Linthouse, Elderpark, Govan, Urban Planters

Welcome to Elder Farm Community Website

Formerly known as LEGUP Glasgow, the Elder Farm Community is based in the grounds of the remaining Fairfield Farm Steading at Linthouse.  We are always looking for volunteers and supporters.  For more information please contact us at


Meanwhile :

 we have run out of space so have divided the site into 3 :

LEGUP - Linthouse Elderpark Govan Urban Planters 2010 - Jan 2013

Elder Farm Feb 2013 - Dec 2013

Elder Farm Jan 2014 and onwards


Meanwhile, Elder Farm Community - Who Exactly Are We?


Elder Farm, Elder Park and the Common Good Vision
A group dedicated to:

Growing organic foods and to providing a pleasant educational space for the community, wildlife and the bees

Restoring the existing derelict building in accordance with the conditions of the deed of gift for the benefit of the community

Govan was the centre of a heavy ship building industry on the back of which many fortunes were made.  Families of the men who built the ships were crammed into cramped one room spaces and they were ailing.

In 1884, Isabella Elder spent over £37,000 on the purchase of "certain lands situated at Fairfield in the parish of Govan"

At further "considerable" additional cost,buildings were added, trees and shrubs planted, walkways and carriageways laid,"... to provide a suitable public park and recreation ground for the inhabitants of the Burgh of Govan in the immediated neighbourhood of which my husband carried on the business of an Engineer and Shipbuilder and in the welfare of which he ever manifested a deep interest."

The property referred to as "the Park", and Elderpark, was placed into the care of the Commissioners of the Burgh of Govan with certain conditions.

Govan Burgh was later annexed, by the City of Glasgow. 

The City Council Parks Department took over the running of Elderpark.  Since when a couple of keepers cottages were built on the site and then torn down, while the main building already converted into waiting rooms, was used as office and storage space.  Parks eventually became Land and Environmental Services, and about 15 years ago, LES moved their offices to a spanking new site in Bellhouston Park, leaving the Fairfield Farm Steading site to fall into disrepair.  Around 6 years ago Linthouse Housing Association were given ownership of the site along with £167,000 to repair the building and put it back into community use

However they allegedly spent the funds on consultancy fees for a museum / healthy living center estimated to cost around £2.5million, all of which was to be paid for by the National Lottery.   This project was however allegedly rejected by Govan Community who apparently felt that the £2.5million might more usefully be spent on local works to create local jobs.  And in fact according to a local councillor, less than 10% of wages paid on local enterprise over the past ten years has gone to workers with a Govan post code.  Considering funds were laid aside from Europe to create works which would regenerate the heart of Govan and it's economy, it is not exactly clear how one successfully regenerates an economy by paying wages to (with no offence meant) folk more likely to spend wages elsewhere, Edinburgh for example


So folk asked that this project at the very least, delivered training and work experience to locally unemployed workers.

And more folk called for the rebuild to incorporate sustainable solutions

And it was said that National Trust works would soon be needing workers who understood and had worked on projects incorporating sustainable solutions and listed buildings and the Fairfield Steading building, once a farm house is indeed listed. and a sustainable solution would make running the center much cheaper which would by default keep running costs down

But the history of the stones that make up the fabric of the building could have an even earlier history 

Meanwhile the community hold that this sole surviving building is an eyesore and prevailing danger to any youngster naturally attracted to the ruin. And until the building is repaired the gardens are kept locked while there are no gardners present to warn invading youngsters who otherwise will climb walls and fence to access the grounds and explore, not to climb on the roof.  Any attempt to dissuade them is viewed as a challenge. Intruders clamber over the East Pavilion rotting roof, to access either the chimney stack, for a fine view over the park, ortry to access the inner recesses, for pow wows and other group activities.


Mistaken steps tear more holes in the fabric, allowing more rain water in and further damaging the structure. It is only a matter of time before there is a serious injury and a life is lost. The main roof is weak, inner floors are rotten and the West Pavilion roof which volunteers worked to restore at personal cost was destroyed in a fire February 2012. This part of the building was broken into only two weeks after City Properties carried out an expensive and extensive temporary repair.



Elder Farm Community
The intention of this project is to honour the Deed of Gift, and provide free food for anyone who walks in the gate, as well as a pleasant educational space to commune with nature. The site has suffered from a deal of fires as the community attempt to voice their displeasure about decisions made.  A survey sent out before the Xmas holidays returned over 1000 reponses asking for toilets and an eco community.  The museum was slightly less popular

Since when we have received a digital copy of the original Deed of Gift which was said to have been consumed in the Mitchell library

And we  patiently await a constituted committee to finally get around to fun fund raising events along with letters etc to bring this building back into use with as many mod cons as a sustainable solution and tight budget will allow

The focus which was on finding training experience for the unemployed has sadly fallen to the wayside due to the lack of effort any of those unemployed actually made to help the project get started and it looks like it falls to those with energy from other places to bring it about

However if we can focuse as closely as possible to the original idea of bring work experience to local workers perhaps some deal can be set up with local colleges.


Once the essential basic repairs to the building are in place, all dangers associated with that inherant human need to investigate derelict buildings will be removed and the gates can be left open for the community to enjoy the space in their own leisure time, leisure time being so varied according to the very nature of city life and job shifts.

