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


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
NS 24264 91056
224264, 691056


Attributed to James Miller, 1893-4. Single storey, rectangular-plan, near-symmetrical island station building with swept, bell-cast roof carried on carved consoles over canopy on either side to form awning. Painted, ashlar plinth with dressed red sandstone base; timber-framed with scalloped shingle walling. Panelled angle pilasters. Glazed screen to outer right and left. Timber panelled doors. Timber framed windows; bipartite and canted windows; fanlights also painted. Tiled roof (originally grey slate as per Tyndrum Upper and Glenfinnan).

E & W ELEVATIONS: 12 bays; single and bipartite windows; 2 canted windows; 4-panelled door with large fanlight.

N & S ELEVATIONS: door at centre, 4-panelled (glazed upper panels at SW end), rectangular fanlight; flanking shingled panels. Glazed screens to outer left and right.

SIGNAL BOX (Map Ref: NS 24281, 91109): on platform to NE of station building: 1894, North British Railway Company, Type 6a signal box. 3-bay; square-plan; painted ashlar plinth, brick base with rounded brick corbells below cills; glazed timber framed upper panels with fixed 9-pane glazing (currently blocked, 2012). Piended slate roof, lead flashings; projecting eaves, exposed rafters.

SUBWAY: entry to station via underpass to S of station. Concrete and reconstituted stone with concrete parapet; curved concrete entrance.

GATE AND RAILINGS: ornate 2-leaf cast-iron gate leading to station; plain cast-iron fencing.

Statement of Special Interest

Garelochhead Station is one of a series of island platform stations designed specifically for the West Highland Railway (sponsored by the North British Railway Company) in the 1890s. Featuring a piended bell-cast roof extending to form a canopy over each elevation, they are built in a distinctive and picturesque 'Swiss Chalet' style chosen to compliment the mountainous scenery on the route. As a series, the stations add considerably to the architectural and historic interest of one of Scotland's most exceptional railway journeys.

Signal boxes are a distinctive and increasingly rare building type that make a significant contribution to Scotland's diverse industrial heritage. Of more than 2000 signal boxes built across Scotland by 1948, around 150 currently survive (2013) with all pre-1948 mechanical boxes still in operation on the public network due to become obsolete by 2021. The signal box at Garelochhead is an example of the characteristic Type 6a boxes by the North British Railway Company, designed and modified specifically for use on the platforms of the West Highland Railway. Its shallow, piended roof and overhanging eaves are in keeping with the Swiss-chalet style of the station buildings. The associated group value with the station, and with the exceptional engineering and scenic interest of the West Highland Line more broadly, add to its interest.

The West Highland Railway which runs between Craigendoran and Fort William was opened in 1894. Garelochhead station, like Bridge of Orchy, Upper Tyndrum and Rannoch (see separate listings), is of the island platform type introduced by Charles De Neuville Forman, the engineer of the West Highland Railway. The Swiss-style architecture and island platform and are understood to be the work of influential Glaswegian architect, James Miller, although Robert Wemyss may have contributed to the designs while working with J J Burnet. James Miller had formerly worked as an assistant in the architectural office of the Caledonian Railway, thereby gaining considerable experience in designing railway stations. The original scalloped shingles are understood to have been imported from Switzerland. The station was originally glazed with small-pane, timber astragalled windows.

List description and statutory address revised as part of Scottish Signal Box Review (2012-13).



G Dow, The Story Of The West Highland (1947). The Signalling Study Group, The Signal Box - A Pictorial History and Guide To Designs (1986). F A Walker and F Sinclair, North Clyde Estuary (1992) p101, 120. John McGregor One Hundred Years Of The West Highland Railway (1994). Peter Kay and Derek Coe, Signalling Atlas and Signal Box Directory - Great Britain and Ireland (2010 - 3rd Edition). RIBA, James Miller - Obituary (1924).

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.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 06/10/2022 14:56