Meadowside Granary - Times Past

Posted on 23 March 2023

In partnership with the Glasgow Times​, our archivists are exploring Glasgow's fascinating history. This week, Irene O'Brien writes about the Meadowside Granary.

The Meadowside Granary dominated the Partick skyline for almost a century.  On the north bank of the River Clyde, it was built on the site of the former Meadowside football ground, the home of Partick Football Club from 1897 to 1908. 

The first part of what became a very large granary was built in 1911 to 1913 at a cost of £130,000.  Both it and the adjacent Meadowside Quay were erected for the Clyde Navigation Trust by the City Engineer William Alston. Brick-built, the granary had thirteen storeys and thirteen bays. The building and subways were furnished with electric light, and the whole machinery, inside and outside, was operated by electricity. It adjoined Castlebank Street, from which access for carts was obtained, and there was also a connection for traffic by rail. Meadowside opened formally on 7 May 1914. After opening it became the most important grain store in the United Kingdom during World War I.

The granary was first extended in 1937, when an eastern extension added twenty-one bays to the complex. The building was massively extended in the 1960s by the Clyde Navigation Trust’s successor, the Clyde Port Authority, when two additional granaries were built to the west of the original.

The second extension in 1960 cost £3 million and added 500,000 tons of capacity to double the existing storage. The fourth and final building was completed in 1967 and added a further 80,000 tons at a cost of £1.5 million. High level gantries were added to link the buildings. When completed, the Meadowside complex was the largest grain storage facility in the UK and the largest brick building in Europe, with over five million bricks used in its construction.

This impressive series of four interlinked brick buildings continued to dominate the Partick horizon. However, while the Upper Clyde remained a thriving port in the 1960s, shipping declined in the 1970s and 1980s.  Meadowside was closed in 1988 and finally demolished in 2002. Port operators Clydeport was taken over in 2003 by the Peel Group who subsequently used the land for the first phase of the Glasgow Harbour regeneration project. The site of the granary is now occupied by residential apartments.