Botanic Gardens Station

Hello everyone, this is G-Cat, and today we’re going to be doing a little video tour of one of my favorite abandoned places, the Botanic Garden Station in Glasgow. Now, if you’ve ever been to the Botanic Gardens, you may have found this place just near the main entrance where you can look down through these ventilation openings and see the platforms of an old station down below. But we can’t really see very much from up here. The station building itself was demolished in 1970 after a fire, so all we can really see are the edges of the two platforms, and slightly overgrown on the railway track bedding between them.

And because of the loss of the main building, there’s no easy way down to the platforms here any more. So, if we want to have a better look, we’re going to need to go in the way the trains used to go in, so that’s what we’re going to have to do. I’ve now come down the to old railway cutting at the end of the gardens, and to my left here are the remains of another old station, the Kirklee Station. This was the next one up the line from the Botanic Gardens. And if I walk the other way, see the tunnel ahead of me there? There’s an old railway telegraph post surviving just by the tunnel entrance.

Now, this is the entrance to the Botanic Gardens tunnel, or the Kirklee Tunnel as it’s sometimes called. Most of the Glasgow Central railway actually run underground through tunnels. This is quite a short one, it’s only 220 yards long. Let’s take a last look at the daylight before we plunge into the darkness.

Now, probably the first thing you’ll notice as I walk through the tunnel is that it is very, very dark in here. I have a reasonably powerful torch with me, but even that isn’t enough to light up that space properly for the camera. So, all you can really see are the occasional items of graffiti and so on that my torch is picking out. And there’s some brick lined refuges in these side walls, those were openings that track workers would have waited in for safety if a train came past.

You can also see the bright white things on the left hand wall that you sometimes see, they’re markers with markers on them so that people working in the tunnels would know where they were.

So, yes, actually this video is quite a good way of illustrating how dark it really is in these places. Quite often when you see photographs from urban explorers taken in old tunnels, it actually looks pretty bright. And that’s usually because they’ve set up a long exposure with a camera on a tripod, and light behind it for quite a while, maybe 30 seconds or even longer to illuminate the entire scene. And you get some very nice photos that way, but it’s not particularly realistic in terms of giving an idea of what it’s like to be in one of these places.

I think we’re probably about halfway through now, there’s one of the refuges. So, yeah, you can already see the entrance to the station at the far end there ahead. It hasn’t taken long at all to walk through this tunnel.

So, right now I’m pretty much right underneath the highest point of the Botanic Gardens. Behind me we’re almost at the point where we won’t be able to see the entrance anymore. There’s not a lot more to say about the tunnel itself, so I’m going to skip forward a bit here to avoid boring you too much.

So, I’ve now reached Botanic Gardens Station itself. You can see the view out of the tunnel and into the station chamber. You can actually see my breath there, it’s a very, very cold morning when I’m standing here. In fact the roads up above and the paths to the Botanic Gardens were so icy that they were a death trap. I actually felt safer walking through the tunnel than I did walking around out there.

So, now we can see those ventilation openings up above us, now they’re the ones we were looking down through earlier on. And we have a much better view of everything around down here. There’s a surprising amount of traffic [inaudible 00:04:32] down here, but then there is a very busy road right outside the Botanic Gardens.

As you can see, there’s a lot of graffiti down here as well, even more than there was in the tunnel if anything. The brick walls are pretty much coated with the stuff.

Now, this very dark section in the center of the station between the ventilation openings, this is where the actual station building used to sit up above. So, actually stairs up on each side here, we can’t really see them very well, they’re so dark. But even with my torch focused on them, you can’t really see them properly. I don’t think I would want to trust my weight to those, they’re not in very good condition, although they’re blocked off at the top anyway, so there’s no reason to go up there.

This is the space underneath the squares on the right hand side. Not much in there, just a lot of old junk really. So, they’re coming towards the far end of the station now, there’s one more ventilation opening up above which you can see on the far side there. And there’s these metal brackets on both walls. These are quite a recent addition to the station. I think 2009 or so, presumably to strengthen the ground up above, stop it dropping into the station. And the Great Western Road is pretty close up above here, so it’s fairly important that that doesn’t fall into the station.

And this bit here, there used to be an alcove or something in the wall there. I’m not sure what was in it, possibly a waiting room or a toilet, or something like that. I’ve seen one old photo of it before it was filled with concrete as it is now. This darkness we can see up ahead is the Great Western Road tunnel which leads out of the Botanic Gardens station at the far end, and leads for 700 years or so underneath the Great Western Road, eventually surfacing at Kelburn Bridge.

Now, I decided not to walk through there this time. I went through there last time I explored the station, but this time firstly I’m on my own, and it’s a bit worn, and a bit more unsafe. But also there’s not a lot to see along there that would show up in a video, it’s all far too dark really. So, I’m just going to head back through the station itself.

So, I’m now heading back the way along the other platform. And I’m underneath the final ventilation opening. This one is just right inside the Garden gates, and you can see it’s still in the walls of it from [inaudible 00:07:21]. If we look up, we can see a lamppost, and we can see the spire of [inaudible 00:07:25] Moore, the church across the road from the Botanic Gardens.

It’s quite cool to see them from a way down here. I’m now coming up to the bit with the stairs on the other side. And in fact for some reason, the stairs are showing up better on the video on this side. Maybe slightly less dark for some reason. These stairs look even more knackered than the ones on the other platform, so I wouldn’t want to try climbing up them.

As you can see, many of them are collapsing down into the space below. You can sort of see the shape of them as they go up towards the roof, which is now blocked off as I said.

So, we’re just about finished our tour now. We’re coming back towards the beginning of the station. You can see the end of the Kirklee Tunnel up ahead. The ventilation openings within the gardens up above. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video, I certainly enjoyed coming back down here for another look. As I said at the start, this is one of my very favorite abandoned places that I’ve ever been. I’m not sure why, there’s something special about it. It’s so well hidden and yet so close to places that are really busy. There’s people bustling around up above the whole time through the Gardens, along Great Western Road. Most of them probably have no idea that this is down here, just still and quiet, and tranquil, and being reclaimed by nature like this.

And it’s also a fascinating glimpse into the infrastructure of one of the earliest underground railways in the world. So, yep, it’s definitely worth a visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and hopefully I’ll be back soon with another abandoned place to show you. Bye for now.