British Linen Bank (Former), 162-170, Gorbals Street, Laurieston

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
British Linen Bank (Former)
Other Name(s)
162-170, Gorbals Street, Laurieston
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 58969 64179
Location Type
HS Reference No


Former British Linen Bank, shop and flats with Glasgow style detailing. 4-storey 6-bay red ashlar. Ground floor: close entrance flanked by shop and 2 round arched windows with radial glazing to bank. Bank entrance: fine wrought-iron gate under round arch supported by columns between channelled pilasters. Scroll inscribed "British Linen Company Bank". Cornices over ground and 1st floors. 1st and 2nd floors single and bipartite windows in Gibbs surrounds with canted bay window, S, rising into 2nd floor. 3rd floor semi circular and basket arched windows with an arts and craft iron balcony ovr canted bay. N bay treated as a tower with small windows, having steep pediments on 1st and 3rd floors. Turret missing. Sash and case windows with wooden mullions and transoms on 3rd floor. Slate roof. 3 ridge and 1 wallhead ashlar stacks. Rubble rear. (Historic Scotland)

The British Linen Bank (initially called the British Linen Company) was established by a Royal Charter in 1746. The new company was empowered to "carry on the Linen Manufactory" in all its branches, the word 'British' in its title was a reflection of the suspicion aroused by all things Scottish after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. Although the initial aim of the company was to promote the linen industry, from the late 1760s, it moved towards banking and began issuing notes. The bank continued to grow throughout the 19th century. Other than a temporary paralysis in trade in the late 1850s following the collapse of the Western Bank (along with the suspension of the City of Glasgow Bank), the British Linen Company survived most economic depressions relatively unscathed. In 1906 the company formally changed its name to the British Linen Bank. (LLoyds Banking Group archive)
Building Dates
James Salmon

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
February 1998, May 2002, February 2003, June 2004, 5/11/ 2007, 16/11/2010, 28/3/2014
Development History
April 1995: Southside Housing Association is granted permissions to refurbish the property as flats. Historic Scotland grant funding has been allocated to the project. The property has stood empty for a number of years. Autumn 1996: SCT understands that some works have been undertaken to make the building wind and watertight. February 1998: External inspection reveals the property to be in poor condition. Funding awards for the Southside Housing Association proposals have now lapsed and the project will not proceed at present. 27 June 1998: The Daily Mail reports on the building's inclusion on the Buildings at Risk Register. SHA would accept a token sale price from anyone able to secure the future of the building. 26 September 1999: Scotland on Sunday reports on the installation of an artwork by Lisa Gallacher on the building. 2002: Local planners report that the building lies within the area being considered for regeneration by the Lauriston Development Steering Group. May 2002: External inspection reveals that the property continues to deteriorate. February 2003: External inspection reveals that the building is now covered by scaffolding as part of consolidation works. SCT understands that it is to be mothballed for the time being. Meanwhile, Historic Scotland and Glasgow City Council have allocated £100,000 to a project to rehabilitate the building. A feasibility study is to be produced. June 2004: External inspection reveals that the scaffolding has been removed and the building remains at risk. November 2004: Local planners report that consolidation works have been carried out and the building is regularly inspected by Southside Housing Association. The future of the building will be addressed in the New Lauriston Masterplan, which will be published in July 2005. December 2004: Southside Housing Association confirms that the building remains in its ownership. October 2006: Historic Scotland report that the British Landmark Trust have expressed an interest in the building. March 2007: Glasgow Building Preservation Trust have expressed an interest in the building. November 2007: External inspection reveals the building is in very poor condition. The boarding, which has been in place for many years, is deteriorating. GBPT is developing a partnership with Southside Housing Association (with support from Glasgow City Council) and hope to deliver an Options Appraisal during Spring 2008.
November 2010: External inspection finds the building remains derelict and in very poor condition. It is exceptionally damp throughout. The window boarding appears to be in need of renewal. Glasgow Building Preservation Trust completed an options appraisal for Southside Housing Association. However, it is understood the Association is, in conjunction with another housing association, considering a larger scale enabling development taking in the Lauriston area.
25 October 2013: Local planners advise the building remains secured and mothballed.
28 March 2014: External inspection finds very little change in condition from the previous site visit. The building remains damp, but secure. Window boarding appears to be failing in places. Part of the surrounding area is currently under redevelopment as part of the ‘Laurieston Living’ regeneration project.
15 January 2015: Glasgow Building Preservation Trust is working with building owner Southside Housing Association and architect Page/Park to bring forward a proposal for the repair and re-use of the building
30 January 2015: Local planners report Southside Housing Association continue to work with their design team and investigate funding opportunities for the conversion of this building back into residential use with potentially a retail unit on the ground floor.
28 October 2015: Historic Environment Scotland award £345,000 towards essential repair work at the former Linen Bank through the Building Repair Grant Scheme. The property is proposed for restoration and reuse, as part of the wider regeneration of the area, by Southside Housing Association working with Glasgow Building Preservation Trust.
15 February 2018: Urban Realm website reports (15/2/2018) on the commencement of restoration works at the former bank/ tenement site. Moved to Restoration in Progress.

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
Southside Housing Association Ltd
Type of Ownership
Housing Association

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Buildings of Scotland Glasgow , Williamson, Riches and Higgs (1990), p521.

Lloyds Banking Group Archive:
Online Resources
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit