Riverside Museum, Glasgow from Govan

Today, I provided a short, escorted walking tour of Govan for a couple from England with Govan ancestry.

Although temperature was minus 5.5 C./ 22.1 F. the weather was otherwise perfect with brilliant sunshine and no wind.

Govan has two key claims to fame, viz:

  • Around the 9th-11th centuries AD it was a power centre of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, a fiefdom which stretched from S.W.Scotland down into what is now England whose populace spoke Brittonic, a form of Welsh. Tangible evidence of this era is represented by the Govan Carved Stones representing high status burials at the site now occupied by Govan Old Parish Church which itself (the site) may date back 1500 years.
  • River Clyde shipbuilding boom which lasted from mid-19th century through to early 20th century. At its peak, one-quarter of all ships afloat in the world were built on the Clyde. Shipbuilding continues at Govan today with emphasis on military vessels produced by BAe Systems.

We visited the key sites in central Govan and availed of excellent views of the Clyde and Glasgow. This was followed by motor transfer to abandoned Graving Docks and then to the site of Avon Street which has vanished and been replaced by an industrial estate.

Tour terminated with guests deposited in central Glasgow.

BAe Systems ship bulding facility at the former Fairfields yard.

Elder Park, a recreation area donated by a ship buildng family for the local populace.

Statue of John Elder (1888). A father of modern shipbuilding who developed the compound steam engine.

Hogback grave markers inside Govan Old Church. This was a style developed in Anglo-Scandinavian York ( N.E. England).

Sarcophagus, possibly from 9th century. This is the earliest known artwork in S.W.Scotland.

Personal memorial stone from 9th century re-used for personal burial in 17th century.

Inside Govan Old Church (1888). This might be the fourth place of worship at the site.

Jordanhill Cross, a shaft which may date from 10th or 11th centuries.

Glasgow and River Clyde from Govan.

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