West Boathouse on Glasgow Green

Glasgow Building Preservation Trust are supporting and advising the volunteers of Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club and Clyde Amateur Rowing Club as they develop proposals to restore the Category B Listed West Boathouse on Glasgow Green.

Clydesdale ARC has received a £9,100 Start-Up Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and a £3,000 Project Viability Grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) for their project, Heritage of Rowing at West Boathouse, in Glasgow.

The West Boathouse was built by the Glasgow Corporation in 1905 to designs by the city architect A. B. MacDonald. The building remains owned by Glasgow City Council, and is occupied by the two original rowing clubs: Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club (formed in 1857 and located in the east side of the building) and Clyde Amateur Rowing Club (formed in 1865 and located in the west side of the building).

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The West Boathouse is said to be among the grandest of its kind in Britain, occupying the ideal location for rowing on the River Clyde, within Glasgow Green. The building is of a timber frame construction which in itself is a rare building type from that period. The building has been altered over the years, but remains in active use by the rowing clubs.

Led by volunteers from both clubs and supported by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, the comprehensive feasibility study will have taken 4 months when it completes at the end of December.  The project has 3 distinct activities – heritage appraisal, business case and condition survey.  The rowers have been fully involved in every aspect, from sharing old photos to developing 5 year business plans, from itemising maintenance issues to trial pit inspections and installing ‘heritage windows’.

The Heritage Appraisal has considered:

  • the various heritage interests – the built heritage of the listed building, the sporting heritage of the rowers’ achievements, the extensive history of the clubs, the history of the sport and how it has evolved;
  • who would be interested in this – extensive public interest evidenced during Doors Open Day and subsequent discussions with local groups has indicated what interests them and if they might use the facility.
  • what activities the clubs could undertake to share the heritage interest – river tours, forgotten Clydeside landmarks, flotilla and regatta events, interpretation panels, displays and oral histories.

 

The Business Case has determined that between the clubs, there is the volunteer and financial capacity to undertake responsibility for the building – having developed an understanding of the costs of undertaking the management and maintenance of the listed building.  Discussions have determined the partnership between the clubs will permit the flexibility to allow the growth and development of both clubs within a fully shared building, having the clarity of responsibility for the management of the building and preserving the individual identities of both clubs.

The Condition Survey determined the extent of repair required to the timber framed building and was greatly informed by the research undertaken by the club volunteers in identifying historic alterations and latterly in undertaking trial pit excavations to inspect the timber substructure – thus making the condition survey more accurate and developing understanding of architectural conservation issues.  The conservation accredited architects have prepared proposals for the sensitive adaptation of the building to enable the clubs to develop and grow over the next 150 years.

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A summary of the Feasibility Study can be downloaded here.

Feasibility Study Summary

For more information about the rowing clubs, please visit their websites:

Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club

Clyde Amateur Rowing Club

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