As a bonus, the space will no longer thwart any team chasing miscreants through the park who are currently able to vanish into the grounds. Open grounds would assist police and community support groups to keep the park safe.  Several attacks including rape were reported over the past years in the unlit area of the park near the Italian Portico and the Farm Building.  Several weapons have been found in the front garden amongst the bags and bags of rubbish raked out from among the brambles, weeds and long grass


Suggestions have been made to invite concerned local organisations and groups to provide a member to a Trust committee or steering group which would be responsible for the redevelopment and eventual running of the project. This should ensure continuity if members should move onto other projects or fall ill etc  Any way the building needs to be fixed up soon


While this building is not a registered Common Good Property, it is strongly felt that the  people of Scotland need to interest themselves in what and where the Common Good Properties are and how they are being managed.   It would be interesting to find out how many members of the community are even aware of the benefits of Common Good Properties, both assets and funds.  Currently Common Good Funds which according to the Glasgow City Council website were in 2012, in the region of £14. 06 million in useable funds (ie in stocks and shares) alone. and available to be spent on entertaining visiting dignatories

Many city assets have been found to have been handed or sold to privatised ownership, instead of being managed by the local community but fortunately for Govan community there are still funds available to us if we can only get a committed constituted team to get down to business




Currently information can be found on Facebook :


  • Elder Farm Community Garden Group

  • Elder Farm Community Trust Group

  • Common Good Glasgow

  • Elder Farm Community

 Jimdo for those who abhore Facebook for early years to Jan 2013 for following years until Jan 2014 and 2014 and onwards


The intention is to upload as much information as possible for the community to edit / comment / keep up with events


email or


text 07708760225 (preferably between 9am – 9pm) Find us on Google maps G51 4AA



This is the story of LEGUP

LEGUP were formed in 2010

Fairfield Steading site was used by Land & Environmental Services until they moved up to Bellhouston Park site leaving the Fairfield building to fall into disrepair

Many of the local residents called for action to be taken to restore the B Listed building and several groups were formed, but none of them seemed able to complete the task

Ian Sharp came to Govan in 2009 and wanted to find an allotment - he knocked on doors and eventually was led to LHA who had been given ownership of the building along with close to £200,000 to bring it back into community use.  It was considered that LHA as a charity would be able to restore the building at a cheaper cost due to their status as a charity status which would earn them VAT refunds in the build.  For some reason local and city councils do not benefit from being VAT registered

Initial Status

Ian Sharp was given £2500 in big brother style funds - that is he was given a list of items all tagged with a cost and allowed to choose resources & items adding up to £2500

With help from LHA who were generous in offering help with resources he set out to create a community garden hoping that local residents would spot an opportunity to grow good free food and join him

Unfortunately, while he had everyone's support, not many actually wanted to garden in Govan.  Eventually Friends of Elderpark came round and added a few members and LEGUP set to to create a wonderful garden

The first year the harvest was terrific and many locals left every Saturday with a bag full of lettuce, cabbage, potatoes and beans.

The team even managed to grow corn on the cob which was very delicious when roasted on the fire

The group met every Saturday but Ian was keen to keep the garden open as long as possible in the hope that more members would join

Keys were handed out to various members

Application was made for funding and eventually the group won c£15,000 in grant from the Carbon Footprint funding group

Meanwhile LHA application for £2.5 million to rebuild the building and create a museum community center was turned down

Apparently the local residents felt that £2.5 million could be more usefully used to create local jobs and that the original £200,000 should have been ample

The building continued to deteriorate and some members decided to take matters in to their own hands

A local group called Fairfield Farmhouse Trust was created and members of this worked on the roof to try to keep out the damp and allow the fabric to dry out.  It was hoped that then a decent feasability study of the masonry and roof could be made.  Funds from the grants were used to pay for materials and also for garden works, especially to pay members to come down a work.  Sadly the introduction of money was not enough to encourage many members of the Govan community to work for free with so much unemployment about, and once the funds dried up, so too did attendance

Eventually the group dissappated as did the Fairfield Farmhouse Trust and all was brought to a closure on 30th January 2013

LEGUP became Common Good Glasgow and Elder Farm Community began to evolve.

Elderfarm is supported by the local community but has very few active members and even fewer ready to accept responsiblity for the restoration of the building

A survey was sent out to the community via the local schools and over 1,000 responses were returned asking for the building to be used for public toilets, and an eco community site.  Many schools have an eco group these days

Finally the original Deed of Gift thought to have been destroyed in a fire turned up

The Deed can be found on this and other Elder Farm sites as can other documents, minutes, reports and photographs of the garden and events

The Deed pretty much confirms that the house was intended to be used for public toilets, storage and a keepers flat

It has been suggested that the building is so restored in sympathetic manner that would give sustainable skills to local residents suffering from unemployment, and training in the hope that these skills once taught will give workers an advantage when the National Trust begin sustainable works on their properties in the future


To grow good food that is free from chemicals

To work together and learn together

To work with tolerance

To care for and respect nature and each other

To promote healthy living and well being

To actively engage with all sectors of the community including any with special needs

To promote sustainability and self reliance

To promote sustainable practice and

permaculture in all aspects of the project

To share knowledge, and skills in all aspects of

the project

To create partnerships with like minded


To use resources appropriately

To encourage crafts and practical skills to benefit

the community and the members of that community

Where differences lie, to promote honest open discusssion and open discourse where ever possible and avoid division and derision within the group


Elderfarm Govan Information and Documentation is available on



The Elderfarm group currently does not have a constituted committee and therefore unable to apply for funds etc

There fore with no funds to pay for a website we are very glad to take advantage of the free site available from jimdo which is pretty good stuff

HOWEVER in the attempt to put all information up on site for the benefit of the public, we have not enough room so have had to divide the material up into different sites legup, elderfarm and elderfarm2

This is an experiment and hopefully will work

Meanwhile all information and discussion also available on Facebook Elderfarm Community Trust Group site and Elderfarm Community Garden Group site both of which are open to the public

minutes, photos and other documents can be found at these sites