Govan's Hidden Histories

Ongoing creative projects about Govan's hidden histories Celebrating Govan's heritage, women's roles in protest movements, and the life and work of Isabella Elder

Frequently asked QUESTions!

If you want to know more about what the Quest is about, and how to get a copy, please check HERE.

As with any great Quest throughout history, it took a great number of people to make the Quest for the 13 Treasures of Govan & Glasgow come together, and we’d like to thank them all. We’ll do our very best to map them here, as we think they are all great treasures!


Tam McGarvey (from the GalGael) and Frazer Capie (from Govan Stones and the Riverside Museum)  developed the inspiration for the Quest in 2013 during a year spent looking at Govan’s original ‘heritage trail’, and trying to re-imagine it.

team of Govanites and Glasgow Museums staff researched Govan’s hidden histories including ancient Govan, but also shipbuilding, entertainment, and famous folk or ‘Characters of Govan’. The team proposed a series of themed walks, talks and games . You can read more about the team and chart their process here. This undertaking was led by tara s Beall in her role as an artist based in Govan, and a researcher working with the Riverside Museum via the University of Glasgow, Theatre Studies. The project stemmed from tara’s practice-based research, exploring how museums can increase connections with local communities and work with them as equal partners.

With help from Historian Tim Clarkson, Frazer and Tam researched and developed the concept of the 13 Treasures of Govan (based on the 13 Treasures of Britain), complete with beautiful illustrations by Tam.

Graphic Novelist Pete Renshaw then brought their ideas to life with help from tara and Chani Bond. Not his first time exploring history through illustration, Pete has also produced a gothic graphic novel telling tale of infamous serial killers and grave robbers  – Burke And Hare: The West Port MurdersWhen he’s not busy penning historic graphic novels Pete runs Plan B Books based in the Art Village in Shawlands Arcade.


Many people gave us insight and advice throughout the process – and with their help the Quest for the 13 Treasures of Ancient Govan is now an exciting journey for children and their parents, to discover more about Glasgow’s ancient history and lore.

In no particular order, these superstars include students and teachers at St. Saviour’s Primary and Govan High School, author and historian Tim Clarkson, Dr. Alan Leslie and Ingrid Shearer at Northlight HeritageProfessor Stephen Driscoll at the University of Glasgow, Derek Alexander, Koren Calder of Scottish Book Trust, Dr. Michael Shaw, and members of the 2013 Re-imagining the Govan Heritage Trail team.

We’d also like to thank our partners in this project; The Galgael TrustGlasgow MuseumsGovan Stones, Govan Workspace, Northlight Heritage, Friends of Elder Park, and Friends of Govan Old Church.

Finally, thanks to our funders, for making the Quest possible; Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative, the Heritage Lottery FundGlasgow City CouncilGlasgow Housing Association and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

This project was also supported (via tsBeall’s research) by the University of Glasgow and the Arts & Humanities Research Council.


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© Govan's Hidden Histories & tsBeall 2013-16, unless otherwise noted
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