Thomas Fairbairn's view of Govan from the north-east, c 1849. To the left of the picture is Water Row, the road that led from the centre of the village to the main river crossing. In the foreground is the hand-operated chain ferry which carried passengers and carts between Water Row and Pointhouse from 1734. The long chain which can be seen stretched across the river bed was attached securely on each bank and to a windlass on the boat, and the ferryman turned the windlass to haul the boat across the water. In 1865 a larger boat with a steam-powered windlass was introduced on the crossing and ten years later it was replaced by a double-chain steam ferry.
The ferry appears to be carrying a cart loaded with hay. The steeple of Govan Old Parish Church dominates the village, and a steam ship and two sailing boats are further down-river.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
boats, carts, chain ferries, church steeples, Govan Ferry, Govan Old Parish Church, River Clyde, sailing boats, steam ships