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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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  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 12/03/1981


  • Local Authority: Highland
  • Planning Authority: Highland
  • Burgh: Nairn

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NH 88152 56018
  • Coordinates: 288152, 856018


For the Highland Railway Company, 1885-1891. Highland Railway station group.

MAIN STATION OFFICES: dated 1885, long single storey H-plan building on down platform with low wing to east. Coursed rubble with broached ashlar dressings. Projecting cross wings with crowstepped gables and carved stone finials, rose, thistle and star; west gable end to platform with canted bay window. Platform canopy borne on clustered cast-iron columns on hexagonal bases. Tall square and round chimney stacks; slate roof.

FORMER WAITING ROOM AND SHELTER: located on up platform: later 19th century, single storey, timber weatherboarded waiting room and separate shelter with swept, piended roofs. Former waiting room has advanced centre section with central door; mullioned and transomed windows; porch to each gable; panelled doors. (presently used as retail premises, 2013). Smaller ancillary shelter to NE, also with slate roof.

WEST SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NH 87978, 55905) 1891, McKenzie and Holland Type 3 (Highland variant). 2-storey, rectangular-plan signal box. Timber weatherboarding with contrasting painted margins set on brick base; doorway in small projecting porch under valanced lintel fronted by narrow balcony and approached by short wooden forestair. Continuous 4-pane glazing to track elevation, returning along E and W gables. Corrugated metal roof. Lever frame to interior.

EAST SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NH 88284, 56083) 1891, McKenzie and Holland Type 3 (Highland variant). Broadly same as W signal box but single-storey appearance due to raised platform location and without balcony or forestair. Lever frame to interior.

FOOTBRIDGE. late 19th century cast-iron footbridge with lattice girders, linking up and down platforms; gas lamp brackets.

Statement of Special Interest

The station buildings at Nairn provide a particularly rich and complete representation of a late 19th century Highland Railway station. The station design is stylistically significant within the Highland Railway tradition. Nairn railway station was re-built by the Highland Railway Company in 1885, in part due to the increasing prosperity of the town as a holiday resort. The datestone is on the north gable of the station offices. The principal station buildings are similar in design to those at Pitlochry (see separate listing). The Inverness and Nairn Railway opened in 1855 and was the first railway line in the Highlands. The company was subsumed in 1865 by founding members of the Highland Railway Company.

Signal boxes are a distinctive and increasingly rare building type that make a significant contribution to Scotland's diverse industrial heritage. The McKenzie & Holland signal boxes at Nairn date from 1891. They are slightly different in design, illustrating how boxes could be modified to suit their intended position, on or off the platform. This is the last Highland Railway station with signal boxes at either end of the loop. Set a considerable distance apart, the boxes were manned by a duty signaller who cycled between them on a bicycle provided by the rail company. This continued until the Nairn boxes became surplus to operational requirements in 2000.

The footbridge is the classic lattice-girder type for Highland stations of the period.

List description and statutory address revised as part of Scottish Signal Box Review (2012-13). East and West Signal Boxes previously listed separately as "Nairn Railway Station, West and East Signal Boxes North (Down) Platform".



Inverness Courier Jan 13, 1885. John Hume, Industrial Archaeology Of Scotland, ii. pp239-40. The Signalling Study Group, The Signal Box - A Pictorial History and Guide To Designs (1986) p197. Gordon Biddle, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings (2003). Peter Kay and Derek Coe, Signalling Atlas and Signal Box Directory - Great Britain and Ireland (2010 - 3rd Edition).

About Designations

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: 26/10/2016 20:07