Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 54740 65961
254740, 665961


Angus Kennedy: 1st drawings December 1868, working

details summer 1869, completed 1871, in full production

1874. Engine Works approx 300' square, with 2 erecting

shops added to W by Wm Arrol in 1906 and 1916.

S elevation: giant classical brick facade, 9 bays, each

separated by paired pilasters. 1869 Engine Works: 7

bays masking fitting/machine shops and 3 intermediate

galleried bays. Bays fronting galleries and 4th, W,

machine shop have 2 ground floor round-headed windows

and 2 1st floor windows, all blocked. 1st E, machine

shop: round arched doorway and original massive wooden

hinged door with multi-paned iron-framed glazed light

above and 2 42-paned windows. 2nd shop bigger moulded

keystoned arch, over 30-foot tall, with multi-paned

glazing over modern roller door. 3rd machine shop

identical except blocked door.

Side Walls: 9-bay, with 3 tall arched and keystoned

doorways, part blocked, between pilasters. The other

bays had tall round-headed windows, blocked in 19th

century and false 1st floor windows (never glazed). E.

wall now behind metal cladding. W wall seen from 1906

erecting shop.

N Wall is similar to S but with a circa 1920 building


Entablature, cornice, slate roof glazed at ridge. Behind

the perimeter ridges, roofs over machine shops are glazed

and over galleries slated (all as built).

2 W bays (Wm Arrol): 1st bay 1906, built to match Boiler

Shop at E (by A Myles 1889, demolished). Paired

pilasters and large central arched doorway, flanking

round-headed windows and 4 upper level windows in

panels, all false. W bay, 1916, similar but wider, with

modern cladding to W wall.

Most windows were blocked before 1900, and those along

sides and in Arrol block were always blind.

Interior: 4 machine, turning and fitting shops aligned

N-S, each 300' long with 50' spans. 3 intermediate

gallery bays, 30' spans, formerly held 2 upper levels for

lighter work, tool room millwrights etc. (upper galleries

and parts of lower galleries removed 1938, but part

remains at S end of eastmost gallery). Internal brick

buttresses stretch about 10' into the works to strengthen

wall at ends of each row of stanchions. 6 rows of 8

cast-iron I-section stanchions. Each stanchion carries 3

pairs of bracing struts branching out to carry 2 cast-iron

box girders at gallery levels and larger top malleable iron

girder for travelling crane. Top struts are timber, and

carry timber king-post roofs. New breeze block partition

between 2nd gallery and 3rd machine shop. Some

stanchions are encased in concrete. Brick walls have

relief arches and fittings for jib cranes.

Arrol's erecting shops at W: internal steel frame carries

crane girders. Ridge and furrow steel tie glazed roof on

steel lattice girders.

Statement of Special Interest

"The finest surviving engineering works in Scotland and

perhaps in Britan "(Hume, 1976, p24). It is probable

that no other similar building, employing an internal

cast-iron frame, exists on such a scale anywhere else in

the world. The cast-iron stanchions are a characteristic of

Scottish engineering works, but few have survived, and

those that do (such as Linthouse and the Caledonian

Ironworks) are less massive than here. Few heavy

engineering works elsewhere in the world can have been on

this scale and even fewer would have cast-iron as opposed

to timber, wrought-iron, brick or steel vertical


Built for the biggest private shipyard in the world, this

building produced the engines for such pioneering ships


Randolph, Elder and Co, pioneers of the Compound

Engine, were founded in 1852 and moved in the 1960s to

Fairfield. From 1869 to 1888 the company was run by

William Pearce, and was renamed in 1885 the Fairfield

Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd.

List excludes metal-clad, steel framed bay at W, addition

to N, internal breeze-block partition, modern stair in

front of second bay and metal cladding on E wall.




Hume (1976) pp24, 165

Hume (1974) p261



Govan Shipbuilders' Plant Maintenance Drawings: P2,P3,P4,P5,P6,P58,P59,P60,P111,P112 (Engine Works)

P1,P7,P8 (Boiler Shop) P10 (Elevation and cross-section

of the whole.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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