Eyesore or jewel? … bid to protect Temple gasworks in Kelvindale creates some heat

By Ian Marland at

A Victorian gasworks in the west of the city could be in line for special protection.

The twin iron gasometers of Temple Gasworks in Kelvindale are a landmark by the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Heritage watchdog Historic Environment Scotland is seeking views on plans to schedule the structures as Category B Listed buildings.

Temple Gasworks

Views: The gasworks is an industrial landmark. Photo credit: Ben Cooper

Kelvindale Community Council posted the plans after they were raised by local councillor Martin Rhodes.

And the proposals appear to have divided opinion.

Brian Girdley said on Facebook: “These things are a useless eyesore. The sooner they are removed the better. The ground could be used for something better.”

And Kelvin Art wrote: “Oh I don”t want these listed. They are utterly useless. I wish steps would be made to rehabilitate that ground and recycle the steel.”

But designer Andrea Lobban said: “I love the gasometers and regularly use them as inspiration in my designs.

“We should retain industrial structures such as these or incorporate them into new designs.

“Or, make them into swimming pools according to my child!”

Temple Gasworks

Division: A thing of beauty to some, others think the land could be better used. Photo credit: Ben Cooper

Bicycle engineer Ben Cooper, who has photographed the structures, said: “They are beautiful, and an important reminder of our history.

“Of course they should be saved – other countries treasure their industrial heritage, for some reason we’re embarrassed about it.”

Korin Banrìgh wrote: “If they’re demolished they’ll just be replaced with more soulless flats that won’t last thirty years.

“Use the site either as a meadow or a museum to the area’s industrial heritage.”

TUNNEL

Temple Gasworks was built in 1871 for the Partick, Hillhead and Maryhill Gas Company.

It was taken over by the Glasgow Corporation in 1891 and joined to the nearby Dawsholm site by a tunnel under the canal to form a single works.

When under construction, the complex was the second largest gasworks in Britain, with a designed output of 9,000,000 cu ft, according to the Canmore archaeological data site.

The site closed in 1968 however the two large Temple gasholders were still being used up until recently.

Temple gasworks

Link: The site was joined to a plant at nearby Dawsholm by a tunnel. Photo credit: Ben Cooper

A letter of consultation from Historic Environment Scotland proposes the statutory category-B listing of No.4 and No.5 gasholders, excluding tanks and shells to reflect its special architectural significance.

Listing the structures will mean its owners will require special permission to alter or change the structures.

Cllr Rhodes is inviting any comments on the proposals or any background information that may have a bearing on the plans.

Martin has to submit his reply by August 31 at the latest so any comments would be gratefully received.

Please forward your views directly to Martin on Martin.Rhodes@glasgow.gov.uk

* Glasgow West End Today would like to thank Ben Cooper for his kind permission to use images of Temple Gasworks. These and other photographs can be found on his blog http://catchingphotons.co.uk/blog/