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Gleneagles Brewery And Maltings, Blackford

A Category C Listed Building in Blackford, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.2605 / 56°15'37"N

Longitude: -3.7837 / 3°47'1"W

OS Eastings: 289604

OS Northings: 708983

OS Grid: NN896089

Mapcode National: GBR 1K.9FYD

Mapcode Global: WH5PM.VXD0

Plus Code: 9C8R7668+5G

Entry Name: Gleneagles Brewery And Maltings, Blackford

Listing Name: Former Gleneagles Maltings, excluding factory buildings attached to the southeast, Moray Street, Blackford

Listing Date: 26 September 1989

Last Amended: 7 May 2018

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335817

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4543

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Blackford

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathallan

Parish: Blackford

Traditional County: Perthshire

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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A former maltings constructed in 1896-1897 and designed by Russell and Spence. It is a four-storey, and three by twelve-bay, rectangular plan, rubble-built building, formerly part of an extensive brewery complex. There are 20th century brick and concrete buildings attached to the southeast which are not included in the listing.

There are small glazed windows at the ground and third floors, with larger and louvered windows at the first and second malt floors. The lower parts of the first and second floors have small panes, and the third floor windows have casement shutters. The roofs are gabled and slated. There are cast iron tie-plates at the second floor.

The interior of the maltings was not seen in 2017. Photographs dating to 2017 show that the building has two rows of circular cast iron columns running lengthwise supporting steel beams on each floor. The ground, first and second floors are concrete and there are timber tongue and groove floors on timber cross beams to the third and attic floors. There are dogleg stairs to the southeast and southwest corners of the building that provide access to the upper levels.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: factory buildings attached to the southeast.

Statement of Interest

The former Gleneagles maltings building contributes to an understanding of the development and importance of Blackford as a brewery town and its prosperity during the mid to late 19th century. It is a largely intact example of its building type and is now a rare survival in the local context and is also among a relatively small number of surviving maltings in Scotland. The building is directly illustrative of the 19th century brewing process before it was fully mechanised in the 20th century. The building has a significant relationship with the neighbouring late 19th century hotel and is a prominent historic building within the village of Blackford, which had long connections with the brewing industry.

Age and Rarity

The maltings was formerly part of a complex known as the 'Gleneagles Maltings and Brewery' and is the only historic brewery building remaining on this site. It is also the only building related to Blackford's brewing industry which survives. Gleneagles Maltings was the last commercial independent floor maltings in Scotland. It closed in April 1989.

William Eadie began brewing on this site in the early 19th century. Eadie established himself in the town in 1809 and founded a brew house and posting hotel (or coaching inn) including livery stables near this location.

An article in the Dundee Advertiser from March 1881 publicises the site for sale, the particulars consisting of a hotel, brewery, plant and dwelling. The advertisements continue throughout the year until November when there is notice the property (Blackford Hotel and New Street brewery) has been sold to a Mr McLean.

In April 1897, the Dundee Advertiser published an article promoting a new Blackford Hotel, forming the frontage of Moray Street and erected on the site of Mr Eadie's establishment. Sometime after 1890, William Thomson purchased Mr Eadie's property and constructed a new brewery, adding the maltings and an aerated water factory to the east of the brewery. New stabling was erected to the rear with cart and lorry sheds and a hayloft above. The old inn (next to the Blackford Hotel) became a dwelling for the brewery manager and his family.

Thomson died before the maltings were constructed at this site and his company, W. B. Thomson Ltd, went into liquidation in 1915. The brewery complex passed to J & A Davidson & Co, and then to Calders of Alloa. The maltings building was then leased to Gleneagles Maltings Ltd in 1931 and they supplied raw material for Veda malted wheat loaves, which were sold before and after the Second World War, and more recently in Northern Ireland. By 1970 the brewery was closed, however the maltings were in the ownership of Simpsons Ltd. The former brewery, kiln, and stables buildings were demolished in the early 1990s. The maltings complex changed use in 1994 to become a water bottling factory for Highland Spring Group, for which the building is still used (2018).

Maltings associated with the brewing industry were once a common building type across Scotland and while a number are known to survive, few remaining examples are in or near their original form. The 18th century saw the industry develop towards large-scale industrial breweries and most maltings buildings that survive today date to the 18th and 19th centuries. As brewing technology shifted in the 20th century, the need for floor maltings diminished and as a result many of the buildings were altered to change their use.

Few maltings from Scotland's once widespread brewing industry survive (less than 20 maltings are listed and many of those relate to distilling and not exclusively to brewing as at Blackford) and Blackford has a particularly significant part in that history.

