Sir William Arrol & Co.

Sir William Arrol & Co. was a leading Scottish civil engineering and construction business founded by William Arrol and based in Glasgow. It built some of the most famous bridges in the United Kingdom including the Forth Bridge and Tower Bridge in London.

Sir William Arrol & Co.
IndustryCivil engineering
SuccessorClarke Chapman
HeadquartersGlasgow, Scotland
Key people
Sir William Arrol (Chairman)

Early history

The company was founded by William Arrol at Dunn Street in Dalmarnock in Glasgow in 1873.[1] It later expanded to incorporate the Parkhead Crane Works in Nuneaton Street.

Notable projects


Bridges built by the company include:


  • Titan Clydebank, completed in 1907
  • Titan Crane, Fairfield, completed in 1911
  • 250-ton crane, HMNB Portsmouth, dated 1912, demolished 1984[2]
  • Titan Crane, James Watt Dock Crane, completed in 1917
  • Titan Crane, Barclay Curle, completed in 1920
  • Blocksetter Travelling Titan (South African Harbours and Railways); for use at Durban, completed prior to 1932[3]
  • Blocksetter Travelling Hercules (South African Harbours and Railways); for use at Table Bay, completed prior to 1932[3]
  • Blocksetter Travelling Hercules; for use at Ceuta, completed prior to 1932[3]


The company was contracted by Harland and Wolff Shipyard, Belfast, to construct a large gantry (known as the Arrol Gantry) for the construction of three new super-liners, one of which was called the RMS Titanic. Like the ships themselves, the gantry crane was one of the largest built at the time, comparing with transporter bridges in length, height and capability.[4]


The company also built the crane for the Hikitia in 1926, which is thought to be the last fully operational self-propelled steam crane in the world.

Demise of the business

The company was acquired by Clarke Chapman in 1969 and the Dalmarnock Works were closed in 1986.[5]


  1. National Archives
  2. 20th Century Naval Dockyards, Devonport and Portsmouth Characterisation Report, Naval Dockyards Society, 2015
  3. Arrol Catalogue ca. 1932
  4. "The giant Arrol Gantry". National Museums Northern Ireland. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  5. NZR Cranes Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
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