History in Structure

Barn, Dochgarroch Lock, Caledonian Canal

A Category C Listed Building in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.4331 / 57°25'59"N

Longitude: -4.3032 / 4°18'11"W

OS Eastings: 261823

OS Northings: 840424

OS Grid: NH618404

Mapcode National: GBR H9R2.FL1

Mapcode Global: WH3FH.WF0L

Plus Code: 9C9QCMMW+6P

Entry Name: Barn, Dochgarroch Lock, Caledonian Canal

Listing Name: Lock Keeper's Cottage and Barn, Caledonian Canal, Dochgarroch Locks, Dochgarroch

Listing Date: 17 April 1986

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 340076

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB8033

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200340076

Location: Inverness and Bona

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Parish: Inverness And Bona

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Tagged with: Barn

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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 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).

External Links

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