Pipe Factory, The

42 Bain Street

G40 2LA

Matthew Forsyth, 1876-79

Category B Listed

The former factory is Italian Renaissance inspired and features the most intricate and ornate use of brick to be found in the city. Used by a group of artists, writers & architects, find out about the ongoing restoration and plans.

Built 1876-79, and designed by architect Matthew Forsyth (1850-80). By 1890 the former factory was producing up to 14,000 pipes per day. White and other smaller manufacturers in Glasgow supplied clay pipes to the world according to John Hume they are commonly excavated in North American pioneer settlements and can be used for dating them. The buiding comprises a complex sequence of three ornate red and white brick buildings, which were originally linked by an equally ornate two storey building filling the site between the three buildings (which was the main entrance and housed the kilns). The Italian renaissance inspired design details are some of the most intricate and ornate use of brick to be found within the city. Openings are mostly round-headed and recessed in shallow panels with inset pilasters, pilasters also divide bays. The building consists of 4 storeys with a tall attic, each block symmetrical and with a 2-storey oriel corbelled above ground floor.

The centre gable design is of Low Countries derivation, and the glazing is mostly original. Flank elevations are also similarly ornamented, particularly the South flank to Moncur street. Inside the timber floors are on cast-iron columns. Matthew Forsyth was born in 1850, the son of James Forsyth, farmer and his wife Elizabeth Downs. He commenced practice at the early age of twenty-three in Airdrie, but soon opened an office at 191 West George Street, Glasgow. In 1879 he was a member of the Council of Management of the Glasgow Institute of Architects. His completed only a few buildings before his promising architectural career was cut short when he tragically died, in February 1880, at the age of 29.

Discover Glasgows Industrial Heritage: A unique opportunity to experience an exceptional example of Glasgows industrial heritage and to understand its contemporary re-use.

Number in Brochure: 44

Opening Times

Sat & Sun 11am 5pm

Tours: Sat & Sun 12noon, 2pm & 4pm; 20 mins

Meeting Point: Ground Floor


Restrictions on Access: Due to ongoing refurbishments certain areas of the building may not be accessible.

Limited Disabled Access
Only the ground-floor is accessible to wheelchair users.



Getting Here

Nearest Train or Subway Station(s): Argyle Street, Highstreet, Bellgrove
Parking: On Street Parking Available Charges Apply


[email protected]





Pipe Factory, The

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Pipe Factory, The
55.854902, -4.235576