton Fountain. This is definitely worth seeing as it is the largest terracotta fountain in the world. It was built to commemorate Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee in 1887 and features figures representing Britain's former colonies of Australia, South Africa, Canada and India.
    In addition, Glasgow's oldest public space, Glasgow Green, is situated next to the People's Palace. On a nice day, you can take a relaxing walk around the park. Unfortunately the weather was not at all nice when we visited!
    We visited the People's Palace using the CitySightseeing bus which drops you just outside. Those visiting should be aware that the People's Palace is closed on Mondays.

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  • PEOPLE'S PALACE

    by WAHEEDASLAM Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Fab. Four outside people's palace

    The story of Glasgow and its impact on the world from 1750 to the present day.People Palace is a materpiece of modern architecture.In the heart of Glasgow's oldest park "Glasgow Green" is this spectacular building with its famous indoor winter Gardens & not to forget its musuem displaying Glasgow's history & Billy Connoly's famous bannana boots.Tours of the green park & People's palace are also provided.

    OPEN:
    Mon-Thu & Sat 1000-1700, Fri & Sun 1100-1700
    Admission is free so enjoy it!

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  • PEOPLES PALACE - POOR

    by irishcheddar Written Feb 15, 2011

    The exhibits are extremely limited. In short, filled with old tat which could easily be picked up nearby at the local barrows. I was hoping to see a bit of nostalgia in the form of old Glasgow newspapers, old chocolate bars, old coins and items from the pantry that would bring back memories. A box of tampax on display was certainly not what I expected from a family exhibit and hardly nostalgic.

    Glasgow is well known for it's old music halls and theatres...The Panopticon/Britannia Music Hall, Theatre Royal, Alhambra, Metropole and yet all these well known, wonderful venues are not mentioned. There is however, excellent footage of Barrowland dancing but it only lasts two minutes and then replaced with a boring dancing duo. Come to think of it, where are all the wonderful black and white films on typical Glasgow life which show tenement life in genera?. There are huge amounts of film available on this subject yet we seldom have the chance to see any of it.

    I was most surprised that there were no exhibits from the Glasgow Empire Exhibition and the Internation Exhibition. There is a wealth of memorabilia from these significant events available which could have easily been displayed.

    The main focus of the People's Palace seems to (unfairly) highlight the depth of poverty and human degradation in Glasgow, displaying Glasgow as a poverty struck cesspit and the lowest form of life. For the avoidance of doubt, there was another less impoverished side to life in Glasgow at this time and Glasgow.

    There is a painting of Jimmy Reid, the Clydeside trade union activist taking precedence on the wall. Whilst there is little doubt he was an inspiring orator, Reid and Billy Connolly embarrassingly supersede Rennie Mackintosh and Sir William Burrell.
    Woe betide us if ''The city of culture' thinks Billy Connolly is our claim to fame!

    The wonderful architecture and magnificent buildings of Glasgow are lost on this museum. In addition, the superb old Glasgow shops of that time like Pettigrew and Stephens, Copeland and Lye, Daly's, Lewis's and Hendersons have no mention in this museum and our marvelous Art Deco cinemas have been sadly forgotten.

    Overall, it is an outrageous abuse of such a lovely building and does not truly reflect the warmth and kindness of the Glasgow people or in any way show the beauty of the city.

    On a practical note, the ladies toilets had no toilet rolls and the interactive exhibit telephones were absolutely filthy and broken. The cake from the cafe was hard and tasteless.

    Dreary, depressing and does not really portray the reality of true Glasgow nostalgia. The exhibits were limited and the bare grocery shop and tennement house could be greatly improved.

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    Glasgow's people explained

    by moirholj Updated Jun 2, 2007

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    Exhibit: Favorite pastimes of Glaswiegens
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    I got a REAL kick out of this place.

    For me, a tourist with only 3 days in Glasgow, the People's Palace was the best way to get to know what makes Glaswiegens tick, second only to buddying up with them in the pub. This thorough, well thought out museum, covered all aspects of the history of Glasgow, and more importantly the history of its people.

    Of course you have your usual historic facts and figures, but it was probably about the time that I reached the exhibit which detailed a Glaswiegen's love of alcohol (i.e. an exhibit on drinking and pub life, complete with a cart to haul drunks away) that I realized I had stepped out of the world of the stuffy, arrogant museum, and into a gem of an institute.

    Another favorite section of the museum highlighted the various slang used by Glaswiegens and distinct accent that sets them apart from the rest of the Scottish people. To stress this, (and to highlight the light-hearted sense of humor found throughout the city) I'd like to quote a funny rhyme that was prominantly displayed in the People's Palace:

    "Skinny Malinky Long Legs, Big Banana Feet,
    Went tae the pictures, and couldntae find a seat.
    When the pictures started, Skinny Malinky Farted.
    Skinny Malinky Long Legs, Big Banana Feet."

    ha ha :-)

    In short, I really enjoyed this place. While I 'm sure it is more of a tourist stop than anything else, it is well worth the visit. You will learn a great deal and even get a few laughs thrown in!

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    Real Glasgow

    by CelticFire Written Feb 27, 2006

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    The People's Palace is, in my humble opinion, one of the best visits in Glasgow. It is slightly out of the way being on the Glasgow Green, but well worth the visit. Where other museums have paintings and sculptures, the People's Palce has football programmes and ration books from the war years.

    You get exactly whta it says on the tin........real glasgow about the people.

