Hidden Glasgow: Abandoned Botanic Gardens Railway Station

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned (Image: Urban Ghosts)

Glasgow‘s 19th century Botanic Gardens, home to shimmering glasshouses and the iconic Kibble Palace, remain a popular attraction today in the city’s elegant West End, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

But in a quiet corner of the gardens close to the main entrance lies an intriguing urban oddity – a slice of Glasgow’s hidden history in the form of an abandoned underground railway station built in Victorian times.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-3 (Image: Glasgowfoodie)

Opened in 1896 on what would become the Caledonian Railway, the eerily intact subterranean platforms of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens railway station have remained silent since the outset of World War Two.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-8 (Image: Glasgowfoodie)

In addition to its two platforms, the Botanic Gardens boasted an elegant, red-brick station building constructed at ground level, boasting twin-towers resplendent with domes which lent an Eastern orthodox flavour to its Victorian architecture.

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But after two decades of operation, the station closed temporarily in January 1917 when wartime austerity meant funding was shifted to more pressing priorities.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-4 (Image: Glasgowfoodie)

The Botanic Gardens railway station reopened in 1919, but its operational life would be short-lived. Two decades later, in February 1939, the subterranean facility again closed to passengers – this time permanently.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-6 (Image: Urban Ghosts)

Trains continued to rumble through the ghost station until the line closed permanently on October 5, 1964. Soon after, the track was lifted and the abandoned station left to nature.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-14 (Image: Glasgowfoodie)

For some years, the Victorian station building found new life as The Silver Slipper cafe, a nightclub known as Sgt. Peppers’, and a plumbers merchant. But when a fire ripped through the building in March 1970, much of the roof was destroyed and the distinctive domed-towers were demolished on safety grounds.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-10 (Image: Glasgowfoodie)

Its walls survived the blaze reasonably intact. But nevertheless the local authority chose to demolish the smoke-ravaged structure rather than restoring it – a move that would prove somewhat ironic in years to come.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-9 (Image: Glasgowfoodie)

Proposals were laid out in 2007 to convert the subterranean ghost station into a nightclub and exhibition space, and even recreate the red-brick building on the same site and to the exact specifications as the original.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-12 (Image: Roderic Page)

But objections from local people – mainly over the presence of a nightclub in such a tranquil corner of their city – put paid to the plans.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-13 (Image: Roderic Page)

As a result, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens railway station remains abandoned today. Forty-five years after fire decimated the main building, the ghost station’s silent subterranean platforms lie overgrown and off-limits to the public.

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-5 (Image: Glasgowfoodie)

glasgow-botanic-gardens-railway-station-abandoned-11 (Image: Roderic Page)

What lies beneath today is heavily overgrown and dangerous to enter. And like many derelict places across the world, the station has been plagued by its fair share of vandals over the years.

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For those, meanwhile, who think one abandoned Botanic Gardens station is unusual enough, the final twist in this old railway tale is that the remains of a second, albeit less impressive station, can also be found within the boundaries of the public arboretum.

kirklee-station-glasgow-abandoned (Image: via Wikipedia)

Kirklee railway station (above), which once served the Kelvinside area of Glasgow’s West End, has been partially redeveloped as apartments. But to the south side of the old station, the abandoned platforms and overgrown trackbed are still extant. It’s from here that a long-disused tunnel portal leads to the eerie platforms of the Botanic Gardens.

Related – 13 Abandoned Ghost Stations of the London Underground


About the author: Tom


Website: https://www.urbanghostsmedia.com


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