The Kibble
The Kibble
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As we continue our summer scenic stroll along the Kelvin Walkway, you can’t but fail to notice how Glasgow had to have been a booming city during the Industrial Revolution, as you bypass the remnants of long forgotten mills. Many made their name and wealth during this period, none more so than the family of inventor and engineer John Kibble, the son of a wealth industrialist, who was also an amateur photographer and had the distinction of being the creator of the-then world’s biggest camera (so big, in fact, that it needed its own horse and cart).


Size was everything for Kibble, and he also built a large, botanical glasshouse for his mansion beside Loch Long – but it got so large that later he donated this unique glasshouse to the City of Glasgow. It was dismantled, shipped up the Clyde and rebuilt in 1873 at the Botanic Gardens at Kelvingrove in the west end of the city at Kibble’s own expense – and he also paid for structural alterations which included increasing the diameter of the main dome, and erecting two wings off the smaller dome.


Named after the benefactor, the Kibble Palace – affectionately known by locals as “The Kibble” – became a popular attraction for both Glaswegians and tourists, with over 400,000 visitors enjoying the 340 temperate plants growing there, in what for many must seem like a time passage back to the Victorian era. The building also houses a collection of sculptures and nearby buildings in the park contain a fine collection of orchids.


In the summer of 2004, a £7 million project to renovate the 140-year old glasshouse began, where it was again dismantled piece by piece, pane by pane and shipped down to England. And over a two year period, all the Victorian ornate iron ribs of it were painstakingly taken apart, cleaned, repainted and replaced and new glass windows inserted. In 2006, it once again was rebuilt on its original site.


Leica M3 & 1.4/50mm Summilux V2
Sekonic L-308S
Ilford FP4+ (@125)
HC-110 (Dil. B – 7 min)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan