Listed Building

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LOCH VENACHAR DAM INCLUDING SLUICE HOUSE, WEIR AND FISH LADDER (FORMER GLASGOW CORPORATION WATER WORKS)LB4060

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
05/10/1971
Local Authority
Stirling
Planning Authority
Stirling
Parish
Callander
National Park
Loch Lomond And The Trossachs
NGR
NN 59792 6450
Coordinates
259792, 706450

Description

Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

John F Bateman (engineer), circa 1857. Low-lying masonry dam surmounted by fine 9-bay Classical sluice house; fish ladder extending to E; over-spill weir to adjoining to S with separate channel. Predominantly sandstone ashlar; coursed, bull-faced sandstone to sluice house.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: dam comprises 11 segmental-arched sluice openings housing cast-iron gates. Single-storey, 9-bay, symmetrical sluice house above with slightly advanced pedimented pavilions at centre and end bays. Base course; eaves cornice; regular fenestration with projecting cills and shallow pediment lintels. Timber-panelled entrance doors to side and E elevations of outer pavilion bays. Unusual polygonal glazing pattern with central star motif in iron lights. Stone slab roof. Ramped retaining walls extending to E. Stepped fish ladder to S side of E elevation; stepped sluice falls to N side of E elevation. Overspill weir extending immediately to S into separate channel.

Statement of Special Interest

A fine and remarkably little-altered example of a mid 19th century dam with a handsome sluice house and relatively early example of a fish ladder. The sluice house has a striking presence in the surrounding low-lying countryside.

The dam was built as part of the Glasgow Corporation Water Works system from Loch Katrine (see below for significance of the scheme as a whole). Prior to the implementation of this scheme, the water from Loch Katrine fed into the River Forth via the River Teith. In order to prevent the water levels in these two rivers dropping significantly, Loch Venachar was dammed to form a compensation reservoir, its height being raised by about 5 feet. Water feeds continuously through the sluices and fish ladder into a man-made channel that drains into the Eas Gobhain river (a tributary of the Teith). The weir adjoining the sluice allows water in the Loch to feed into the original line of the Eas Gobhain.

The Glasgow Corporation Water Works system, which brings water down to Glasgow from Loch Katrine, was admired internationally as an engineering marvel when it was opened in 1860. It was one of the most ambitious civil engineering schemes to have been undertaken in Europe since Antiquity, employing the most advanced surveying and construction techniques available. The scheme represents the golden age of municipal activity in Scotland and not only provided Glasgow with fresh drinking water, thereby paving the way for a significant increase in hygiene and living standards, but also a source of hydraulic power that was indispensable to the growth of Glasgow's industry as a cheap and clean means of lifting and moving heavy plant in docks, shipyards and warehouses. The civic pride in this achievement is visible in every structure connected with the scheme, from the neatly-detailed gates and railings along its route, to the massive masonry structures and iron troughs that carry the conduit and, in most cases, have withstood without failure or noticeable deterioration the daily pressure of many millions of gallons of water for well over 100 years.

Glasgow's Lord Provost, Robert Stewart (1810-66) was the driving force behind the implementation of a municipally-owned water scheme to provide clean water to Glasgow's rapidly increasing population. Loch Katrine was identified as a suitable supply and after some objections from various parties, an Act of Parliament authorising the scheme was passed in 1855. The scheme was built in two main phases following this Act and another 1885. The 1855 scheme was opened by Queen Victoria in 1859 and was fully operational by 1860.

John Frederick Bateman (1810-1889) was chosen as the engineer for the scheme and construction work commenced in 1856. Bateman was to become one of the world's most eminent water engineers, and worked on a number of other water supply schemes in Britain, Europe and Asia. He was assisted by James Morrison Gale (1830-1905), who on the completion of the initial scheme in 1859 was appointed Water Engineer for the City of Glasgow, a post he held till 1902. Gale was responsible for over-seeing the incremental expansion of the first scheme during the 1860s and '70s and the building of the second aqueduct from 1885 onwards.

List description updated following the thematic review of Loch Katrine water supply system in 2008.

References

Bibliography

Historic photographs (Scottish Water), circa 1875. Shown on 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map (circa 1862-3). RCAHMS and Jelle Muylle, Glasgow Corporation Water Works Loch Katrine Scheme: Loch Katrine to Milngavie (survey report, not published, 2007). R Paxton & J Shipway, Civil Engineering Heritage: Scotland Lowlands and Borders (2007), p331-2.

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. 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.

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Printed: 21/05/2019 13:33