Govan Graving Dock, 18, Clydebrae Street, Govan

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Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2024.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Govan Graving Dock
Other Name(s)
18, Clydebrae Street, Govan
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 56090 65463
Location Type
HS Reference No


An outstanding graving dock complex without parallel in Scotland. 3 major dry docks, associated quays, capstans and bollards, pumphouses, workshops and other ancillary buildings, retaining and boundary walls, ramped accesses and stairs. The dock walls and quay edges are of grey granite, the working surfaces whinstone setted, and retaining walls and ramp sides are of cream sandstone. Cast-iron gatepiers.

Built for the Clyde Navigation Trust during the years when the Clyde yards led the world in the building of sophisticated merchant ships, so the complex is of architectural/historic interest in an international context, of major significance in terms of the history of the world shipbuilding. Docks Nos 1 and 3 were each the deepest in Britain when built and could take the largest ships afloat.(Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Dock 1 James Deas & Alex Lister, Dock 2 and 3 James Deas

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
14/04/2008, 30/11/2010, 25/3/2014, 07/06/2023
Development History
17 February 2005: The Herald reports on plans to transform the site into a £150m community of homes and businesses.
May 2008: External inspection finds the complex of docks to be derelict. Nearly all associated buildings have been demolished. Only Pumphouse Number 1 survives. The ground is overgrown with plants and bushes. There is graffiti throughout the site and the security fencing has been breached in several places.
The area that includes the Govan Graving Docks is cited within Glasgow City Council‘s Masterplan 2005 as a regeneration site for residential/leisure and workspaces with associated uses.
November 2010: External inspection finds the complex remains unused. There is no sign of maintenance. Pump House 1 remains standing but is largely roofless. The timber wall of the basin is deteriorating and has partially collapsed in one section. The City Dock development, which includes the graving docks, is noted on the Clyde Waterfront website as having revised masterplan consent granted, outline consent also granted with Section 75 agreement under negotiation. Alternative proposals are also noted as being considered.
25 March 2014: Inspection finds the site remains overgrown and disused. There is a general increase in the vegetation at the site.
30 January 2015: Local planners report the building owner continues to work with their design team to prepare a masterplan for the site. Vegetation clearance works at the site were completed in late 2014.
28 November 2016: BARR is contacted by the Clyde Docks Preservation Trust who advise they are developing a proposal for restoration of the docks as a maritime heritage park, as an alternative to residential development of the area, and would seek to acquire the site through charitable body, the Govan Docks Maritime Park.
13 April 2017: Local planners advise a Proposal of Application Notice for a mixed use development of the site has been lodged ref: 17/00050/DC.
24 November 2017: Planning Permission in Principle for the mixed use redevelopment of the site is being sought ref: 17/02948/DC. The application suggests docks 1 and 3 will be flooded, dock one will have moorings made available and 3 will be active space such as wakeboarding and open swimming. Dock 2 is proposed to be kept dry as a heritage space. Across the docks bridges will be retained along with winch capstans and lamposts.
13 December 2018: Local planners advise planning permission in principle (17/02948/DC) has been refused.
21 September 2020: STV news website reports (20/09/2020) on a proposal to bring the graving dock back into functional use under a charitable trust as part of a commercial development across the wider site. The article goes on to report inspection work, part of an initial feasibility study, found dock gate, culverts and dock walls to be in good condition. Further works have been identified to support an ambition to re-open to dock to ships in 2021.
25 April 2022: A member of the public notes the Glasgow Evening News reports (19/4/2022) the proposal to return the graving dock to use is aiming for completion over the next 6 months.
7 February 2023: BBC news on 6th Feb 2023 reports that the docks have received a £2.4 million grant from the government's Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme. The grant will be used to upgrade walkways and create green space, with works planned for completion in 2025. Ongoing restoration of the dockyard is also planned for restoration works to allow ship repair to take place again.
7 June 2023: External inspection finds the site to be in similar condition to previous field visits. There is dense vegetation growth and graffiti across the complex. It appears that part of the site at the end of Dock 3 is in use for works to a vessel at the time of the visit, although it does not appear to be a part of previously noted planned works to bring the site back into use.
9 August 2023: Full Planning Permission (23/01786/FUL) and Listed Building consent (23/01787/LBA) being sought for the use of vacant and derelict land as operational dry dock for repair and refurbishment of maritime vessels, erection of storage structures, boundary fencing and associated works. Applications received Wed 19 Jul 2023 and are awaiting decision.
16 October 2023: Glasgow Evening Times reports (06/10/2023) that the regeneration of the docks is set to move forward which will see the creation of an 'active travel' path through the site and a new bridge built to the science centre.
16 February 2024: Previously noted planning permissions (ref: 23/01786/FUL and 23/01787/LBA) have been conditionally granted. Further planning permission (ref: 23/03092/FUL and 23/03093/LBA) is currently being sought for erection of flatted residential development, including Class 1A (Shops, and financial, professional and other services), Class 3 (Food & Drink), Class 4 (Business) and associated access, landscaping, drainage, engineering works, car parking and associated works (EIA).

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
0141 287 5492


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Unverified - see FAQ section on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
SR Archives T-CN/14/291, T-CN/14/464/14/3, T-CN/14/464/4/7, T-CN/14/464/5/4. J F Riddell, CLYDE NAVIGATION p.136. Hume (1974) p.262.
Online Resources
Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative:
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit