Historic Govan landmarks restored

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Two historic Govan landmarks have been restored.

The principal entrance gateway to Elder Park on Govan Road and the K13 submarine memorial have been sensitively restored for future generations after work was carried out by Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative, in collaboration with Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and Glasgow City Council.

What work was carried out?

The sandstone blocks of the gate piers were dismantled and gently cleaned to assess the condition of carvings underneath a layer of moss, cement and dirt. Unfortunately, many of the original details such as decorative frieze on one of the octagonal pillars or the fish scales and gargoyle on the pillar cap were beyond repair and had to be replaced by skilled masons and carvers at Naughton masonry. The piers were reassembled on-site and pointed using lime mortar.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The entrance to Elder Park is one of the restored landmarks.The entrance to Elder Park is one of the restored landmarks.
The entrance to Elder Park is one of the restored landmarks.

The missing cast iron gates and fence finials were re-cast at the Laing’s Foundry from the original pattern preceded by a careful analysis of the original. The existing lamp was not a part of the original design and its condition was too poor to be reinstated. The new lamp standards were developed by Pollock Davies Patternmaker to match the original design based on historic research.

Once fed by gas, now electric, the lamps crown the gate posts and shine the way into the park. The railing colour scheme based on paint analysis which indicated it had originally been a shade of red. The stunning works have restored Elder Park’s elegant entrance way, which is once again on par with the other great parks of Glasgow and a delight for the people of Govan.

The K13 memorial, erected by the employees Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company in 1922, was dismantled, cleaned and rebuilt in time for the annual commemoration of the submarine disaster that claimed lives of 26 naval seamen and 6 Fairfield workers.

Community work

Alongside the repair works, a programme of engagement took place where possible during the pandemic. In association with the Friends of Elder Park, the project worked with residents, local groups and park users to create opportunities for people to celebrate their park as an important and historic community asset.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A film documenting the restoration process and traditional skills involved is in the final stages of production and this will be shared with the community shortly. A short film about the K13 Disaster was produced and launched at Glasgow Doors Open Day 21, and this will be made available at future events by Fairfield Heritage, Govan.

‘Very welcome news’

Councillor Richard Bell, city treasurer at Glasgow City Council, said: “The restoration of the gateway to Elder Park and the K13 submarine memorial is very welcome news for the people of Govan. These are significant local landmarks, with remarkable backstories and it is fitting that this work was completed 100 years after the K13 memorial was first erected by Fairfield employees. I’d like to pay testament to all the hard work of the partners to deliver these restorations, which are truly valuable to the local community.”

Amy Eastwood, head of grants at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Elder Park is a much-loved asset to the local community and we are pleased to support the works to the historic gates through the Govan Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. The funding of £28,960 supported high quality, specialised conservation works to be carried out on the gates which are an important part of Govan’s heritage.”

Andy Knox, chair of the West of Scotland Submariner Association, said: “K13 is one of the most important events on our annual calendar. Coming now and seeing it in all of its glory, it’s fantastic.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The £126,000 project was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Glasgow City Council as part of Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. It was delivered by Glasgow City Council in partnership with Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, Fiona Sinclair Architects, Chani Bond Heritage Engagement. Works were carried out by Covanburn.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.