It wasn’t too long ago that Glasgow was an truly industrial city - generations of different factories, warehouses, and other sites still stand as a reminder of our city’s past.
It’s been even less time since Glasgow was a post-industrial city, a period when it saw a rapid decline and many of the old factories were brought to the ground.
Thanks to the listed building initiative however, many of the better presented factories like the Templeton Carpet Factory were preserved for their architectural significance.
These factories produced much more than just the products they manufactured, lifelong friends and even romances were made in the four walls of the factory - as Glaswegians worked ridiculously long hours before returning to slum tenement housing conditions.
Industries within Glasgow factories at the time varied wildly, it wasn’t just heavy industries like engine-building, cotton textiles and related industries like bleaching, dyeing, chemicals and textile engineering were also what happened in Glasgow factories.
On the corner of Montrose Street and Ingram Street sits the Channel 4 office, a former Victorian warehouse that once held all types of textiles. According to Historic Environment Scotland, the Garment Factory was built in 1899 for J and W Campbell and Co, who were well-respected drapers and warehousemen of the era.
2. Templeton’s Carpet Factory (1892)
Templeton’s Carpet Factory (or Templeton on the Green as it is now known) was a purpose-built carpet factory which looks incredibly different to the industrial estate carpet factory’s you see today. It was meant to display opulence, which was a tricky thing to get right in reserved Victorian Society who preferred the imposing majesty of Gothic Revival architecture. After repeated design proposals had been rejected by the Glasgow Corporation, Templeton hired the famous architect William Leiper to produce a design that would be ‘so grand it could not possibly be rejected’, so William Leiper modelled the building on the Doge’s Palace in Venice, which was constructed in the alternative Venetian Gothic style. In 2005, the building was extensively modified in a £22 million regeneration project to form a mixed use ‘lifestyle village’. This includes 143 new apartments, accommodation for Sportscotland (the Scottish Institute of Sport), Front Page (a creative design studio) and the WEST brewery, bar and restaurant, which takes up the ground floor of the main building.
3. Brunswick Street
Described by Historic Environment Scotland as a ‘bizarrely detailed Gothic warehouse’, the 3-storey 10-bay blonde sandstone building on the corner of Brunswick Street and Ingram Street is now being used as flats.
4. 18 Montrose Street
Built in1878 as a leather merchants’ warehouse, the 5-storey warehouse building has now been converted to flats - the bottom floor was home to independent designer clothes shop 18montrose street, until it closed down towards the end of 2022.