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


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Date Added
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
NO 12038 23137
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.

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 26/05/2024 22:21