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
Planning Authority
Inverness And Bona
NH 61834 40430
261834, 840430


Circa 1850. 2 storey with upper breaking eaves, 3-bay symmetrical house located on the north bank of the canal overlooking Dochgarroch locks. Coursed rubble with tooled and painted ashlar margins, rendered to the gables and the rear elevation. There is a gabled timber porch at the centre bay with a 3-pane rectangular fanlight, and a lean-to extension at the east gable

Predominantly 6 over 2 pane glazing in timber sash and case windows with piended dormers to the first floor. Ashlar end stacks and a pitched slate roof.

Barn: rectangular-plan barn set at right angles to west gable of the cottage. Rendered rubble with slit vents in the long elevations. Pitched, slate roof with a small loft window in south gable.

Statement of Special Interest

This lock keeper's cottage was constructed circa 1850 and is situated on the north bank of Dochgarroch regulating lock, the first lock after Loch Dochfour. The setting of the cottage is largely unaltered with the building retaining its barn and front garden. The functional relationship of these two buildings and its proximity to Dochgarroch locks adds to their interest. Lock keeper's cottages such as this one at Dochgarrach are an integral and important part of the Caledonian Canal which, at the time of its construction, was the largest canal in the United Kingdom.

A storm in January 1849 caused flooding with water breaching the canal bank at Dochgarroch. The repairs necessitated by the flood were completed by July 1850 and including the raising of the canal bank. The house was possibly constructed to accommodate more keepers to assist with the maintenance of these locks.

The previous listed building record written in 1986 noted that the building was possibly raised from an early 19th century single storey dwelling. At the time of writing we do not have documentary evidence to support this claim, nor is it suggested in the building fabric.

The primary role of a lock keeper was to maintain and operate the locks and cottages were constructed adjacent to them for convenience. The cottages were often set in a garden to grow vegetables and keep poultry and animals.

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 5417, 6498 and 6499.

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 building record updated as part of the Scottish Canals estate review (2013-14).



Ordnance Survey (1881) Inverness Mainland Sheet XI.16 (Combined) 25 miles to the inch. 1st Ed. London: Ordnance Survey.

Lindsay, J. (1968) Canals of Scotland. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p170.

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.

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Lock Keeper’s Cottage and Barn, Dochgarroch Locks, Caledonian Canal, looking northwest, during daytime on a cloudy day.

Printed: 22/07/2024 02:18