Govan Shipbuilding Yard

Location type


Name and dates

Govan Shipbuilding Yard (1912-1963)

Served by the Govan Branch (Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway).
Served by the Harland & Wolff Ltd.


Harland and Wolff created this yard by merging, rebuilding and re-purposing several yards. The former yards were smaller in scale. The yard was on the south bank of the River Clyde just north of Govan station. It was bound to the west by Govan Old Parish Church and Govan Graving Docks to the east.

To the west was the Water Row Ship Yard. This was just west of the Govan Ferry. This became the plater's shed and workshops - a large covered area built by William Arrol and Co.

To the east of the Govan Ferry was the Govan Ship Yard [1st] which, combined with the Middleton Shipbuilding Yard, just to the east, became seven slipways. The principle six of these were angled for launching upriver, the seventh (easternmost) angled for launching downriver. To the south of the slips was a further covered area.

To the east of the former Middleton Shipbuilding Yard was the Govan East Iron Shipbuilding Yard, this had already become the fitting out basin after 1905 when the London & Glasgow Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding Co bought the yard from William Beardmore, merging it with their Middleton yard.

The yard was served by the Govan branch, the line continuing across Govan Road to enter the yard from the south.

The yard closed to shipbuilding in 1963. Alexander Stephens and Sons bought the basin, cranes and shop for ship repairs.

The slipways were redeveloped for housing in the 1970s/80s and the fitting out basin remained in use along with the Govan Graving Docks until the 1990s. The basin is out of use but still exists, at present (late 2017).

The name has been reused for the former Fairfield Shipyard.


Ship Yard


Govan Shipyard [2nd]

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67

Chronology Dates

  /  /1919Pointhouse Shipbuilding Yard
Sold by Dr John Inglis of A & J Inglis to Harland and Wolff Ltd (Belfast). Harland and Wolff already owned the Govan Shipbuilding Yard on the south bank of the Clyde opposite the Kelvin.
  /  /1963Alexander Stephen & Sons Ltd
Buys the eastern part of the Govan Shipbuilding Yard to use as a ship repair facility.


An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways