Additions to Saracen Tool Works

M130 Additions to Saracen Tool Works

Address: East Campbell Street, Glasgow G1 5DT
Date: 1896–8; 1902–3
Client: Alexander Mathieson & Sons
Authorship: Authorship category 4 (Office) (Office)

Founded in 1792, the toolmakers Mathieson's were established in Saracen Lane before 1830. 1 By the mid 20th century, their Saracen Tool Works occupied a sprawling complex of buildings on both sides of the lane between Bell Street and Gallowgate, most of which has since been demolished and replaced with housing. John Honeyman & Keppie's major contribution was a four-storey polychrome brick block on the corner of Great Dovehill and Bell Street (formerly Graeme Street), designed in 1896. It was still standing in 2004, when it was surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, but it has since been demolished.

Colour photograph of Saracen Tool Works building at Bell Street/Great Dovehill

Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh designed two further buildings in 1902, both utterly utilitarian: a wood-drying shed in Macfarlane Street, E. of the main complex, and a founding shop on the E. side of Saracen Lane. The shed, which was largely of timber construction, appears to have been demolished, but the founding shop survives. It is single-storey, with a gabled brick facade. Now isolated, it originally abutted earlier buildings on the N. and E., and its N. and E. walls are in fact the surviving walls of these demolished neighbours. The architects' drawings show the S. wall constructed of brick infill between cast-iron stanchions (only brick is visible from the street), with a roof of lightweight iron trusses.

Colour photograph of W. front of Saracen Tool Works Founding Shop



1: Glasgow Evening News, 16 October 1936, p. 11; Post Office Glasgow Directory, 1830.