A major monograph has just been published by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The Birth of Industrial Glasgow: the Archaeology of the M74 describes the findings of excavations along the route of the new road extension linking the M74 with the M8 which now cuts through southern Glasgow.

This was one of Headland Archaeology’s biggest projects, conducted as a joint venture with PCA. The excavation was run over the winter of 2007/2008 taking in two major industrial sites: the Caledonian Pottery and the Govan Ironworks, as well as a site of a demolished tenement block on Kinning Street, a complex of industrial buildings on Scotland Street and various smaller sites.

The project was a collaborative exercise between archaeologists, architectural and archival historians, with some vital information coming from the local community who participated in oral history recording sessions. Because of the massive size of the project innovative new methods had to be developed to render some aspects of the work possible. A series of feature articles highlight just some of the work of the many post-excavation specialists who studied the artefacts, products and manufacturing waste recovered from the excavations.

The book is generously illustrated in full colour with sections on cotton, rope-making and engineering works, the Govan Ironworks, the Caledonian Pottery, transport, warehousing, and food production, and the evidence for housing, including purpose-built workers cottages and residential tenements. There is also a number of features covering subjects such as the products of the Caledonian pottery, the technology of the Govan Ironworks, the families who stayed at some of the sites, sports, games, food, pets, electrical fittings, smoking and other areas of interest.

Industrial Glasgow M74The book provides a fascinating insight not only into, the now largely lost world of, industrial Glasgow but also into the people who made it, lived and worked in it and used its products.

The book is available to buy from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland website for £25 M74 publication

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