An aerial view from c 1932 of the River Clyde looking downriver from the Harland & Wolff Shipyard and Govan Wharf (bottom right, with ship berthed alongside) and Govan Old Parish Church. The Fairfield Shipyard and its fitting-out basin is in the centre of the picture. Govan's tenement houses crowd against the shipyards.
In 1867, John Elder opened his new shipyard at Fairfield in Govan. Completed in 1871, the yard was equipped with six shipbuilding berths and a fitting-out basin at its western end. The first ship was launched in 1868 and the engine and boiler works were completed in 1874. Elder died in 1869 and in 1886 his former partner Sir William Pearce formed the Fairfield Engineering & Shipbuilding Co.
The Fairfield Shipyard was famous for building a wide variety of steamships, but under Sir William Pearce it acquired a particularly high reputation for passenger liners. Before the outbreak of war in 1914, the yard won a number of important contracts to build naval ships, most notably the battlecruisers HMS Indomitable (1908) and HMS New Zealand (1912).
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
aerial views, battlecruisers, churches, Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co, Fairfield Shipyard, fitting-out basins, Govan Old Parish Church, Govan Wharf, granaries, Harland & Wolff, HMS Indomitable, HMS New Zealand, liners, marine engineering, Meadowside Granary, River Clyde, Royal Navy, shipbuilders, shipbuilding, ships, shipyards