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Govan ( ;
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups o ...
: ''Baile a' Ghobhainn'') is a district, parish, and former
burgh A burgh is an autonomous The federal subject in Russia">Federal subjects of Russia">federal subject in Russia, close to borders of Finland. Picture of Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia. In developmental psychology and m ...

burgh
now part of south-west
City of Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Socia ...

City of Glasgow
, Scotland. It is situated west of Glasgow city centre, on the south bank of the
River Clyde River Clyde ( gd, Abhainn Chluaidh, , sco, Clyde Watter, or ) is a river that flows into the Firth of Clyde The Firth of Clyde is the mouth of the River Clyde. It is located on the west coast of Scotland and constitutes the deepest coastal ...
, opposite the mouth of the
River Kelvin The River Kelvin (Scottish Gaelic: ''Abhainn Cheilbhinn'') is a tributary of the River Clyde in northern and northeastern Glasgow, Scotland. It rises on the moor south east of the village of Banton, Scotland, Banton, east of Kilsyth. At almos ...
and the district of
Partick Partick ( sco, Pairtick, Scottish Gaelic: ''Pàrtaig'') is an area of Glasgow on the north bank of the River Clyde, just across from Govan. To the west lies Whiteinch, to the east Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Park (across the River Kelvin), and to ...
. Historically it was part of the
County of Lanark Lanarkshire, also called the County of Lanark ( gd, Siorrachd Lannraig, sco, Lanrikshire), is an Counties of Scotland, historic county, Lieutenancy areas of Scotland, lieutenancy area and registration county in the central Lowlands of Scotland ...
. According to medieval legend,
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...
, a seventh-century
King of Strathclyde The list of the kings of Strathclyde concerns the kings of Alt Clut, later Kingdom of Strathclyde, Strathclyde, a Brythonic languages, Brythonic kingdom in what is now western Scotland. The kingdom was ruled from Dumbarton Rock, ''Alt Clut'', the B ...
, founded a
monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monastery
under the rule of
Columbanus Columbanus ( ga, Columbán; 540 – 21 November 615) was an Hiberno-Scottish mission, Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monastery, monasteries after 590 in the Franks, Frankish and Lombards, Lombard kingdoms, most notably Luxeui ...
in Govan. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
, Govan was the site of a ford and later a ferry which linked the area with
Partick Partick ( sco, Pairtick, Scottish Gaelic: ''Pàrtaig'') is an area of Glasgow on the north bank of the River Clyde, just across from Govan. To the west lies Whiteinch, to the east Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Park (across the River Kelvin), and to ...
for seasonal cattle drovers. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,
textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, o ...

textile
mills and
coal mining in the United States , Belgium Coal mining is the process of resource extraction, extracting coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata (Argentina Argentina (), officially the Arge ...

coal mining
were important; in the early-nineteenth century,
shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition o ...

shipbuilding
emerged as Govan's principal industry. In 1864, Govan gained
burgh status
burgh status
, and was the fifth-largest burgh in Scotland. It was incorporated into the City of Glasgow in 1912.


History


Early history

Recent studies of the
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological ...
of old Govan have revealed the presence of an ancient
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
church. Two associated Christian burials are
radiocarbon date Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material Organic matter, organic material, or natural organic matter refers to the large source of ...
d to the 5th or 6th centuries, making Govan the earliest known Christian site in the region. Govan is believed to have then been part of a kingdom ruled from
Dumbarton Rock Dumbarton (; also sco, Dumbairton; ) is a town in , , on the north bank of the where the flows into the Clyde . In 2006, it had an estimated population of 19,990. Dumbarton was the capital of the ancient , and later the of . , on top of Du ...

Dumbarton Rock
, known as ''Alt Clut'', the rock on the Clyde. During the
Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and trans ...
, perhaps following the sack of Dumbarton Rock in 878, Govan is believed to have been one of the major centres of the
Kingdom of Strathclyde ), the probable northern extent of the kingdom at an early time. Other areas were added to or subtracted from the kingdom at different times. , common_languages = Cumbric , today = Strathclyde (lit. " Strath of the River Clyde The R ...
. According to
John of Fordun John of Fordun (before 1360 – c. 1384) was a Scottish chronicler. It is generally stated that he was born at Fordoun, Mearns. It is certain that he was a secular priest, and that he composed his history in the latter part of the 14th c ...
,
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...
, a 7th-century king of Strathclyde, founded a
monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monastery
at Govan, where he died and was buried. In 1855, an elaborately carved
sandstone Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock of a clast (sand grain), derived from a basalt Basalt (, ) is a fine-grained extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of low-viscosity lava rich in magnesium and iron ('' mafic ' ...

