Streetwise: Balgay Park

Balgay Park

The beautiful avenue which separates Balgay Park from the neighbouring Cemetery in former times was known as “The Windy Glack”. No doubt it deserved the title, as from its conformation it acted as a capacious funnel for the stormy blasts which periodically came scudding down from the Sidlaws. The original condition of the Glack, though it is as windy as in days of yore, has been entirely changed since the grounds came into possession of the Corporation. The coating of rough, irregular sod and broom has been superseded by a fine level road raised to a uniform height, and the surroundings transformed into an attractive pleasure ground.

The graceful span bridge and fountain are contemporary with the opening of the park on 20th September, 1871. The height of the bridge from roadway to bottom of parapet is 42 feet 6 inches. To prevent casualties, the rail, which was 3½ feet high was further heightened in 1904 to fully 6 feet by the addition of ornate wire fencing.

“The Glack” in the free and easy days of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, was often traversed by smugglers from the hills, Balgay Hill being then considered a convenient rendezvous for the wily evaders of the law. As late as 1830 these nondescripts were known to frequent the Hill with considerable loads of illegal non-duty paid spirits in their possession.

By the judicious laying-out of walks and carriage drives over the years, it is possible to have easy access to the highest point of Balgay Hill, from which a splendid view of the surrounding country may be obtained.

Source: Dundee Photographic Survey