Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.

CONON VALLEY HYDRO ELECTRIC SCHEME, LOCH GLASCARNOCH DAMLB51706

Status: Designated

Documents

There are no additional online documents for this record.

Summary

Category
B
Date Added
11/02/2011
Local Authority
Highland
Planning Authority
Highland
Parish
Contin
NGR
NH 34549 70738
Coordinates
234549, 870738

Description

James Williamson and Partners (engineers for the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board technical panel), 1957. Prominent large curved dam flanked by turfed earth fill wings; central control tower and central fixed spillway with vehicular access road oversailing. Concrete mass gravity construction with rammed earth wings. Battered downstream face with concrete upstand walls to spillway. Tapered concrete piers, with single larger rectangular pier to centre above dispersal valve, support roadway with plain parapet above fixed spillway.

CONTROL TOWER: tall rectangular-plan control tower to centre of dam with 2-storey and attic section visible above dam wall, housing control gate for dam dispersal valve. Reinforced concrete with band courses and banded eaves course. Large vehicular access doorway to SE with single attic storey window above. Irregular fenestration elsewhere with small pane metal glazing in metal surrounds.

Statement of Special Interest

Loch Glascarnoch dam is a prominent large scale dam, lying adjacent to the A835 road to Ullapool. It is a good example of the work of prominent dam designers James Williamson and Partners and the tall central section makes a significant landscape contribution towering above the Aultguish Inn. It is also a key component of the Conon Valley hydro electric scheme, one of the major post-war hydro electric developments by the North of Scotland Hydro electric Board (NoSHEB). Loch Glascarnoch Dam is a good example of one of the larger dams built by NoSHEB. It forms the main storage reservoir for Mossford power station with water leaving via the tunnel intake gatehouse which lies a short distance upstream of the dam. The scheme played a key role in the realisation of the social agenda of NoSHEB by providing power to remote north highland communities and stimulating economic regeneration.

Conon Valley is a significant example of a large number of schemes developed in Scotland by the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board (NoSHEB), formed after 1943 as a nationalised body to oversee the development of Scotland's resources for water power. Conon Valley was one of a large number of schemes developed in Scotland by the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board (NoSHEB), formed after 1943 as a nationalised body to oversee the development of Scotland's resources for water power. The scheme played a key role in the realisation of the social agenda of NoSHEB by providing power to a remote community. Power generated on schemes in the southern Highlands, such as Tummel (see separate listings) was exported via the grid to the central belt, the profit from which subsidised the provision of power to remote north highland communities and stimulated economic regeneration. Under the leadership of eminent chairman Sir Tom Johnston the board undertook developments throughout highland Scotland and his aspirations saw the development of schemes in locations such as Loch Dubh near Ullapool and Storr Lochs on Skye. Johnstone's social aspirations and wider wishes to reinvigorate the economy of the Highlands ensured that schemes in remote areas formed 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 which included Reginald Fairlie (1883-1952), James Shearer (1881-1962) and Harold Ogle Tarbolton (1869-1947), 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 functional form of the buildings, as they left this to engineers, but they did influence the appearance and the style of the designs. The rigid views on the roles of engineers and architects during the design process resulted in the development of a style which can be characterised as vernacular modernism.

The design of Glascarnoch Dam is typical of Williamson's approach, with an innovative solution designed specifically to suit the requirements of a particular site. His design allowed for the use of earth wings, exploiting a natural gorge to allow the flanking wings to abut solid bedrock and minimised the need for concrete thus saving significant amounts of time and labour in building a concrete batching plant and bringing materials to site. Williamson was a prominent engineer who specialised in the design of dams following his innovative work on the Galloway Hydro Electric scheme (see separate listings) in the 1930s. He acted as one of the chief engineering advisors to NoSHEB and was the lead engineer for a large number of schemes.

(Listed 2011 as part of Hydroelectric Power Thematic Survey)

References

Bibliography

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); J Miller, The Dam Builders: Power from the Glens (2002) p92; Scottish Hydro Electric, Power From The Glens (2000) p10.

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.

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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to CONON VALLEY HYDRO ELECTRIC SCHEME, LOCH GLASCARNOCH DAM

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 17/07/2019 05:47