sandstone
sarcophagus A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi or sarcophaguses) is a box-like receptacle for a , most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word ''sarcophagus'' comes from the ' meaning "flesh", ...

sarcophagus
was found during digging in the churchyard. It is now kept inside the church. It may have been used to contain the body or relics of Constantine, although the style of carving indicates an origin in the 10th or 11th centuries. This King Constantine is first mentioned in the 12th-century '' Life of St. Kentigern'' by Jocelyn of Furness, where he is said to have been son of Riderch Hael. He is likely a literary invention. The early church in Govan is dedicated to a Saint Constantine, about whom nothing else is known. Govan's earliest recorded name may be found in the ''
Historia regum Anglorum The ''Historia Regum'' ("History of the Kings") is a historical compilation attributed to Symeon of Durham, which presents material going from the death of Bede until 1129. It survives only in one manuscript compiled in Yorkshire in the mid-to-late ...
'' attributed to
Symeon of Durham__NOTOC__ Symeon (or Simeon) of Durham (died after 1129) was an English chronicler and a monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic la ...
. This is a 12th-century
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
source, but one believed to be based on much earlier materials; it records a place near Dumbarton Rock named ''Ouania''. Based on this, Govan's
Cumbric language Cumbric was a variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equation ...
name has been reconstructed as *''(G)uovan''. Govan is ''Baile a' Ghobhainn'' (the smith's town) in
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups o ...
. Bishop Leslie in his ''Scotia Descriptio'' of 1578 says it got its name from the excellence of its ale ''(God-win)'', whereas Chalmers in his ''Caledonia'' says it is derived from
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups o ...
, ''Gamhan'' (a ditch)."A History Of Glasgow & Govan (1883)", ''Ordnance Gazetteer Of Scotland'' The earliest references to Govan are found in connection with the Christian church. In 1136, when
Glasgow Cathedral Glasgow Cathedral (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European langua ...

Glasgow Cathedral
was formally consecrated,
King David I David I or Dauíd mac Maíl Choluim (Scottish Gaelic language, Modern: ''Daibhidh I mac haoilChaluim''; – 24 May 1153) was a 12th-century ruler who was David, Prince of the Cumbrians, Prince of the Cumbrians from 1113 to 1124 and later ...

King David I
(1124–53) gave to the See the lands of Partick and also of the church at Govan (on opposite sides of the
River Clyde River Clyde ( gd, Abhainn Chluaidh, , sco, Clyde Watter, or ) is a river that flows into the Firth of Clyde The Firth of Clyde is the mouth of the River Clyde. It is located on the west coast of Scotland and constitutes the deepest coastal ...
), which became a
prebend A prebendary is a member of the Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the ...
of Glasgow. The
Govan Old Parish Church Govan Old Parish Church is the name of the original parish church serving Govan Govan ( ; Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic lan ...

Govan Old Parish Church
was rebuilt in 1762, 1826, and again 1884-1888. Within it and its roughly circular churchyard is one of the finest collections of Early Christian stones in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, dating from the 10th and 11th centuries. Not much is known about any medieval village that may have surrounded the church until 1454 when it is recorded that, whole houses, barns and mills in the village were brought down by a great flood. By the 16th century, extensive coal mine workings had been developed around Craigton and
Drumoyne Drumoyne ( gd, Druim Uaine) is now a district in the Scotland, Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situated south of the River Clyde and is part of the former Burgh of Govan. It is the birthplace of Alex Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manc ...
. As the village grew, new trades and crafts, such as weaving, pottery and agriculture, were established. There is an oddity whereby part of eighteenth-century parish of Govan (which was in
Lanarkshire Lanarkshire, also called the County of Lanark ( gd, Siorrachd Lannraig, sco, Lanrikshire), is a historic county, lieutenancy area Lieutenancy areas are the separate areas of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain a ...
) is counted as being within
Renfrewshire Renfrewshire () ( sco, Renfrewshire; gd, Siorrachd Rinn Friù) is one of the 32 . Located in the west , it is one of three council areas contained within the boundaries of the of , the others being to the east and to the west. It also shar ...
. There existed a hospital in the area, and as quasi-religious foundations were not taxed, it had never been assigned to a sheriffdom. Thus, when Renfrewshire was created out of a sheriffdom of Lanarkshire in the early fifteenth century, the lands associated with the hospital (
Polmadie Polmadie (; gd, Poll Mac Dè, lit=Son of God pool) is a primarily industrial area of Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geo ...
) were not technically in the newly created shire, as they were not part of the sheriffdom. They were, however, very much a part of the physical landscape that became Renfrewshire. A similar uncertainty existed regarding the nearby lands of
Pollokshields Pollokshields ( gd, Buthan Phollaig, Scots: ''Powkshiels'') is an area in the Southside of Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The ...
and Westends. People lived with the inconsistency in the records. When the railway was to be built in the late nineteenth century, however, the confusion over proper descriptions in the land titles made necessary legal transactions difficult and had to be reconciled. The county added to the description of these lands, the phrase: "but now by annexation in the County of Renfrew." By the early part of the 19th century, Govan was rapidly losing its rural appearance and assuming the character of a town with the development of new industries and factories, including Reid's Dye Works and Pollok's Silk Mill. Town officials arranged for the deepening of the Clyde in 1759, the reclamation of the channels between the islands (The Whyte Inch, The Black Inch, and The King's Inch), and the construction of quays and docks. This facilitated the development of shipbuilding as a major industry. By the 1860s, the village needed a higher order of administration and it was made a
burgh A burgh is an autonomous The federal subject in Russia">Federal subjects of Russia">federal subject in Russia, close to borders of Finland. Picture of Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia. In developmental psychology and m ...

