James Leslie, 1837. 2-storey range of workshops, (for ship haulage and repair, with saw-mill, smithy, and rigging-loft) extended to N with semi-bowed end circa 1850, originally part of Panmure Shipyard, from 1882 the Arctic Tannery. L-plan wing to Sea front added circa 1870 with low boundary wall. Upper part of patent slip ramp.
E ELEVATION: 15-bay, extended to N by 6 bays circa 1850. 2 segmental-arched cart-entries with sliding doors. N extension 3-storey within same eaves-line. Small square windows at 1st. 2 wallhead stacks, 1 brick, 1 stone, and tall chimney stalk for engine of patent slip, square section brick with wrought-iron tie-bands rising from rubble-built base. Large door in N gable with curved corner.
W ELEVATION: large rectangular opening for haulage cables of patent slip, enlarged in later 19th century, over wide segmental-arched entrance. Small brick-built addition to boiler house at left. 3 very wide elliptical-arched openings to right with ashlar voussoirs, 1 serving pend, 2 opening to asbestos-roofed lean-to outshot. Regular series of multiple-paned 1st floor windows over. 1st floor doors with forestairs. Piend-roofed slate-hung dormer. Mast with forked top (to stretch sails?). N addition narrower with timber forestair in re-entrant. Modern brick building adjoins to N.
S W WING rubble-built gable and ground floor, 1st floor brick, (probably louvred in 1870s when a detatched part of the Arctic Tannery of William Stephen, Sons and Co). Some windows blocked. Sliding doors in gable to each elevation.
Slate roof with single skylights. 4 ridge stacks, ashlar, rebuilt in brick. Windows sash and case, mainly 24-pane glazing pattern.
PATENT SLIP, 340 feet long inclined ramp, 200 feet now infilled, 140 feet remaining above ground level. Surface setts, part formerly ashlar blocks, now concreted over. Midway and sideway rails for carriages. Ashlar sides, formerly with steps.
Low sea protection wall, rubble-built. Cast-iron crane-post in yard.
INTERIOR: timber floors on cast-iron columns. Timber boarded engine house. Old office with chimneypieces. Line shafting at 1st floor. Collar-beam roof.
Statement of Special Interest
Little-altered complex with atmospheric interior. Contains Alldays and Onions 3cwt steam hammer, Massey hydraulic hammer, chain testing machine and smith's forges. Collection of old hackle-making machines preserved by W R Stewart and Sons.
The patent slip, on Morton's Principle, had a "15 hp steam engine with side levers in the manner of a marine engine" which could haul out vessels of up to 800 tons. It cost ?9,000. The ranges to either side were from 1844 used by Alexander Stephen and Sons as an adjunct to Panmure shipyard, the smithy originally a sawmill with rigging and sail-loft over. The N block, built as a shipbuilding yard by Stephens, was later used by William Stephen and Sons, Arctic Tannery, for the processing of seal and whale skins. The SW wing was similarly used. The main part of the Arctic Tannery, rebuilt 1882, later altered, still stands N of the RNVR, the carpark on the old tanpits.