Heritage: Historic Govan

Between 2007 and 2009, Professor Driscoll was commissioned by Historic Scotland to evaluate the archaeological and architectural heritage of Govan as part of the government’s Burgh Survey programme. This study produced the first comprehensive mapping of Govan’s physical cultural heritage assets. The Geographical Information System (GIS) built for the study was adopted by the West of Scotland Archaeology Service (2008) for use in evaluating planning applications. The narrative account, resource evaluation and recommendations were published as Historic Govan (2009) accompanied by a suite of historical maps. Although part of a series aimed primarily at planners, Driscoll and his team varied the format to make it more attractive to a popular audience.

Driscoll subsequently contributed to the Govan Workspace Options Appraisal (2008-10), which sought to identify a sustainable future for the church and its collection of medieval sculpture. The proposal was to transform the church into a museum/cultural resource centre capable of providing impetus to the regeneration of Govan. The first stage aimed at improved access and interpretative resources to make the church site attractive to tourists; the second stage included a major refurbishment to combine commercial rental space (in the basement of the old church) with state-of-the-art displays in the main body of the church.

Funding for the first phase (£120,000) was secured in 2011 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, the Church of Scotland and other sponsors.  Professor Driscoll has applied his expertise to interpret the history and meaning behind the sculptures and was a primary contributor to the new display, known as the Govan Stones project (www.thegovanstones.org.uk),  installed and launched in 2012.

Website: www.thegovanstones.org.uk

Academic: Prof Stephen Driscoll

To learn more about this project or to discuss developing a partnership with the College of Arts please contact Dr Fraser Rowan the College of Arts Business Development manager by email or phone (0141 330 3885).

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