Crawford Street Chemical Works

Location type


Name and dates

Crawford Street Chemical Works (1851-1964)


This chemical works was noted for Townsend's Stalk, the highest chimney in the World on completion. The works manufactured chemicals for agriculture including fertilisers. It was built for Joseph Townsend and based around Crawford Street (now Townsend Street) in Port Dundas. It was to the south of the Mid Wharf. Also known as Port Dundas Chemical Works - although another works of the same name was on Spiers Wharf North.

The chimney was built in 1857-1859, becoming the tallest chimney in the World by eclipsing the nearby St Rollox Chemical Works's Tennant's Stalk of 435.5 ft (ground level to top). The height of the Townsend's Stalk was 468 ft from base of foundations to top and 454 ft from ground level. So high was the chimney that it featured in postcards views. It was bent by storm damage during construction and required straightening. To mark completion the public were invited to take the view from the top.

The chimney ceased to be the tallest in the World in 1885. The chimney was demolished in 1927. The works closed in ~1964.

There was no railway siding but the Port Dundas Branch (Caledonian Railway) was nearby with a goods shed at Port Dundas Goods [CR] on North Spiers Wharf.


Chemical Works


Townsend Chemical Works Port Dundas Chemical Works [Townsend]

Nearby stations
Buchanan Street
Cowcaddens [Subway]
Glasgow (Townhead)
Glasgow Queen Street Low Level
Glasgow Queen Street High Level
Buchanan Street [Subway]
St Georges Cross [Subway]
St Rollox [2nd]
Glasgow Central
Charing Cross [GC and DR]
High Street
Glasgow Central Low Level
College [1st]
Argyle Street
Port Dundas Goods [CR]
Port Dundas Swing Bridge
Port Dundas Chemical Works
Port Dundas Mid Wharf
Port Dundas Engine Works
Hamburgh Wharf [Port Dundas]
Port Dundas Basin
Bergius Engineering Works
London Wharf [Port Dundas]
Leith Wharf [Port Dundas]
Rotterdam Wharf [Port Dundas]
Port Dundas Distillery Sidings
Carron Wharf [Port Dundas]
Dundashill Distillery
Port Dundas Distillery
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

High Chimney Stalks

1859 Crawford Street Chemical Works Townsend's Stalk *
Ground to cope 454 ft.
Foundations to cope 468ft.
Contractor McIntyre.

1842 St Rollox Chemical Works Tennant's Stalk *
Ground to cope 435.5 ft.
Foundations to cope 455.5 ft.
Contractor Robert Corbett, Glasgow.

1847 Edinburgh Gas Works New Street Stalk
Ground to cope 329 ft.
Foundations to cope 341.5 f.
Stonework James Gowans, Edinburgh. Stone from Craigleith, Humbie and Hailes.
Brickwork James Bow, Pollokshields. Bricks from Portobello Brick and Tile Works.
Rubble from demolition used in the concrete of the Granton Gas Works.

? Camperdown Jute and Hemp Works (Cox Brothers, Lochee)
Ground to cope 282 ft.
Foundations to cope 296 ft.

? Coltness Iron Works Ground to top 210 ft.

? Dens Works (Baxter Brothers, Lower Dens, Dundee) (Three chimneys)
Ground to top 174 ft.
Foundations to top 193 ft

1873 Saracen Foundry (Walter MacFarlane & Co, Possil Park)
Ground to top 130 ft.
Foundations to top 140.5 ft

1862 Saracen Foundry (Walter MacFarlane & Co, Washington Street, Glasgow)
Ground to top 105 ft.

* Tallest in the World on completion.