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- Category: A
- Date Added: 20/05/1965
- Local Authority: Perth And Kinross
- Planning Authority: Perth And Kinross
- Burgh: Perth
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NO 12038 23137
- Coordinates: 312038, 723137
Adam Anderson, 1832. Outstanding, 2-storey, Neo-Classical former waterworks engine house and tank with landmark domed rotunda. ROTUNDA: Lower part: ashlar with Roman Doric pilasters and blind panelled recesses at each bay; upper part (former cistern tank; painted white) set back behind balustrade, cast-iron plates with blind consoled windows fluted Ionic pilasters and ornamented swagged frieze incorporating burgh arms. Ribbed dome surmounted by low cupola with decorated drum. Inscription over door in rotunda 'Aquam Igne Et Aqua Haurio'.
FORMER ENGINE HOUSE: to N, single-storey, flat-roofed rectangular-plan wing with triglyphed Doric pilasters at corner angles; panelled parapet; tall Doric-columned chimney capped by roman urn (fibreglass replica).
Statement of Special Interest
The former Perth Water Works of 1832 is one of Scotland's most significant industrial buildings. It is the earliest identified example of a large scale cast-iron building in Scotland and may be the very first in the world. Occupying a critical corner site at one of the main entry points to the city, its rotunda with iconic dome and tall engine house chimney is visible from many vantage points, providing the city with one of its most distinctive landmarks.
The Water Works was built to designs by Adam Anderson, the rector of Perth Academy. Clean water was drawn from filter beds at Moncreiffe Island in the Tay and pumped under the river by a steam-engine into the tank within the rotunda. It held 146,000 gallons of water producing enough to supply nearly all the town's commercial and residential needs. The Latin inscription over the door in the rotunda translates as 'I Draw Water By Fire and Water (Steam)'. The buildings became redundant when a new city waterworks was opened in 1965. The original urn atop the enginehouse chimney was destroyed by lightning in 1871.
It was restored in 1973 for use as a Tourist Information Centre by James Morris & Robert Steedman. The building was further converted to an art gallery for the display of J. D. Fergusson's works and other temporary exhibitions in 1992. The dome was reconstructed by Bell Ingram Design in 2003 as part of a £1 milllion restoration funded by The Heritage Lottery, Historic Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council to safeguard its national significance as a key monument to Scottish water engineering.
List description updated at resurvey (2009).
Drawings in Dundee Library, Charles Ower Collection. NSA Vol 10 p86. Nick Haynes, RIAS Perth and Kinross - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2000) p14. John Gifford, The Buildings Of Scotland - Perth And Kinross (2007) p602.
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