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
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
NN 91267 59775
291267, 759775


Harold Ogle Tarbolton (architect for the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board architectural panel) and J Guthrie Brown of Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners (consulting engineer), 1949-50. 7-bay rectangular-plan classical modern power station comprising integrated turbine hall, switch house, transformers and repair shop with integrated administration block and control room for Tummel Garry scheme. Pre-cast concrete blocks. Slightly advanced coped eaves course.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: roughly 3 bays with taller advanced centre bay. Projecting moulded doorcase to centre with relief carving of North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board coat of arms above 2-leaf timber panelled door. Segmental headed voussoired window above. Rectangular windows to flanking bays at ground and 1st floor with slightly advanced cills.

S (SERVICE RANGE) ELEVATION: roughly 3-bay office block to right (E) with stepped bays to left (W). Advanced 3-bay transformer shed with open roof and metal screens to side set into concrete surrounds. Regular fenestration to office block with irregular fenestration to stepped bays.

W ELEVATION: turbine hall to left (N) and various machinery set within compound of mesh screens and concrete frames to right. Full-height keystoned rectangular window to centre bay of turbine hall.

N (TURBINE HALL) ELEVATION: oversailing tailrace to right (W) roughly 7 bay symmetrical turbine hall elevation with administration block to far left (E). Advanced end bays to turbine hall with 5 full-height keystoned windows with dividing pilasters to centre bays; slightly smaller windows with broad transom bands to advanced flanking bays. Lower 5-bay section to administration block at far left (E) 2 storey with raised basement to terminal bays. Regular fenestration.

Predominantly small pane glazed metal windows with some hopper top openings to turbine hall; later PVCu glazing to administration block. Flat platform roof recessed behind parapet; integrated rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: large vestibule opening onto top lit double height marble staircase with upper landing leading to offices and former control room. Timber doors and polished parquet flooring. Former doorway to turbine hall on axis with main entrance now blocked (2009). Predominantly plain functional interior to turbine hall. Single large space with trussed ceiling and large travelling gantry crane. Some terracotta tiles to floor.

MEMORIAL ARCH: 1951. Horse-shoe shaped arch constructed of quartzitic schist with flanking ashlar buttresses and flat coping. Inscribed To the memory of the men who lost their lives on the construction of Clunie Tunnel.

Statement of Special Interest

Clunie power station is a well-detailed and substantial example of a Modernist designed scheme undertaken by the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board (NoSHEB) and is a good example of the confident use of exposed concrete by NoSHEB. The station is located in a wooded setting on the banks of the man-made Loch Faskally which provides pondage for Pitlochry Power Station lying directly downstream (see separate listing). The station acted as the control centre for the Tummel Garry scheme with some of the original control room retained to the interior.

The memorial arch is a replica of the cross section of the tunnel which connects the power station to Clunie Dam (see separate listing). The arch commemorates the death of 5 men during the construction of the tunnel when lightning struck a face where a live charge had just been laid.

Clunie power station forms an important component of one of the major post-war hydro electric developments by the NoSHEB, expanding a scheme developed during the 1930s (see separate listings for Tummel Bridge and Rannoch power stations). The scheme played a key role in the realisation of the social agenda of NoSHEB by providing power for export to the populous central belt and in turn subsidising other schemes to supply power to remote north highland communities and stimulating economic regeneration. This commitment saw the development of schemes in locations such as Loch Dubh near Ullapool and Storr Lochs on Skye. Johnston's social aspirations and wider wishes to reinvigorate the economy of the Highlands were behind these projects which were a key part of the NoSHEB development plan.

All of the developments carried out by NoSHEB were subject to parliamentary approval and objections on the grounds of scenic amenity were common. In order to meet these objections the board appointed a panel of architectural advisers. After receiving recommendations from RIAS Reginald Fairlie (1883-1952), James Shearer (1881-1962) and Harold Ogle Tarbolton (186-1947) were appointed in 1943. Initially the role of the panel was to adjudicate on competition entries for designs, but by 1947 it had become one of designers. The panel had little control over the form of the buildings, as they left this to engineers, but they did influence the appearance and the style of the designs. The design of Clunie Power Station is typical of Harold Ogle Tarbolton's bold designs for NoSHEB as can be seen in his work at Sloy (see separate listings). This contrasts with the later approach of the board after Tarbolton's death, with the focus on the integration of buildings with the landscape by the use of vernacular features.

Harold Ogle Tarbolton became involved in the design of hydro electric infrastructure for NoSHEB late in his career (he died in 1947), but he had been a member of the Amenity Committee which considered the work carried out under the Galloway Water Power Act of 1929, acting as advisory architect for the Galloway schemes and designed the associated housing schemes. As a consequence of his experience in Galloway and his original training as a civil engineer he was appointed to the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board alongside James Shearer and Reginald Fairlie. His two most prominent commissions for the power stations are those at Loch Sloy and Pitlochry (see separate listings). Both of these designs are characterised by confident use of modern classicism and bold application of pre-cast concrete panels.

(Category changed from A to B and description updated as part of the Hydro Electric Power Thematic Survey 2011)



National Archives of Scotland (NAS), Ref: NSE North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board Collection (1943 -1990); NAS, Ref: NSE1 North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board Minutes (1943-1990); NAS, Ref NSE2 North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board Annual Reports (1943-1990); Peter Payne, The Hydro: A Study of the Development of the Major Hydro-Electric Schemes Undertaken by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board (1988) p54; Emma Wood, The Hydro Boys (2002) p83; J Miller, The Dam Builders: Power from the Glens (2002) p42: Scottish Hydro Electric, Power From The Glens (2000) p18; Colin Liddell, Pitlochry Heritage of a Highland District (1993) p15, 110.

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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.

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