Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 40867 30602
340867, 730602


1870 for Gourlay Brothers and Company, building relocated (within original site) and reconstructed 2001. Important survival of rare cast iron framed former engineering works. Irregular pair of linked 2-storey, piend-roofed, rectangular-plan ranges converted to retail unit. Harl with contrasting ashlar long and short quoins. Multi-pane glazing patterns throughout.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: modern glass frontage to entrance elevation at S. Remaining elevations largely replicate original, W (former E) elevation retains evidence of 3 tall, broad openings with cast iron lintels, each below decoratively glazed oculus.

INTERIOR: altered 2001 to accommodate conversion to retail premises but retaining much evidence of machine shop interior including cast iron framework, travelling crane, Hodgekinson beams, cast iron stanchions and timber roof trusses. See Notes for original description of interior layout.

Statement of Special Interest

An important and rare reminder of Dundee's industrial past, the former Dundee Foundry was one of only three true cast iron framed engineering works built in Scotland, with horizontal as well as vertical members. The other examples were Fairfield of Glasgow and Andrew Barclay of Kilmarnock, both very different from Gourlay's.

To accommodate the development of retail units in the opening years of the 21st century, the building was relocated within the same site, and rotated through 180 degrees. Great care was taken to ensure as far as possible that the integrity of the building was retained and careful reconstruction incorporated the roof trusses and most of the iron frame and travelling crane, but the exterior fabric, though largely replicating the original elevations (with the exception of a modern S entrance elevation), is modern.

The original list description described the interior layout as follows: "heavy erecting shop separated from lighter machine shop galleries by cast-iron framework which carries roof valley and travelling crane. 7 3-stage cast iron stanchions with unpierced webs linked horizontally by bowed Hodgekinson beams at gallery level. Central cast iron balcony projects from gallery to receive items from crane which traverses on steel girders at 2nd stage (supported by stone buttresses along E (now W) wall. 3rd stage narrower cast iron members carry wrought iron trussed timber roof plate giving maximum floor space. Single row of cast iron columns carrying lengthwise series of Hodgekinson cast iron beams and timber floor in gallery. Wide timber roof trusses with radial piend ends".

The Dundee Foundry was established in 1791 and the building erected in 1870 was arguably the finest engineering works in Dundee. Marine engines were here constructed for Gourlay Brothers own ships and also for smaller shipbuilders including those for RRS Discovery.

Category altered from A to B, and list description revised 2009.



S G E Lythe Gourlay's of Dundee (1964). 1st and 2nd edition Ordnance Survey Maps (1857-62 and 1898-1902).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 15/11/2018 06:04