Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Mugdock Reservoir and Craigmaddie Reservoir including straining wells, James Gale Memorial and all inner and outer boundary walls (former Glasgow Corporation Water Works), Milngavie LB18227

Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
100000019 - (See Notes)
Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
East Dunbartonshire
Planning Authority
East Dunbartonshire
New Kilpatrick
NS 56394 75469
256394, 675469


Two bowed reservoirs and associated structures divided by central embankment dam, forming roughly trapezoid body of water with large peninsular projecting towards centre. Mugdock reservoir to W; Craigmaddie reservoir to E.

MUGDOCK RESERVOIR: John F Bateman, 1856 with later alterations. Conduit emerges at N end into 2 near-identical semicircular gauge basins (basin to W original; basin to E probably circa 1865); round-arched conduit exits with prominent voussoirs in curved sandstone retaining wall; bridge over weirs at S end; curved embankment at S end; weir at centre of embankment; roadway carried over on 3-arch bridge. Weir falls into main reservoir; large earth embankment at SW side; sides paved with small stones. Overflow channel at SW corner; footbridge over with cast-iron railings and sluice mechanism below. Embankment dam to SE separating the two reservoirs. Local water diversion system to W of Mugdock Road consisting of masonry channels and boundary walls.

CRAIGMADDIE RESERVOIR: James M Gale, 1886-96. Large single gauge basin at NW end, similar to the above; round-arched conduit exit with bracketed voussoirs in tall pedimented architrave with vermiculated, rusticated pilasters and 2 inscription panels; curved wing walls terminating in heavy segmental-pedimented piers. Triangular measuring pond with sluiced embankment dam carrying roadway; valve tower connected to dam by lattice girder footbridge. Embankments to all sides of reservoir paved with small stones. Scour valve comprising bull-faced masonry column with railing, valve mechanism and short access footbridge with railing extending from rear of SE embankment. Overflow exit with segmental-arched tunnel entrance with vermiculated voussoirs, curved bull-faced sandstone wing walls, footbridge and cast-iron railings. Two scour shafts to SE of Strathblane Road.

STRAINING WELLS AND DRAW-OFF TOWERS: 1865 and 1886. One located on each side of central dam on SE bank. Subterranean with fine circular cast-iron covers standing above ground level. Interiors with pedestrian walkway, roof supported on columns with Doric capitals, deep circular pit containing straining mechanism. Connected draw-off towers projecting into reservoirs: Craigmaddie draw-off tower masonry, 50ft high with valve openings at 3 levels below water, corbelled-out top, railings, valve mechanism inside and trussed iron footbridge connecting to embankment. Mugdock draw-off tower comprises iron pipe with external support structure, similar valve mechanism and short girder footbridge.

JAMES GALE MEMORIAL: 1904 drinking fountain comprising stone cairn base supporting large granite slab bearing cast-bronze Art Nouveau shell-shaped basin with inscription above and rondel relief bust of James Gale. Dog basin at bottom of plinth.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATES: round-coped random rubble boundary walls around entire site and creating divisions within it. Sub-Mackintosh style iron gates at three entrances from Mugdock Road, chamfered gatepiers to those to S (main entrance) deep cushion caps; plainer gatepiers to other entrances.

Statement of Special Interest

Mugdock reservoir, which was designed in 1856 and in use by 1860, was designed as the main storage area for the water from Loch Katrine, as part of the Glasgow Corporation Water Works (see below for significance of the scheme as a whole). It was designed to hold an 11-day supply of water so that the conduit could be closed for repairs. Craigmaddie reservoir was built as part of the duplication scheme of 1885. Geological problems made it considerably more difficult to build than Mugdock and defeated two different contractors before being finally completed by a third. Although the two reservoirs abut each other they are completely separate. The works for each reservoir involved realigning Mugdock Road to the east and the Strathblane turnpike road to the west. Boundary walls along both sides of Mugdock Road and Strathblane Road have matching architectural treatment. In places, the outer walls along these roads enclose minor structures and channels built as part of the scheme including masonry channels to divert water supply, and scour shafts. The straining wells, which were in use until 2007, filtered the water before it was piped to Glasgow. Overall, the two reservoirs and their related ancillaries are a fine example of civil engineering and municipal service provision. The reservoirs are located within a specially designed landscape setting which enhances their scenic and recreational value.

