1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Govan
GOVAN, a municipal and police burgh of Lanarkshire, Scotland. It lies on the south bank of the Clyde in actual contact with Glasgow, and in a parish of the same name which includes a large part of the city on both sides of the river. Pop. (1891) 61,589; (1901) 76,532. Govan remained little more than a village till 1860, when the growth of shipbuilding and allied trades gave its development an enormous impetus. Among its public buildings are the municipal chambers, combination fever hospital, Samaritan hospital and reception houses for the poor. Elder Park (40 acres) presented to the burgh in 1885 contains a statue of John Elder (1824–1869), the pioneer shipbuilder, the husband of the donor. A statue of Sir William Pearce (1833–1888), another well-known Govan shipbuilder, once M.P. for the burgh, stands at Govan Cross. The Govan lunacy board opened in 1896 an asylum near Paisley. Govan is supplied with Glasgow gas and water, and its tramways are leased by the Glasgow corporation; but it has an electric light installation of its own, and performs all other municipal functions quite independently of the city, annexation to which it has always strenuously resisted. Prince's Dock lies within its bounds and the shipbuilding yards have turned out many famous ironclads and liners. Besides shipbuilding its other industries are match-making, silk-weaving, hair-working, copper-working, tube-making, weaving, and the manufacture of locomotives and electrical apparatus. The town forms the greater part of the Govan division of Lanarkshire, which returns one member to parliament.