Public space improvements continue apace at Govan Cross, and this time the focus is on the space just along Govan Road, at – well, there’s the thing – it hasn’t really got a name. The space where the War Memorial is; round the side of the PI; where you go to get into Govan Old Church. For the time being let’s call it “Dinnaken Square”.
Plans are now afoot to get local people involved in re-establishing the identity and purpose of this somewhat forgotten space, by coming up with a elegant new design that reflects the importance of the historic setting between Govan Old and Pearce Institute and creates an attractive place for people to enjoy.
The project, which will offer lots of opportunities for local people and organisations to get hands on with the design of the space over the coming months, will be delivered as part of the Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). THI Manager, Susan Hanlin, said “This space provides the setting and entranceway for Govan Old Church, the Pearce Institute and the War Memorial, yet it has lost its sense of purpose. We want people who live locally to help us find out how this space developed over time and how it could be used in the future to benefit the community here in Govan. The design that emerges will be implemented as part of improvements that are planned to take place along Govan Road, Burleigh Street and Langlands Road early next year”.
Archaeologists and historians from Northlight Heritage will be on hand to help people research the site’s heritage and potential, with design support provided by City Design and Lightfolio. Ingrid Shearer, the archaeologist leading the community project, outlined the type of activities that will take place. “We’ll be searching through old maps, photographs, postcards and more for clues about how this space looked and was used over different generations, and participants will be out and about to assess what makes a really great public space. We want to get as much local opinion and insight as possible in order to help local people create a place that truly reflects the rich history of site and showcases all that is great about Govan”.
Both Govan Old and the Pearce Institute are Category A listed buildings, and their setting is of great historical and townscape significance to Govan. Govan Old is one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in Scotland. Its elliptical graveyard has scheduled monument status on account of its ancient roots, and the church itself is home to an outstanding collection of Viking and Christian burial stones that is the equal of any other collection existing in the world. With the church, stones and graveyard being the focus of a multi-million pound plan to create a new cultural destination and visitor attraction for Govan that will also offer business and events space, the quality of the approach to the church and the land surrounding the Pearce Institute has never been more important. Planned improvement works at the site will also include the closely supervised conservation repair of the Govan War Memorial, an octagonal grey granite monument erected to commemorate local people who died in the First World War.
Activities to plan the future and re-establish the identity of “Dinnaken Square” will be taking place from April to June 2017. It is hoped the rather down-at-heel entranceway to Govan Old will find a new lease of life and perhaps even a name. For more information on planned events and ways to get involved visit http://www.getintogovan.com/opportunities/govan-old-entranceway-dinnaken-square/ or contact Ingrid – Ishearer@yorket.co.uk