The Glasgow Corporation Water Works system, which brings water down to Glasgow from Loch Katrine, was admired internationally as an engineering marvel when it was opened in 1860. It was one of the most ambitious civil engineering schemes to have been undertaken in Europe since Antiquity, employing the most advanced surveying and construction techniques available, including the use of machine moulding and vertical casting technologies to produce the cast-iron pipes. The scheme represents the golden age of municipal activity in Scotland and not only provided Glasgow with fresh drinking water, thereby paving the way for a significant increase in hygiene and living standards, but also a source of hydraulic power that was indispensable to the growth of Glasgow's industry as a cheap and clean means of lifting and moving heavy plant in docks, shipyards and warehouses. The civic pride in this achievement is visible in every structure connected with the scheme, which, in most cases, have withstood without failure or noticeable deterioration the daily pressure of many millions of gallons of water for well over 100 years.

Glasgow's Lord Provost, Robert Stewart (1810-66) was the driving force behind the implementation of a municipally owned water scheme to provide clean water to Glasgow's rapidly increasing population. Loch Katrine was identified as a suitable supply and after some objections from various parties, an Act of Parliament authorising the scheme was passed in 1855. The scheme was built in two main phases following this Act and another of 1885. The 1855 scheme, which was opened by Queen Victoria in 1859 and was fully operational by 1860, had been designed to allow for significant expansion as demand increased, and this work was carried in the 20 years following the opening. The 1885 Act allowed a second aqueduct to be built, which followed a slightly shorter course than the earlier scheme. The capacity of the second aqueduct was also expanded during the first half of the 20th century.

John Frederick Bateman (1810-1889) was chosen as the engineer for the scheme and construction work commenced in 1856. Bateman was to become one of the world's most eminent water engineers and worked on a number of other water supply schemes in Britain, Europe and Asia. He was assisted by James Morrison Gale (1830-1905) who, on the completion of the initial scheme in 1859, was appointed Water Engineer for the City of Glasgow, a post he held till 1902. Gale was responsible for over-seeing the incremental expansion of the first scheme during the 1860s and '70s and the building of the second aqueduct from 1885 onwards.

Crosses boundaries of Strathblane, Baldernock and New Kilpatrick parishes with the larger part of the two reservoirs within the latter; the N end of Mugdock measuring pond and its gauge basins lie within Strathblane parish; the W side of Craigmaddie reservoir, including part of its gauge basin and measuring pond lie within Baldernock parish.

Statutory address and listed building record updated and category changed from B to A in 2008. Previously listed as 'Milngavie Reservoir'.

Statutory address and listed building record updated in 2020. Previously listed as 'Mugdock Reservoir and Craigmaddie Reservoir including straining wells, James Gale memorial and boundary walls (former Glasgow Corporation Water Works)'.



Scottish Water drawings: No 3 Mugdock Reservoir Contract drawing numbers 139 (straining wells) and 138 (gauge basin), both 1856; Reservoir Contract (completion) drawing numbers 559, 560, 563, 564 and 565 (dated 1886).

Mugdock reservoir first shown on 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (circa 1864); Craigmaddie reservoir shown on 2nd edition OS map (circa 1899).

Peter McGowan Associates & East Dunbartonshire Council Survey of Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes (2005-06), p50-57, available at

RCAHMS and Jelle Muylle, Glasgow Corporation Water Works Loch Katrine Scheme: Loch Katrine to Milngavie (survey report, not published, 2007).

R Paxton & J Shipway, Civil Engineering Heritage: Scotland Lowlands and Borders (2007), p250.

Information courtesy of Friends of Milngavie Reservoir 2020.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

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