burgh
in 1864, under the General Police (Scotland) Act 1862. At the time, it was the fifth largest burgh in Scotland and contained within its boundaries, the areas of
Plantation A plantation is an agricultural estate, generally centered on a plantation houseA plantation house is the main house of a plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that spe ...
, Cessnock, Ibrox, Craigton and
Drumoyne Drumoyne ( gd, Druim Uaine) is now a district in the Scotland, Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situated south of the River Clyde and is part of the former Burgh of Govan. It is the birthplace of Alex Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manc ...
. in 1901 the Burgh boundaries increased further west to include
Linthouse Linthouse is a neighbourhood in the city of Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: ...
and West
Drumoyne Drumoyne ( gd, Druim Uaine) is now a district in the Scotland, Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situated south of the River Clyde and is part of the former Burgh of Govan. It is the birthplace of Alex Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manc ...
. With Morris Pollok as its first
Provost Provost may refer to: People * Provost (name)Provost is a surname of French origin, deriving from a civil or military official responsible for maintaining order. It moved to England with its conquering by William of Normandy in 1066. It is stil ...
, the Burgh and its Commissioners ensured that during the next 48 years Govan became a well-equipped, modern town. During the late 19th century, the population of Govan increased more than tenfold: from 9,000 in 1864 to 95,000 by 1907. In 1901 Govan was the 7th largest town in Scotland. In 1912, Glasgow annexed Govan after a series of annexation battles. In 1906 the first ever Earl of Govan title was given to Anderson McCann who lived on Govan road. He paved way for a new process of housing for shipyard workers. Not much is known of McCann who led a private life. What is known is he died in 1932 and was buried in Old Govan Parish Church Cemetery. The second Earl of Govan wasn't selected until 1984 when it was given to James McCann, a direct descendant of Anderson. James McCann was a Boys Brigade leader and a council worker. In 1986, after coming to the realisation that being an Earl had some extra responsibilities he decided to remove his title. The third and current Earl of Govan was dawned upon Arnie Kennedy in 2005. Not much is known about this man, however he holds the title of III Earl of Govan. A prominent feature of the Govan landscape was the Doomster or Moot Hill, which stood near the river, north of the present Govan Cross. It was removed in the early 19th century and Reid's Dyeworks was erected on the site. The origins of the Doomster Hill are a mystery. One hypothesis is that it was a prehistoric
burial mound The Royal mounds of Gamla Uppsala in Sweden from the 5th and 6th centuries originally the site had 2,000 to 3,000 tumuli, but due to quarrying and agriculture only 250 remain. A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a mound A mound is a heaped pil ...

burial mound
. In 1996, a team from
Channel 4 Channel 4 is a British free-to-air Free-to-air (FTA) services are television (TV) and radio services broadcast in clear (unencrypted) form, allowing any person with the FTA Receiver, appropriate receiving equipment to receive the signal and ...
's ''
Time Team ''Time Team'' is a British television programme that originally aired on Channel 4, Channel 4 from 16 January 1994 to 7 September 2014. Created by television producer Tim Taylor (producer), Tim Taylor and presented by actor To ...
'' programme carried out an archeological excavation at the site. They suggested that the hill may have been a 12th-century
Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from ...
motte A motte-and-bailey castle is a European fortification with a wooden or stone keep A keep (from the Middle English ''kype'') is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated t ...
.


