Glasgow Corporation v Taylor

Glasgow Corporation v Taylor (1922): A case analysis

Case name & citation: Glasgow Corporation v Taylor (1922) 1 AC 44

Plaintiff: Mr. Taylor, the father of a 7-year-old child

Defendants: Glasgow Corporation (controlling the Botanic Garden of Glasgow)

Year of the case: 1922

What is the case about?

Glasgow Corporation v Taylor is a leading case that dealt with an occupier’s liability to children.

The case shows that children may get attracted by ‘traps’ onto certain parts of the premises and sustain injury. Therefore, it is a must to exercise due care according to the circumstances of the situation and especially where children are involved.

Facts of the case (Glasgow Corporation v Taylor)

The defendants controlled and managed a public park. A seven-year-old child was playing in the park when he kind of got tricked into an ‘allurement’ and unfortunately lost his life.

The child had picked and eaten some attractive-looking berries from a shrub in the park, which were otherwise poisonous. The defendants had neither given sufficient warning to prevent the children from going nearby that shrub nor had they properly fenced the area where the shrub was.

Moreover, the poisonous berries which were grown in the public park looked like cherries and thus had a tempting appearance for the children.

The park was under the management of Glasgow Corporation, so the father of the child brought an action against the Glasgow Corporation for negligence.

Issue raised

Did the defendants breach their duty of care to the visitors of the public park?

Was there a higher standard for the duty of care because children were involved?

Judgement in “Glasgow Corporation v Taylor”

The Court held that the berries constituted a ‘trap’ or ‘allurement’ to the child.

It was decided that the defendants had breached the duty of care that they owed to the visitors of the park. They had allowed children to enter the area where the shrub was, and it is natural that the berries would have appealed to visiting children, hence, posing a danger.

Despite being aware of the dangerous nature of the berries, the defendants had not taken adequate precautions to warn the children or the parents about that plant.

No notice regarding the poisonous character of the berries was displayed either.

Therefore, the defendants were held liable for negligence.

The reasoning behind the decision

An occupier of premises must ensure that its premises are safe for children. As per the Occupiers Liability Act of 1957, an occupier should be prepared for the children to be less careful than adults. Because it may happen that what is an obvious danger for an adult may actually be a trap for the children. In other words, children may be attracted to certain dangerous objects which adults may like to avoid. Therefore, the duty of the landowner is not only to ensure that he does not dig pitfalls or dangerous traps for them with the knowledge that it might injure them but also not to lead them into temptation.


All steps must be taken by an occupier of premises or other structures to ensure that he exercises a reasonable duty of care to the visitors. In addition, the occupier must guard the child visitors even against those dangers from which the adults do not need any protection.

List of references:

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