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The Linthouse Engine Shop — Glasgow

Building: The Linthouse Engine Shop
Location: Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, Ayrshire (formerly Goven, Glasgow)
Region: Scotland
Listed status: Category A
Photograph - Linthouse Engine Shop (14k)

Linthouse Engine Shop — exterior view (© Scottish Maritime Museum)

Former use (incl. architectural history)

The former engine manufacturing shop was originally one of the workshops of the Linthouse shipyard owned by Alexander Stephen & Sons, and was located in Govan, Glasgow on the south side of the River Clyde. It was built in 1872 to the design of John Frederick Spencer, a naval architect who had worked with Brunel. It was extended and altered more than once during the following 100 years of its working life and finally, when threatened with demolition for industrial redevelopment, it was removed for preservation in the latter part of the 1980s. It is a magnificent example of Victorian civil engineering, constructed of huge iron castings, Russian pine, steel and glass. Dismantling took place in 1988 and reconstruction was completed in 1991. It is thought that the dismantling and rebuilding of the engine shop is the largest project of its type that has been undertaken in Britain.

Photograph - Linthouse Engine Shop exterior (14K)

Linthouse Engine Shop — interior view (© Scottish Maritime Museum)

New uses

The engine shop is awaiting redevelopment as the main exhibition halls and visitor facilities for the Scottish Maritime Museum. The building is an outstanding feature within a redevelopment scheme, which includes local authority housing. This has won numerous awards including
the 1998 Regeneration of Scotland Award.

Architect for reconstruction

Irvine Development Corporation.

General contractor for reconstruction

Molems Construction Ltd.

Total floor area

40,000 square feet.


For relocation and reconstruction — Scottish Maritime Museum, Historic Scotland, National Heritage Memorial fund, Irvine Development Corporation, Strathclyde Regional Development Fund.

Conservation issues

Development of the site must be sympathetic to the building. No internal building work can be fixed to, or obstruct the view of the internal structural features. A conservation plan has been produced for the building.


Scottish Maritime Museum
Laird Forge
Gottries Road
Ayrshire KA12 8QE

Tel: 01294 278283

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