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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
East Renfrewshire
Planning Authority
East Renfrewshire
NS 51769 56993
251769, 656993


William Gale engineer, circa 1853-4. Octagonal-plan, gently tapered tower with crenellated parapet and doorway, windows and balcony at upper level. Sandstone ashlar. 1899 handrail to cantilevered stone balcony; string course; corbelled parapet. Chamfered openings with hoodmoulds; stone mullioned bipartite windows to 3 elevations; various openings below water level. Interior contains operating machinery for 3 sluices. 1945 trussed footbridge with 1920 entrance gate.

Statement of Special Interest

A good and early working example of a reservoir draw-off tower. Its function was to draw water out of the reservoir, which was then discharged into Ryatt Linn Falls Basin on the other side of Aurs Road and thence would enter either Ryatt Linn, Waulkmill Glen or Littleton reservoir, depending on the level of demand.

Balgray reservoir was the last, and largest reservoir built for the Gorbals Gravitation Water Company (GCWC) as part of an extension to their original scheme, which was constructed 1847-8. The GCWC scheme was one of the first large-scale water supply schemes in Scotland and, although eclipsed by the slightly later scheme from Loch Katrine, is nevertheless of considerable historical and engineering interest.

Balgray reservoir covers an area of 153.5 acres with a capacity of nearly 120 million cubic feet. This more than doubled the size of the original scheme, the three reservoirs of which (Waulkmill Glen, Ryatt Linn and Littleton) have a capacity of roughly 50 million cubic feet. As well as significantly increasing capacity, Balgray was designed to allow sediment in the water to settle out before the water passed through to the smaller reservoirs. The principal feature of Balgray reservoir is this crenellated draw-off tower, which encases a large cast-iron cylinder with openings at various heights controlled by sluices that feed into two 24-inch diameter pipes. A similar arrangement exists at Waulkmill Glen reservoir.

The Gorbals Gravitation Water Company was originally a private firm established to supply water to the Gorbals, the inhabitants of which were keen to establish their own water supply as water provision in the area was poor, relying largely on wells. The Brockburn was identified as a good potential source, and after some opposition an Act of Parliament was passed in 1846 allowing this. The first phase of the scheme (which was always intended for expansion) comprised Waulkmill Glen, Ryatt Linn and Littleton reservoirs and associated filters, and supplied water to the Gorbals, Pollokshaws and Govan. It was built in 1847-8 by the engineer William Gale, elder brother of James M Gale who worked on the Loch Katrine scheme. The construction of the scheme was a considerable engineering achievement and the cast-iron pipes used to carry the water from the reservoirs to the filters and thence into the city were made using newly-developed vertical casting technologies.

In 1853 a further Act of Parliament was passed to allow the expansion of the scheme with the construction of Balgray reservoir. This enabled it to supply Rutherglen, Nitshill, Hurlet, Barrhead, Renfrew and surrounding areas with water as well as the places mentioned above. In 1855 the company was bought out by Glasgow Corporation Waterworks, and therefore became publically-owned.

Listed as part of the thematic review of the Glasgow water supply system (2008).



shown on 1st edition OS map (circa 1863). Paxton & Shipway, Civil Engineering Heritage: Scotland Lowlands and Borders (2007), p251. Jelle Muyle and RCAHMS, Gorbals Gravitation Water Company / Glasgow Corporation Waterworks and Related Structures (unpublished survey report, 2008).

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.

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Printed: 23/04/2024 14:40