Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ross Hall Park

On our way down to Crookston Castle on Sunday we passed by the entrance to Ross Hall Park, yet another place we'd never been before. It's one of over 90 public parks and gardens in Glasgow and isn't listed on the Glasgow City Council site so it's no wonder a lot of these places go unnoticed. So, on the way back from the castle, we followed the river and detoured through the park for a visit.

Ross Hall ParkRoss Hall Park

With it being adjacent to the Ross Hall Hospital, then I suspect that it's likely that the grounds once belonged to Ross Hall House, which is now part of the hospital. It isn't a big park by any means but it does have a hidden gem - a grotto and rock garden dating back to 1895. The whole thing is category B listed with it described as…Ross Hall Park
Garden structures constructed at intervals around 3 sides of open lawn built in partly natural and partly artificial Pulhamite stone, including grotto, rock garden and rock flanked narrow passage, low wall, subterranean boat house and ornamental paths, all designed to appear as natural outcrops.

Phew!, what all means is that there is a pretty surreal area of twisty and turny paths and bridges going over and around ponds and weird rock formations. The grotto is a rock-walled enclosure constructed around a sunken pool (now filled-in) with "rockery" masonry, bridges arched over water features, plant troughs in hollowed boulders and rock wall and shelter areas under overhanging rock.

Pulhamite, the artificial rock used in the grotto, is the legacy of James Pulham & Sons, landscape designers in the late 19th and early 20thcenturies who were responsible for working on garden designs in Sandringham and Buckingham palaces and the RHS Gardens Wisley among others.

Ross Hall Park PondRoss Hall Park Pond

The rest of the park is pretty unremarkable but it does have a decent lawned area running down from Ross Hall House to a pond in which there were a few ducks and moorhens splashing around. Just adjacent to that area is a more formal garden section overlooked by the ruin of what appears to be an old boiler house with a large and ornamental chimney stack (see top picture).

Maybe we'll go back next Summer to see it all in a better light so to speak.

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