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

PLAQUE IN BOUNDARY WALL ONLY, CLACHNAHARRY ROAD, INVERNESSLB52229

Status: Designated

Documents

There are no additional online documents for this record.

Summary

Category
C
Date Added
19/06/2014
Local Authority
Highland
Planning Authority
Highland
Burgh
Inverness
NGR
NH 64954 46439
Coordinates
264954, 846439

Description

1822, erected 1922. Large white marble slab inscribed with a poem by Robert Southey set within concrete frame with inscription (see Notes) and chamfered base. Mounted on boundary wall and facing the Caledonian Canal.

Statement of Special Interest

This is a unique example of a commemorative plaque alongside the Caledonian Canal, with a poem by Robert Southey, the then Poet Laureate. It is an important part of the history of the canal and provides an insight into the character of its principal engineer Thomas Telford. Unusually the plaque is older than it appears as it was cut in 1822 but not erected until 1922. Cameron notes that this plaque was to be one of three erected on the opening of the canal in 1822 and they were intended to act as markers. The verse by Southey extols the virtues of Telford and the engineering feat of the Caledonian Canal. However it is understood that these plaques were not erected following an instruction by Telford because they neglected to mention the work of his consulting engineer, William Jessop and the other engineers. This plaque, intended to be sited at Banavie, was rediscovered in the early 20th century and erected in 1922 to mark the centenary of the opening of the canal.

The whole of the Caledonian Canal is a Scheduled Monument which identifies it as being of national importance to Scotland. For this section of the Caledonian Canal see Scheduled Monument No 5292.

The plaque is inscribed with a 25-line poem and is set within a concrete frame with the inscription 'Originally written by Robert Southey, to his friend Thomas Telford at the opening of the Caledonian Canal in October, 1822. Erected at the centenary'. Cameron notes that the plaque was made in Edinburgh.

Robert Southey (1774 '1843) was an English poet of the Romantic period and Poet Laureate from 1813 until his death in 1843. In 1819, Southey met Telford and from August to October that year, Southey accompanied Telford on an extensive tour of his engineering projects in the Highlands. Southey kept a diary of this tour which was published in 1929 as Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819.

The Caledonian Canal is one of five canals surviving in Scotland but is unique among them as being the only one entirely funded by public money. The canal was part of a wider infrastructure initiative across the Highlands to facilitate trade and the growth of industry and, most importantly for the Government, to tackle the emigration problem resulting from the Highland Clearances, by providing much-needed employment. The experienced engineer Thomas Telford submitted a report in 1802 to Government commissioners which detailed the route and size of the canal. The canal connects Inverness in the north to Corpach, near Fort William in the west, by linking four lochs: Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy. The total length of the canal is 60 miles, but only 22 miles are man-made.

Built to take sea-going ships, including the 32-gun and 44-gun frigates of the Royal Navy, the Caledonian Canal was designed on a much larger scale than other canals in Britain and the locks were the largest ever constructed at that time. This combined with the remoteness of the location and the variable ground conditions, make it a great feat of engineering and construction.

Telford was appointed principal engineer to the commission with William Jessop as consulting engineer. Although work began in 1804 rising costs and the scale of the project resulted in slow progress and the first complete journey was made on 23-24 October 1822. Whilst the canal was constructed for commercial use it was never a commercial success. Since its opening it was beset by problems and had to be closed for repairs and improvements in the 1840s. However the canal became popular with passenger steamers with tourism increasing following a visit by Queen Victoria on 16 September 1873.

Listed as part of the Scottish Canals estate review (2013-14).

References

Bibliography

Cameron, A. D. (2005) The Caledonian Canal. p103 Edinburgh: Birlinn

Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, CANMORE, Inverness, 45 Clachnaharry Road, Clachnaharry Canal Offices And Telford Commemorative Plaque http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/101394/details/ [accessed 11/12/2013].

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

Images

Plaque in boundary wall of 43-45 Clachnaharry Road, looking west.
Text Plaque in boundary wall of 43-45 Clachnaharry Road, looking west.

Printed: 03/10/2022 16:10