20th century to the present

Traditionally viewed as a lower working-class area, Govan has typically supported the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
, but the
Scottish National Party The Scottish National Party (SNP; sco, Scots National Pairty, gd, Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba ) is a Scottish nationalist Scottish nationalism promotes the idea that the Scottish people form a cohesive nation and Scottish national iden ...
(SNP) has also been strong there. In 1973 SNP won a by-election with
Margo MacDonald Margo Symington MacDonald (''née'' Aitken; 19 April 1943 – 4 April 2014) was a Scottish politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisi ...
as their candidate. The SNP won another by-election victory in 1988, this time with
Jim Sillars James Sillars (born 4 October 1937) is a Scottish politician and a leading figure in the campaign for Scottish independence. Sillars served as a Labour Party MP for South Ayrshire South Ayrshire ( sco, Sooth Ayrshire; gd, Siorrachd Inbhir ...
as candidate. The latest victory for the SNP was in the 2007 Scottish parliamentary elections, when
Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon (born 19 July 1970) is a Scottish politician serving as First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) since 2014. She is the first woman to hold either position. She has been a member of t ...

Nicola Sturgeon
became the MSP for the constituency. The area has had a reputation for deprivation and poverty, partly due to the construction of housing estates in the 1930s to relieve the overcrowded
slum A slum is a highly populated urban Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities. Urban may also refer to: Ge ...

slum
district of The
Gorbals The Gorbals is an area in the city of Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, ...
, Glasgow. The most famous of these housing estates is Moorepark, sometimes referred to jocularly as "The Wine Alley" - this area was named by ''
The Independent ''The Independent'' is a British online newspaper An online newspaper (or electronic news or electronic news publication) is the electronic publishing, online version of a newspaper, either as a stand-alone publication or as the online ver ...
'' newspaper in April 1994 as one of the worst areas in Britain, with drug abuse being a widespread problem and unemployment standing at nearly 30% (up to three times the national average at the time). It was parodied by the
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcasting, broadcaster in the world by ...

BBC
sitcom '' Rab C. Nesbitt''. Although Govan was the stated setting for the show, episodes were seldom filmed there. In the post-war years, many Govanites were relocated from the town, often reluctantly, to outlying areas such as Drumchapel,
Pollok Pollok ( gd, Pollag, lit=a pool, sco, Powk) is a large housing estate on the south-western side of the city of Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Pe ...
,
Darnley Darnley is an area in south-west Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and ...
,
Priesthill Priesthill ( gd, Cnoc an t-Sagairt) is a neighbourhood in the south of the River Clyde in the Scotland, Scottish city of Glasgow. It falls under the Greater Pollok (ward), Greater Pollok ward of the city council area. The Darnley neighbourhood is ...
and Penilee by the
Glasgow Corporation The politics of Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Soc ...
. Despite these developments, there were numerous older buildings around Govan until quite recently, most notably the terraces and tenements situated around Govan Road. These were not cleared until well into the 1970s. However, there is the potential for tourism development, for example, the planned development of the Govan Old site, which hosts the historically significant stone carvings, has led to the development of the surrounding townscape and new infrastructure. Such developments benefit the aesthetic and connective appeal of the Govan area for future visitors. Due to boundary changes, Govan in the early 1960s incorporated some surrounding more prosperous areas at its boundaries. Although technically part of Govan, residents of these areas have maintained a distinct identity separate from the area. The Govan Fair is celebrated on the first Friday in June each year.


