Townhead Basin

Location type


Name and dates

Townhead Basin (1783-1952)


This canal basin was the western terminus of the Monkland Canal in Glasgow, at the junction of Castle Street and Townmill Road. It was an important coal depot for Glasgow, and its industries, and the starting point for passenger boats to Coatbridge and Airdrie. Its location was obliterated with the building of the M8 motorway at junction 15.

The basin opened in 1783 with the extension of the canal west from Blackhill to Glasgow. The coal wharves had weighing machines, the area running east for about quarter of a mile on either side of the canal. (eg the depot of Alexander Baird.)

In 1791 the 'Cut of Junction' ran north and then west from the basin to reach Port Dundas Basin on the Forth and Clyde Canal. This was built to the 4ft depth of the Monkland Canal but by the Forth and Clyde.

The canal was officially closed in 1952. It was filled in during the late 1960s/early 1970s in preparation for taking the M8 through Glasgow.


Basin Terminus


Townhill Basin

Chronology Dates

  /  /1790Cut of Junction
Act passed for connecting canal between Port Dundas Basin on the Forth and Clyde Canal and Townhead Basin on the Monkland Canal.
17/10/1791Cut of Junction
Link between Port Dundas Basin on the Forth and Clyde Canal and Townhead Basin on the Monkland Canal opened to through traffic with the passage of the first vessel. The canal was built at the expense of the F&C but to the depth of the Monkland.
  /  /1824Cut of Junction St Rollox Canal
Charles Tennant & Co, of the nearby St Rollox Chemical Works, form a canal from the Cut of Junction, near the Monkland Canal's Townhead Basin, running north and then east to serve land they owned east of Castle Street and their chemical works. The land was to be sold in lots and the serving of the lots with a canal connected to the Forth and Clyde Canal and Monkland Canal would assist in the sales. The new owners of the land would jointly be responsible for maintaining the canal, Tennant would retain the canal solum.