Blackford is a former industrial village previously known for its breweries, tanneries and sawmills. Weaving and boot making were also important village industries before the end of the 19th century. Access to an abundance of water in this location influenced the development of these trades and the brewing business was sustained from locally sourced malting barley. Records indicate Blackford was the site of one of Scotland's earliest breweries established in the late 15th century. Brewing at Blackford can be dated back to 1488 when King James IV bought a barrel of Blackford Ale, making it the earliest recorded example of a public brewery in Scotland. (www.blackfordhistoricalsociety.com).

At the time that this brewery was built there were three large breweries in Blackford. Comparison with other surviving maltings suggests that a direct relationship with a hotel or inn was not common. The former maltings in Newton of Falkland (LB13311) and nearby Pitlessie in Fife (LB2601) as well as the brewery in Belhaven, East Lothian (LB24730) appear to have no such link. The direct relationship between the brewery to the ready market of the hotel to Moray Street in Blackford is considered to be of interest and likely to be very rare as most public houses in Scotland were commissioned by individual publicans rather than brewing companies (Donnachie, p.153).

While Blackford was once recognised as a centre for commercial brewing, there are no other buildings of this type that survive in the area and as such it is a rare survival and an important reminder of historic local brewing industry. It is a largely intact example of its building type and is now a rare survival and is also among a relatively small number of surviving maltings in Scotland.

Architectural or Historic Interest


The interior was not seen in 2017 but, from recent photographs, it is known to retain its structural cast iron columns. The survival of the columns are typical for this building type and are of interest in listing terms.

Plan form

The rectangular plan form of the maltings building, evident on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1899), is still seen today. The long rectangular plan form is typical for this building type and is of interest in listing terms.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The former Gleneagles maltings building largely retains its form which is characteristic of this building type, with large undivided floor spaces with cast iron columns and including small, regularly spaced openings, some with timber shuttering. The design and construction in stone is typical for a maltings building of this date.

Malt forms part of the key ingredient to make beer and whisky, and is the process of artificially germinating barley, often in floor maltings as at Gleneagles. The malt floors at Gleneagles typically have a regular series of partially louvered and regularly spaced windows, as ventilation was a major requirement of the malting process. Maltings buildings are generally long rather than broad so the internal temperatures could be easily regulated as the grain was germinating. The lower floors were used for malting, with the barley loft on the top floor. The maltings at Gleneagles are typical of the industry, comprising large open spaces for malting on multiple levels, with supporting ventilation. This highly practical design was used for most maltings buildings from the 18th century onwards, as brewing moved to an industrial scale, and continued in use until the mechanisation of the process in the 20th century.

The previous listed building record (dating to 1989) describes some of the building's functions. The maltings comprised two malt floors, a 3,000 quarter grain loft, 18 malt bins of 250 quarters each, two 50 quarter steeps, a double kiln with 50 quarters per floor and a barley drying kiln. A Shanks oil engine (in situ, in 1988) powered the elevators.

Russell and Spence of Glasgow were an architectural and engineering practice who advertised themselves as distillery and brewery engineers and architects, and rice mill engineers and architects in the 1888 Post Office Directory. Little else is known of this practice (see Dictionary of Scottish Architects).


The maltings building's immediate setting within a brewery complex has been altered following the loss of the brewery and kiln buildings from the site to the east and southeast. This loss has reduced its contextual interest. There is still a relationship however with its contemporary hotel and caretaker's accommodation to the south and facing Moray Street.

Most of the buildings in Blackford date to the mid to latter half of the 19th century or 20th century. There are two main streets in the village that run parallel to each other: Stirling Street, the older main road that connected the towns of Stirling to Perth; and Moray Street, It was also known as New Street to locals. Moray Street was laid out in the 1860s and includes most of the village's public buildings such as the parish church, the Free Church, the village hall and the primary school. The street setting has not changed significantly since the hotel was built and it largely retains its 19th century character.

The relationship between the maltings building and the hotel facing Moray Street is significant. Although the setting has changed with the loss of many of the brewery buildings there remains a tangible and visible connection between the maltings and the hotel which increases the interest of the buildings. They are both evidence of the brewing boom of the late 19th century.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2017).

Former Gleneagles Maltings, excluding factory buildings attached to the southeast,

Moray Street, Blackford, category of listing changed from B to C and listed building record revised in 2018. Previously listed as 'Moray Street, Gleneagles Maltings and Brewery'.

External Links

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