Economy

Govan was at one point the centre of the world-renowned Clydeside shipbuilding industry, but few shipyards remain today. One of Govan's original yards is one of only two large shipyards to survive on the Upper
River Clyde River Clyde ( gd, Abhainn Chluaidh, , sco, Clyde Watter, or ) is a river that flows into the Firth of Clyde The Firth of Clyde is the mouth of the River Clyde. It is located on the west coast of Scotland and constitutes the deepest coastal ...
, the other being
Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited (YSL), often styled as simply Yarrows, was a major shipbuilding firm based in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow on the River Clyde. It is now part of BAE Systems Surface Ships, owned by BAE Systems, which has also ope ...
based in
Scotstoun Scotstoun ( gd, Baile an Sgotaich) is an area of Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lon ...
. These two yards form a large part of
BAE Systems Surface Ships BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British multinational arms, security, and aerospace company. Its headquarters are in London and Farnborough in the United Kingdom with operations worldwide. The company is the largest defence contractor in Euro ...
. In 1841, Robert Napier began iron shipbuilding in Govan, and in 1843 produced its first ship, the ''Vanguard''. He also procured a contract with the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
to produce vessels, notably the ''
Jackal Jackals are medium-sized omnivorous mammals of the subtribe Canina, which also includes wolves and the domestic dog The dog or domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a Domestication, domesticated descenda ...
'', the ''
Lizard Lizards (suborder In biological classification, the order ( la, wikt:ordo#Latin, ordo) is # a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms and recognized by the nomenclature codes. The well-known ranks in descending order are: lif ...
'', and the ''
Bloodhound The Bloodhound is a large scent hound: long ears, large nasal passages, and a sturdy body for endurance Image:Baying.jpg, A baying hound Franz Rudolf Frisching in the uniform of an officer of the Bernese Huntsmen Corps with his Berner Laufhund, ...
''. He also allowed naval officers in training to visit the shipyard to familiarise themselves with the new vessels. Napier's Shipyard in Govan was later acquired by
William Beardmore and Company William Beardmore and Company was a British engineering and shipbuilding Conglomerate (company), conglomerate based in Glasgow and the surrounding Clydeside area. It was active from 1886 to the mid-1930s and at its peak employed about 40,000 peo ...
in 1900, before being sold on to
Harland & Wolff Harland & Wolff is a shipyard, specialising in ship repair, conversion, and offshore construction, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Harland & Wolff is famous for having built the majority of the ocean liners for the White Star Line. Well ...
in 1912. It finally closed in 1962 and most of the site was redeveloped into housing. Govan's other major shipbuilding firm was founded in the 1860s as: Randolph, Elder and Company, later becoming John Elder and Company. In 1885, the yard moved further west to its present site and was reorganised as the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd. This company continued until 1965, when it filed for bankruptcy. The following year in 1966, the yard was again reorganised as Fairfields and guaranteed by the government in response. The following year, Fairfields and the other major Clydeside yards (Stephens, Connels, Yarrows and John Browns) were merged to form
Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) was a Scottish shipbuilding consortium, created in 1968 as a result of the amalgamation of five major shipbuilders of the River Clyde. It entered liquidation, with much controversy, in 1971. That led to a "work-in" ...
(UCS). In 1971, Upper Clyde Shipbuilders went into receivership and the Conservative government led by
Edward Heath Sir Edward Richard George Heath (9 July 191617 July 2005) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is ...
refused to give them a £6,000,000 loan. Rather than go on strike, which was the traditional form of industrial action, the union leadership of the yards decided to have a
work-in A work-in is a form of direct action under which workers whose jobs are under threat resolve to remain in their place of employment and to continue producing, without pay. Their intention is usually to show that their place of work still has long-t ...
and complete the orders that the shipyards had in place. In this way they dispelled the idea of the workers being "work-shy" and also wanted to illustrate the long-term viability of the yards. The work-in was successful in the short-term. YSL withdrew from UCS in 1971, and Govan was sold off in 1973 as
Govan Shipbuilders Govan Shipbuilders Ltd (GSL) was a British shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and other Watercraft, floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shi ...
. In 1977, the Labour government of
James Callaghan Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, (; 27 March 191226 March 2005), commonly known as Jim Callaghan, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdo ...

