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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 15/05/1987


  • Local Authority: Glasgow
  • Planning Authority: Glasgow
  • Burgh: Glasgow

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNS 54688 66024
  • Coordinates254688, 666024


Angus Kennedy: 1st drawings December 1868, working

details summer 1869, completed 1871, in full production

1874. Engine Works approx 300' square, with 2 erecting

shops added to W by Wm Arrol in 1906 and 1916.

S elevation: giant classical brick facade, 9 bays, each

separated by paired pilasters. 1869 Engine Works: 7

bays masking fitting/machine shops and 3 intermediate

galleried bays. Bays fronting galleries and 4th, W,

machine shop have 2 ground floor round-headed windows

and 2 1st floor windows, all blocked. 1st E, machine

shop: round arched doorway and original massive wooden

hinged door with multi-paned iron-framed glazed light

above and 2 42-paned windows. 2nd shop bigger moulded

keystoned arch, over 30-foot tall, with multi-paned

glazing over modern roller door. 3rd machine shop

identical except blocked door.

Side Walls: 9-bay, with 3 tall arched and keystoned

doorways, part blocked, between pilasters. The other

bays had tall round-headed windows, blocked in 19th

century and false 1st floor windows (never glazed). E.

wall now behind metal cladding. W wall seen from 1906

erecting shop.

N Wall is similar to S but with a circa 1920 building


Entablature, cornice, slate roof glazed at ridge. Behind

the perimeter ridges, roofs over machine shops are glazed

and over galleries slated (all as built).

2 W bays (Wm Arrol): 1st bay 1906, built to match Boiler

Shop at E (by A Myles 1889, demolished). Paired

pilasters and large central arched doorway, flanking

round-headed windows and 4 upper level windows in

panels, all false. W bay, 1916, similar but wider, with

modern cladding to W wall.

Most windows were blocked before 1900, and those along

sides and in Arrol block were always blind.

Interior: 4 machine, turning and fitting shops aligned

N-S, each 300' long with 50' spans. 3 intermediate

gallery bays, 30' spans, formerly held 2 upper levels for

lighter work, tool room millwrights etc. (upper galleries

and parts of lower galleries removed 1938, but part

remains at S end of eastmost gallery). Internal brick

buttresses stretch about 10' into the works to strengthen

wall at ends of each row of stanchions. 6 rows of 8

cast-iron I-section stanchions. Each stanchion carries 3

pairs of bracing struts branching out to carry 2 cast-iron

box girders at gallery levels and larger top malleable iron

girder for travelling crane. Top struts are timber, and

carry timber king-post roofs. New breeze block partition

between 2nd gallery and 3rd machine shop. Some

stanchions are encased in concrete. Brick walls have

relief arches and fittings for jib cranes.

Arrol's erecting shops at W: internal steel frame carries

crane girders. Ridge and furrow steel tie glazed roof on

steel lattice girders.

Statement of Special Interest

"The finest surviving engineering works in Scotland and

perhaps in Britan "(Hume, 1976, p24). It is probable

that no other similar building, employing an internal

cast-iron frame, exists on such a scale anywhere else in

the world. The cast-iron stanchions are a characteristic of

Scottish engineering works, but few have survived, and

those that do (such as Linthouse and the Caledonian

Ironworks) are less massive than here. Few heavy

engineering works elsewhere in the world can have been on

this scale and even fewer would have cast-iron as opposed

to timber, wrought-iron, brick or steel vertical


Built for the biggest private shipyard in the world, this

building produced the engines for such pioneering ships


Randolph, Elder and Co, pioneers of the Compound

Engine, were founded in 1852 and moved in the 1960s to

Fairfield. From 1869 to 1888 the company was run by

William Pearce, and was renamed in 1885 the Fairfield

Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd.

List excludes metal-clad, steel framed bay at W, addition

to N, internal breeze-block partition, modern stair in

front of second bay and metal cladding on E wall.




Hume (1976) pp24, 165

Hume (1974) p261



Govan Shipbuilders' Plant Maintenance Drawings: P2,P3,P4,P5,P6,P58,P59,P60,P111,P112 (Engine Works)

P1,P7,P8 (Boiler Shop) P10 (Elevation and cross-section

of the whole.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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