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Leith Docks, Imperial Dock Grain Elevator

A Category B Listed Building in Leith, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9796 / 55°58'46"N

Longitude: -3.162 / 3°9'43"W

OS Eastings: 327585

OS Northings: 676902

OS Grid: NT275769

Mapcode National: GBR 8V3.ZY

Mapcode Global: WH6SF.DYHT

Entry Name: Leith Docks, Imperial Dock Grain Elevator

Listing Date: 29 March 1995

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 364882

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB27619

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Leith

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Leith Dock Commission, 1933-4 (A H Roberts, engineer), extended N 1957-8 (Kinnear & Gordon , M C White, chief engineer), extended again 1960s. Monumental 15-bay flat-roofed concrete grain elevator and warehouse with front block rising 5-storeys over storage base, small power generating plan to NE, asbestos-clad grain conveyors on steel stilts connecting Imperial Dock.

ELEVATOR BLOCK: 15-bay with bays divided by shallow pilaster strips, tall storage base blank with openings and shutes under lean-to roof to SE. 5-storey elevator block 2-bays deep above with single windows to each bay (to all elevations), alternating taller storeys, brick infill to aprons, replacement windows.

STORAGE BLOCKS: 10-bay tall storage block part of 1st phase, detailed as above with windows at top floor, extra storey to 3 southernmost bays. Subsequent extensions of 6- and 11-bay, detailed as above, separated by narrow gaps and connected at top floor. Rear extension with open ground floor for loading to last 4-bays.

Replacement window to original block, original small pane metal hopper windows to 2nd and 3rd phase.

INTERIOR: elevator block with frame of Y-shaped concrete columns and beams. 333 bins encased in concrete to storage blocks; elevator block with original machinery of conveyors, shutes and elevators; full-height cast-iron staircase to SW corner.

Statement of Interest

A well preserved and early example of a concrete grain elevator, remarkable for the survival of its original machinery (still in use). Grain was Leith?s main import. In the first half of the 20th century industrial buildings such as grain elevators provided a focus for the application of modern architectural styles and progressive technology. Architects like Walter Gropius saw the grain elevator and its family of industrial design as the embodiment of the new technological and rational age.

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