James Callaghan
passed the
Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act The Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977 is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that nationalisation, nationalised large parts of the UK aerospace and shipbuilding industries and established two corporations, ...
which nationalised Govan and grouped it with other major British shipyards as
British Shipbuilders British Shipbuilders (BS) was a Government-owned corporation, public corporation that owned and managed the shipbuilding industry in Great Britain from 1977 through the 1980s. Its head office was at Benton House in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. H ...
. In May 1979, Margaret Thatcher was elected
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
and her ministry soon began its privatisation programme. British Aerospace, established by the same act, was privatised in 1981. British Shipbuilders road to privatisation was not as swift, and the group was sold piece by piece throughout the course of the 1980s. Kværner of Norway, as part of a planned development of a large international shipbuilding group, took over Govan. British Shipbuilders' sale of Govan to the Norwegian firm was completed in 1988, and the yard was renamed
Kvaerner Govan Kvaerner Govan Ltd (KGL), located at Govan in Glasgow on the River Clyde, was a shipyard subsidiary formed in 1988 when the Norwegian group Kværner Industrier purchased the Govan Shipbuilders division of the nationalised British Shipbuilders cor ...
.Birkler
p. 14.
/ref> In 1999,
GEC GEC or Gec may refer to: Education * Gedo Education Committee, in Somalia * Glen Eira College, in Caulfield East, Victoria, Australia * Goa Engineering College, India * Government Engineering College (disambiguation) * Guild for Exceptional Ch ...
's Marconi Marine division purchased the yard when Kværner announced its departure from the shipbuilding industry. GEC's Marconi Marine division already owned YSL (purchased in 1985) and VSEL (purchased in 1995).
Marconi Electronic Systems Marconi Electronic Systems (MES), or GEC-Marconi as it was until 1998, was the defence arm of General Electric Company (GEC). It was demerged from GEC and bought by British Aerospace (BAe) on 30 November 1999 to form BAE Systems. GEC then renam ...
and its Marconi Marine unit were sold to
British Aerospace British Aerospace plc (BAe) was a British aircraft manufacturer, aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was at Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire. Formed in 1977, in 1999 ...
in 1999 to form
BAE Systems BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinationa ...
. The shipbuilding operations became
BAE Systems Marine BAE Systems Marine Ltd. was the shipbuilding subsidiary of BAE Systems BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British Multinational corporation, multinational arms industry, arms, Information security, security, and aerospace company. Its headquarters ...
, which subsequently became part of
BVT Surface FleetBVT may refer to: * The Bobby Van Trust, a group of charities that improve home security in the UK * BVT Surface Fleet, former name of BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships, British naval shipbuilding company * Bandwidth-variable transponder, a type o ...
, a naval shipbuilding joint venture between
BAE Systems BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinationa ...
and
VT Group VT Group is a privately held United States defense and services company, with its origins in a former British shipbuilding group, previously known as Vosper Thornycroft. The British part of VT Group was integrated into Babcock International Bab ...
, which became
BAE Systems Surface Ships BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British multinational arms, security, and aerospace company. Its headquarters are in London and Farnborough in the United Kingdom with operations worldwide. The company is the largest defence contractor in Euro ...
in 2009.
Alexander Stephen and Sons Alexander Stephen and Sons Limited, often referred to simply as Alex Stephens or just Stephens, was a Scottish shipbuilder, shipbuilding company based in Linthouse, Glasgow, on the River Clyde. History The company's roots can be found in Alexan ...
also established a shipyard in nearby
Linthouse Linthouse is a neighbourhood in the city of Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: ...
in 1870. The yard eventually closed in the wake of the collapse of the
Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) was a Scottish shipbuilding consortium, created in 1968 as a result of the amalgamation of five major shipbuilders of the River Clyde. It entered liquidation, with much controversy, in 1971. That led to a "work-in" ...
consortium in 1971.


