Sunday 16 November 2014

Govan Graving Docks

Such a beautiful bit of Victorian industrial dereliction!

In the distant past, a drovers road came to the river at Govan; Highlanders could bring their cattle south to market and ford the River Clyde here to come up on the south shore where the current entrance to the docks can be found.
The graving docks at Govan were built in the 1860s and 70s and were in use for over a hundred years, up until the late 1980s. Just before I moved to Glasgow.
Then the site was abandoned, the buildings were abandoned and burnt out, and large numbers of beer cans began to accumulate. And wildlife, plants and animals, began to move in.

Although I'd walked past the site many times, I'd never been in. The pointy-topped steel fence wasn't very welcoming.

Then earlier this year JCBs and tractors and dump trucks appeared and people started to remove much of the vegetation and the accumulated junk.

I'd assumed that this was either because the often-talked about development of the site was starting, or it was part of a general tidy-up of the city before the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It may have been to make sure no rare species of flora or fauna could block any future developments.

So in summer I took my first quick look around and I was rather surprised at how much I loved the place. Both as an industrial landscape and as a place where nature is trying to reclaim the land and the water and the air.

This morning I went back and - perhaps helped by it being a beautiful autumn day - found I was really quite moved by the place. I don't know how long the site has before it disappears under the developer's concrete, but I do feel an urge to document what is there now in my own way. As a start, here are a few of today's pictures.

Wren on an old iron mooring bollard

Towards the Science Centre from the graving docks

Water height, in feet

Ferns growing through the street furniture near the pump house

The pump house and Dock 1

Dock 2 and some autumnal colour

Rusting iron fittings

Rotting walkway over the entrance to Dock 3

Walkway over the gate to Dock 3

Iron capstan and Science Tower

Iron ring, Dock 1, and the pump house

The pump house

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