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    Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens

    by sparkieplug24 Updated Jan 15, 2006

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    I have been here several times although last time was two years ago. This is my favourites museum in Glasgow. The museum tells the story of Glasgow in a simple way that will be understood both by children and adults a like. It tells the story from the point of view of ordinary people of Glasgow and tells you about Glasgow in the Past and what it is like today. The peoples palace is situated on Glasgow Green with the winter Gardens attached. The winter Gardens is a large greenhouse type building with lots of different plants. It also has a cafe here but this can be a bit expensive. Entry to Museum and Gardens is free although donations are greatly appreciated.

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    People's Palace and Winter Gardens

    by Kaspian Updated Nov 15, 2005

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    People's Palace (2005)
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    Opened in 1898 as a cultural centre for the east end of Glasgow, the People's Palace is a museum that traces the history of Glasgow from 1750 to the present. On the ground level was a temporary display of historic photos of the city. Even though I didn't know the city well enough yet to know how much it had changed over the years, I got a real kick out of the Glaswegian seniors reminiscing aloud about the "old days".
    The upstairs had artifacts, paintings, films, and life-size displays of Glasgow's history. A full-size shop, "The Buttercup Dairy Co.", showed you how empty the shelves of the shops were during World War II. Besides the two World War exhibits, don't miss the "Crime" (that was my favourite), "Dancing at the Barrowlands", and "Made in Glasgow" displays. Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly is featured prominently in one of the exhibits, with a pair of his "banana boots" (from a 70s tour and movie called "Big Banana Feet") on show for the world.
    The Winter Gardens is a giant Victorian-style glasshouse attached to the back of the Palace where you can escape the Scottish damp, sit among tropical plants, and have something hot from their cafe.
    I love how Scotland has so many "free" museums (admission by donation). This helps its own citizens become well-rounded with arts and history and I think it's something we are really lacking in North America.
    I was way, way, too tired to properly appreciate the People's Palace but still enjoyed it immensely. So that says something about how good it was, right?

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    peoples palace

    by jacquitabanana Written Oct 19, 2005

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    This place was lovely and perfect for a Sunday. Its free in with Exhibitions in the main building upstairs. Fun ones. And in the huge glasshouse attached to it is a lovely exotic style garden with yummy cafe.
    It is located in a park with the worlds largest Terracotta fountain outside.
    When you come down from upstairs down the main middle stairs there is a massive Whale Jaw bone. Maaad

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    People's Palace

    by blackmamba Updated May 13, 2005

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    People's Palace

    A walk in the history of Glasgow, they have made a "road" that you are walking so that you get to se everything.

    There is also a shop and a cafe there, and not forget the tropic garden :) and it is FREE!!!!

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  • GLASGOW GREEN....OLDEST PARK IN GLASGOW

    by WAHEEDASLAM Updated Oct 9, 2004
    Fiona(D.E) & Kirsty in Green Park

    Found on the northern banks of the Clyde in the cities East End, Glasgow Green is Glasgows oldest Park - it can be traced back to the 1400s - and the scene of many events through history.It has spent time being used as grazing land, drying greens, sports area, the site for Glasgow Fair, protest marches, hangings, markets, circuses, theatres and so on.
    World War II structures on Glasgow Green
    A large area of Glasgow Green around the People's Palace was surveyed by GUARD between October 1999 and March 2000.
    Glasgow's oldest park was acquired in 1662.Formerly used for washing and bleaching of linen, grazing cattle and drying salmon nets.Today it is a famous tourist attraction in the heart of the ciity Centre.

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    PEOPLES PALACE & WINTER GARDENS

    by hevbell Updated Jan 15, 2004

    1 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    This museum concentrates on various aspects of Glasgow life, past and present and is very interesting and at times funny. I loved the exhibit on Glasgow Patter that featured clips of comedian Billy Connelly and the TV show Rab C Nesbitt. They also had exhibits on the war, dancing at the Barrowlands, crime, marriage, housing and even doing your washing etc The building itself was purpose built in 1898 as a cultural museum for the people of Glasgows East End. The large conservatory contains an exotic garden, known as the Winter Gardens, and cafe.

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    Glasgow's People's Palace

    by tvor Written Mar 17, 2003

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    Having fun in the People's Palace

    This is a museum about the history of Glasgow, her people and what made Glasgow the city it is today. It's a social museum full of artifacts of everyday life, music, trade unions, Glasgow at war, crime and punishment... it is a long and winding road that Glasgow has trod to get to the new millenium.

    The building is 100 years old and has a winter garden in a glass topped atrium in the back and is situated on Glasgow Green by the river. The nice thing is there is no entrance fee! It's an interesting way to spend a couple of hours.

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    People's palace

    by rayvan Written Nov 12, 2002

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    The best place to start in my opinion is the people's palace on Glasgow green. It tells the story about Glasgow, but from the people's point of view.
    What I like about it is that it doesn't show you the big impressive pieces of art you find in so many museums, but what people get up to in their spare time, how they live and entertain themselves.

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    You must, must, must take a...

    by antz Written Sep 7, 2002

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    You must, must, must take a walk down to Glasgow Green. It is a lovely park to walk in when a nice day pops by (yes, it does happen occaisionally!). Down at Glasgow Green you can pop into the 'People's Palace' which is an amazing museum. It is about the history of Glasgow and Scotland in general and is actually made into a lot of fun...you know how wandering around museum after museum can get boring - however, it is brilliant. Also, last time I checked, it was free to get in...gets a place on my books any day!!

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