Ships built at Govan

* PS Vanguard (1843) *PS Scotia (1861) *HMS Northampton (1876), HMS ''Northampton'' (1876) *HMS Nelson (1876), HMS ''Nelson'' (1876) *HMS Curacoa (1878), HMS ''Curacoa'' (1878) *SS Arizona (1879), SS ''Arizona'' (1879)Johnston, Ian. "Govan Shipyard" i
''Ships Monthly.''
June 1985.
*IBIS (1886), ''Ibis'' (1886)Clydebuilt Database - Shipping Times, Stuart Cameron *Akasha (1886), ''Akasha'' (1886) *Livadia (yacht, 1880), ''Livadia'' (1880) *''Victoria'' (1886) *RMS Campania, RMS ''Campania'' (1891) *RMS Lucania, RMS ''Lucania'' (1893) *HMS Venus (1895), HMS ''Venus'' (1895) *HMS Diana (1895), HMS ''Diana'' (1895) *HMS Highflyer (1898), HMS ''Highflyer'' (1898) *HMS Hermes (1898), HMS ''Hermes'' (1898) *HMS Cressy (1899), HMS ''Cressy'' (1899) *HMS Aboukir (1900), HMS ''Aboukir'' (1900) *HMS Good Hope (1901), HMS ''Good Hope'' (1901) *HMS Bedford (1901), HMS ''Bedford'' (1901) *SS Armadale Castle, SS ''Armadale Castle'' (1903) *RMS ''Port Kingston'' (1904) renamed RMS Tahiti, RMS ''Tahiti'' *HMS Cochrane (1905), HMS ''Cochrane'' (1905) *HMS Commonwealth (1903), HMS ''Commonwealth'' (1905) *RMS Empress of Britain (1906), RMS ''Empress of Britain'' (1906) *Empress of Ireland, RMS ''Empress of Ireland'' (1906) * *HMS Indomitable (1907), HMS ''Indomitable'' (1907) *SS Balmoral Castle, SS ''Balmoral Castle'' (1910) *HMS New Zealand (1911), HMS ''New Zealand'' (1911) *HMAS Sydney (1912), HMAS ''Sydney'' (1912) *RMS Empress of Russia (1913), RMS ''Empress of Russia'' (1913) *RMS Empress of Asia (1913), RMS ''Empress of Asia'' (1913) *SS Calgarian, SS ''Calgarian'' (1913) *HMS Valiant (1914), HMS ''Valiant'' (1914) *HMS Renown (1916), HMS ''Renown'' (1916) *RMS Empress of Canada (1922), RMS ''Empress of Canada'' (1922) *SS Athenia (1922), SS ''Athenia'' (1922) *Aorangi (ship), ''Aorangi'' (1922) *TSS Tuscania, TSS ''Tuscania'' (1923) *SS Letitia, SS ''Letitia'' (1924) *MV Speybank, MV ''Speybank'' (1926) *HMS Berwick (65), HMS ''Berwick'' (1926) *HMS Norfolk (78), HMS ''Norfolk'' (1928) *RMS Empress of Japan (1930), RMS ''Empress of Japan'' (1930) *HMS Delight (H38), HMS ''Delight'' (1932) *HMS Woolwich (F80), HMS ''Woolwich'' (1934) *HMS Liverpool (C11), HMS ''Liverpool'' (1937) *HMS Phoebe (43), HMS ''Phoebe'' (1937) *HMS Howe (32), HMS ''Howe'' (1940) *HMS Bellona (63), HMS ''Bellona'' (1942) *HMS Implacable (R86), HMS ''Implacable'' (1942) *HMS Theseus (R64), HMS ''Theseus'' (1944) *HMS Chichester (F59), HMS ''Chichester'' *HMS Blake (C99), HMS ''Blake'' (1945) *SS Karanja, SS ''Karanja'' (1948) *TS Oxfordshire, TS ''Oxfordshire'' (1955) *Empress of Britain (1956), TS/SS ''Empress of Britain'' (1956) *TS Leecliffe Hall, TS ''Leecliffe Hall'' (1961) *HMS Fife (D20), HMS ''Fife'' (1964) *HMS Antrim (D18), HMS ''Antrim'' (1967) *USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32), USNS ''Harkness'' (1968) *HMAS Jervis Bay (63), HMAS ''Jervis Bay'' (1969) *''Pacifique'' (1969) *USNS Chauvenet, USNS ''Chauvenet'' (1970) *Pacific Peace, ''Pacific Peace'' (1981) *MV Selkirk Settler, MV ''Selkirk Settler'' (1983) *MV Saskatchewan Pioneer, MV ''Saskatchewan Pioneer'' (1983) *St. Lawrence Seaway, ''St. Lawrence Seaway'' (1983) *Sir Charles Parsons, ''Sir Charles Parsons'' (1985) *MV Norsea, MV ''Norsea'' (1986) *MV Havis, MV ''Havis'' (1992) *Sea Launch Commander, ''Sea Launch Commander'' (1996) *RFA Wave Ruler (A390), RFA ''Wave Ruler'' (2003) *RFA Mounts Bay, RFA ''Mounts Bay'' (2004) *HMS Daring (D32), HMS ''Daring'' (2006) *HMS Dauntless (D33), HMS ''Dauntless'' (2007) *HMS Diamond (D34), HMS ''Diamond'' (2007) *HMS Dragon (D35), HMS ''Dragon'' (2008) *HMS Defender (D36), HMS ''Defender'' (2009). *HMS Duncan (D37), HMS ''Duncan'' (2010) A list of almost 3000 ships built at Govan has been collected in the "Clydebuilt Database". The ships were built by the following companies: Robert Napier & Company, Randolph Elder & Company, Dobbie Hedderwick & Co., Dobie & Company, Mackie & Thomson, Smith & Rodgers, London & Glasgow Engineering and Iron Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., William Beardmore & Company, John Elder & Company, Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering, Fairfield Shipbuilding & Eng. Co. Ltd., Alexander Stephens & Sons, J & G Thomson, Harland & Wolff and more.


Transport

Govan is served by Govan subway station, Govan Subway Station, Ibrox subway station, Ibrox Subway Station and Cessnock subway station, Cessnock Subway Station on the Glasgow subway system. Govan railway station opened on 2 December 1868. It closed permanently to regular passenger services on 9 May 1921. Regular bus services, mainly operated by McGill's Bus Services and First Glasgow, offer frequent routes to Glasgow City Centre, as well as to numerous locations in Renfrewshire.


Sports

Govan borders the district of Ibrox, home to the Scottish football club Rangers F.C. who traditionally incorporate the red and black civic colours in the socks of their kit; their Ibrox Stadium has a stand named for Govan (the closest to the heart of the burgh), although officially this was re-named after their former player Sandy Jardine in 2014. Govan is home to the Scottish Scottish Junior Football Association, Junior football team Benburb F.C. who until March 2014 played at Tinto Park (
Drumoyne Drumoyne ( gd, Druim Uaine) is now a district in the Scotland, Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situated south of the River Clyde and is part of the former Burgh of Govan. It is the birthplace of Alex Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manc ...
) then moved to the adjacent New Tinto Park. They share a rivalry with St Anthony's F.C. who originated from the Helen Street area of Govan, but are now based further west at Shieldhall. Linthouse F.C., Linthouse and Parkgrove F.C., Parkgrove were 19th century senior sides, who fell into decline and are now defunct. There were two other sporting venues for local residents and workers located in the south of Govan (with no space available in the industrial northern area at the Clyde): White City Stadium, Glasgow, White City Stadium and Albion Greyhound Stadium, both now entirely demolished.


