Glasgow Green, the city’s oldest park, lies to the East and within easy walking distance of the city centre on the North bank of the River Clyde, near the Saltmarket. King James II of Scotland originally gave it to the people of Glasgow and Bishop William Turnbull in 1450, after which it was used for common grazing. It was extended by the purchase of a land parcel known as Flesher’s Haugh in 1792. The park has been the scene of many historical events. Bonnie Prince Charlie camped here between 1745 and 1746. There were uprisings in the name of radical change, and most dramatically, in 1820, James Wilson marched on the city with a banner demanding: “Scotland Free – Or a desert!” He was arrested and executed here in the presence of a crowd of 20,000, controlled by riflemen and dragoons. In 1832 some 70,000 people gathered here to support the Great Reform Bill. In 1872 Jessie Craigen addressed an open-air women’s suffrage meeting attended by a crowd of 1,000 people, many of them men. In more recent times Michael Jackson performed here in 1992, and in 2014 Radio 1’s Big Weekend was staged here, the largest free-ticketed event in Europe at the time. The one-time practice of hanging clothes out to dry on the Green was stopped in 1977. However symbolic clothes lines can be seen as a nod to what was thought of as the people’s right to use the park.On the edge of the park, we can see McLennan Arch at the Northwest entrance, which was formerly the centrepiece of the Assembly Rooms and was moved to its present position opposite the Old High Court in 1991. There is also a monument to Admiral Lord Nelson which was sited here in 1806. In 1855 the St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge was built to link the park to the North with Hutchesontown to the South.The Green also hosts a number of recreational activities. Situated along the River bank are two historic boathouses which house three rowing clubs – the Glasgow University Boat Club, Clyde Amateur Rowing Club and Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club. The Clyde Walkway and National Cycle Route 75, (which connects the City Centre to Strathclyde Park), also run through the Green. At the Southeastern end of the park is Glasgow Green Football Centre with its 18 football pitches, which opened in 2000 with 18 football pitches, and Glasgow International Hockey Centre, which opened in 2013. The park is currently undergoing a renaissance with major investment through the Heritage Lottery Fund providing a catalyst for the redevelopment of the local neighbourhood.
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