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James

Bell Street Stables












James H
wee minx

Alex Glass



142, 144 BELL STREET AND 18 WATSON STREET  


HB Number: Category:
33816  C(S)

Date of Listing:
16/03/1993


Statutory Description:
A W Wheatley, 1896-8, as Glasgow Corporation Cleansing Department Depot. Moderately plain, but impressive scale. 4-storey courtyard block, elevations to Bell Street and to Watson Street broadly similar and symmetrical, latter elevation the longer; rock-faced red ashlar, polished dressings and ground floor, single windows, 1st and 2nd floor windows in shallow advanced outer pavilions are set in tall round-arched shallow panels; original glazing; parapet conceals iron-crested slate roofs. Piend central to Bell Street. S flank now exposed; red brick, 5 storeys, arched tall shallow panels. Floors on riveted girders on cast-iron columns.

References:
Hume, 1974, G114. Glasgow City Archives, Dean of Guild Ref. 1/4484 (30 April 1896)

Notes:
Used to house the Cleansing Department's horses, carts, harnesses and forage.




Taken from the Handout provided at the recent tours as part of Doors Open

Bell Street Stables
Doors Open Tour

There are not many places in Glasgow that have changes so little in the past 100 years and are used for the purpose they were built for.

The inclusion for the first time within the Doors Open Day programme of the Bell Street Stable has been well received and will hopefully prove successful. This is a unique opportunity for people to get behind the scenes of a working building and see the only remaining stables within the City Centre.

Bell Street Stables, or Glasgow Corporation Cleansing Department Depot, to give it the title it was given when designed by A W Wheatley in 1896-8 is described as moderately plain with an impressive scale. A 4-storey courtyard block on Bell Street and Watson Street broadly similar and symmetrical with the longest elevation on Watson Street with rock-faced red ashlar polished dressings and ground floor single windows,  1st and 2nd floor windows in shallow advanced outer pavilions are set in tall round-arched shallow panels; original glazing; parapet conceals iron-crested slate roofs. Piend central to Bell Street. S flank now exposed; red brick, 5 storeys, arched tall shallow panels. Floors on riveted girders on cast-iron columns.

It is hard to get a true feel of the building through an architectural description. There is no mention of its primary use until the 1950’s. It was a base for horse-drawn refuse-collecting lorries. The vehicles were kept on the ground floor, and there were stables, plus grain and hay stores, above.

The depot was still used by the Corporation Cleansing Department in 1971, though the only occupants of the stables were the city's police horses. The block housed offices for the department as well as the accommodation described above.

The horses a long gone but the stable are still there and in good condition. The building is still used by Land and Environmental Services, Cleansing Department, as the main depot for the squads of men who fight the battle to keep Glasgow’s Streets clean.

This leads nicely on to the other part of the story missed in our architectural description - the human element. Many workers have gone through the gates on Bell Street. Many of their stories have, in the old tradition, been passed down through the generations. Some of the men who are working in the depot have their own stories to tell and are always happy to share the details of snippets that have been told to them or experiences they have of some of the legendary characters who worked all the life in the stables.

Hopefully by including this fantastic building in the Doors Open programme will ensure that their stories are not forgotten and one day someone will take the time to document the real history of “Glasgow Corporation Cleansing Department Depot”.
mcg1899

Fantastic!  I wasn't able to get to see these first hand, as the tours were booked out by the time I tried for a place.

These pictures are wonderful, I often wonder what treasures are hidden behind seemingly ordinary buildings.  Doors Open Day is a great way of exploring these places and learning more about our city.

Thanks for posting these pictures!
Alex Glass

Welcome to Urban Glasgow mcg

Sorry you didn't manage to get on the tour. Maybe there will be other opportunities to have a look inside.
Hugo Drax

Wall



Tap

John





Alex Glass

They look good in black and white Scary      
John

Cheers AG, had a bit of bother finding the bell st pics  on my pc  
wee minx

Old book with contract info.

Hawick_1987

Slightly off-topic, but just along Bell Street - roughly number 58 - is a building that was built around the same time as the stables, 1896. Any idea as to what the building was used for, or indeed if it's listed?

Hawick_1987

...also a few quick snaps from the adjacent block.





Marblez

Hawick_1987 wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but just along Bell Street - roughly number 58 - is a building that was built around the same time as the stables, 1896. Any idea as to what the building was used for, or indeed if it's listed?



Ally, I assume that's on the south side opposite the massive warehouse which was part of the old College goods yard and is now flats.
Hawick_1987

Marblez wrote:
Hawick_1987 wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but just along Bell Street - roughly number 58 - is a building that was built around the same time as the stables, 1896. Any idea as to what the building was used for, or indeed if it's listed?



Ally, I assume that's on the south side opposite the massive warehouse which was part of the old College goods yard and is now flats.


Sorry, I was a bit unclear. This is on the other side of Bell Street, towards the Merchant City. I think it incorporates Waddell's Models and the Food Stop.
Marblez

[quote="Hawick_1987:112257"]
Marblez wrote:
Hawick_1987 wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but just along Bell Street - roughly number 58 - is a building that was built around the same time as the stables, 1896. Any idea as to what the building was used for, or indeed if it's listed?


Ally, I assume that's on the south side opposite the massive warehouse which was part of the old College goods yard and is now flats.


Sorry, I was a bit unclear. This is on the other side of Bell Street, towards the Merchant City. I think it incorporates Waddell's Models and the Food Stop.


Ah got you, checked Google maps and it faces up Walls St. I think it's just an embellishment by the builder incorporating the Glasgow Coat of Arms and the date built. I am not aware of any special significance although someone on here might know differently.
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