Media

Govan is served by community radio station Sunny Govan Radio, Sunny Govan, broadcasting on 103.5FM to the city of Glasgow and surrounding districts, discussing local issues and providing advice, and with diverse musical output covering soul, hip-hop and reggae. Govan has had several local newspapers over the years such as the Govan Chronicle and ''Govan Press'' published by the Cossar Family (1851-1983) and by John Maclean (2006–2014) which also served the communities of Kinning Park, Cardonald, Penilee and Hillington, Glasgow, Hillington, and the ''Govan Post'' (1983–1988) published by Cook, Paton & Co. of Paisley, now part of Dunfermline Press.


Religion


Church of Scotland

The church of Govan was a prebend of Glasgow. It was dedicated to St Constantine, who had been buried at Govan. On 13 July 1577, the teinds of Govan were granted to the University of Glasgow, and the Principal of the University ex officio was appointed minister of the parish. This settlement was set aside on 20 December 1621, and only the patronage of Govan was left to the University. There was a chapel in the parish at Partick. Govan Church was rebuilt in 1762, and again in 1826. A later rebuilding was begun in 1884 and was opened 19 May 1888.


List of Provosts of Govan

*1864-1867 Morris Pollok *1867-1869 William Cruickshank *1869-1872 Thomas Reid *1872-1880 James Wilson *1880-1883 John Thompson *1883-1886 Alexander Campbell *1886-1889 George Ferguson *1889-1892 Neil McLean *1892-1901 James Kirkwood *1901-1904 John Marr *1904-1908 Sir John Anthony *1908-1912 David McKechnie


Popular culture

* Scottish TV sitcom ''Rab C Nesbitt'' is set in Govan; although the series is mostly filmed elsewhere.


Notable people

* Mary Barbour, resident in Govan while helping to organise the Red Clydeside#Rent Strikes, Glasgow Rent Strikes * Isabella Elder, philanthropist who gifted Elder Park, Govan, Elder Park and to the people of Govan, as well as many other projects. *Hugh Binning child genius, professor of philosophy and minister of Govan. * Leo Blair (senior), father of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and high court judge Sir William Blair (judge), William Blair, was raised on Golspie Street. * Ivor Cutler avant garde performer * Alex Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Manager (association football), football manager and football player, player, widely known for managing Manchester United F.C., Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest managers of all time and he has won more trophies than any other manager in the history of football. * James Hedderwick, poet and newspaper proprietor, born and raised in Govan. * Jimmy Speirs, Scottish footballer who scored the winning goal in the 1911 FA Cup Final, and received the Military Medal during the First World War. * James Kelman, writer * George MacLeod, minister of the Church of Scotland's
Govan Old Parish Church Govan Old Parish Church is the name of the original parish church serving Govan Govan ( ; Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic lan ...

Govan Old Parish Church
. He founded the Iona Community, whose offices are still based in Govan. * David Meiklejohn, footballer who played for Rangers F.C, who also captained the Scotland national team on a number of occasions. *Andrew Melville minister of Govan, reformer and scholar at Glasgow and St Andrews. (exiled) * Belle Moore, Olympic Gold Medalist, * Thomas Ashburton Picken, lithographer. * Johnny Quigley, football player * Jimmy Reid, trade unionist * Iain Robertson, actor"Iain Robertson"
, Sunny Govan
* Chick Young, football pundit * Johnny Beattie, Johnny Beattie MBE, Scottish actor and stand-up comedian. * Bill Martin (songwriter), Bill Martin, Scottish songwriter, music publisher and impresario. * Elish Angiolini, Dame Elish Angiolini, Lord Advocate of Scotland and former Solicitor General for Scotland was brought up in Govan. * Peter Barr (nurseryman), Peter Barr, born in Govan, a nurseryman and merchant better known as "The Daffodil King". * Jim Craig (Scottish footballer), Jim Craig, Celtic player and Lisbon Lion.


See also

*Glasgow Govan (UK Parliament constituency)


Notes


References

*


External links


Govan Community Council

Get into Govan Govan, the Place and the People

Fairfield HeritageGovan Maps 1857-1934, National Library of Scotland
{{authority control Govan, Areas of Glasgow Ports and harbours of Scotland Parishes of Scotland Burghs