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Former Manager's Drawing Office, Former Great North of Scotland Locomotive Works, Harlaw Road

A Category B Listed Building in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.2879 / 57°17'16"N

Longitude: -2.379 / 2°22'44"W

OS Eastings: 377250

OS Northings: 821979

OS Grid: NJ772219

Mapcode National: GBR X8.VFWG

Mapcode Global: WH8NW.F2CW

Entry Name: Former Manager's Drawing Office, Former Great North of Scotland Locomotive Works, Harlaw Road

Listing Date: 2 July 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396836

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49302

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverurie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Inverurie and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Inverurie

Description

William Pickersgill, between 1902 and 1905. Rectangular plan, 2-storey, basement (to rear only) and attic building on sloping site. Large modern building and linking sections to rear not included in listing. Mixture of classical and other detailing; projecting skews and skewputts. Predominantly squared, coursed granite rubble; ashlar dressings. Base course; 1st floor cill course; double eaves band; eaves cornice. Predominantly regular fenestration.

SW ELEVATION: 4-bay elevation with projecting flat-roofed single storey entrance hall to centre. To ground floor of single storey section, timber-panelled door with narrow margin lights in opening with shaped lintel; above breaking eaves cornice, open-topped pediment flanked by finialled consoles. To attic floor, gable to left, long pilastered dormer to right.

NW ELEVATION: 6-bay elevation. Corbel table underneath eaves band to right.

NE ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation. Full height canted bay window to left; to centre, projecting link sections to extension to ground and 1st floors; to roof, gable to right.

SE ELEVATION: M-gabled elevation.

GLAZING etc: predominantly single-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; several rooflights.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Former Smithy, Furnace and Foundry Shop, Former Carriage and Wagon Shop and Former Workshop.

The Inverurie Locomotive and Carriage Works played a significant part in the development and history of Inverurie and the wider industrial and economic history of the North East. The works retain a high value within the industrial and railway history of Scotland, especially as it is one of only three locomotive works sites in Scotland which remain appreciably intact. Within the context of the United Kingdom as a whole, the buildings of Inverurie Locomotive Works make a valuable contribution to railway architectural heritage, and are particularly representative of the later generation of locomotive works.

During the earlier part of the nineteenth century, railway locomotives throughout both England and Scotland tended to be supplied by private engineering manufacturers. However, by the 1840s, when the major main-line railways were becoming established, several of them began to establish large locomotive depots, which were initially principally used for maintenance and repairs. As the decade moved on and the popularity of rail travel swiftly grew, it became clear that the private locomotive builders could not cope with the increased demand for new engines. Consequently, several of the railway companies began to establish their own locomotive construction works, some of which were purpose built from scratch. This trend continued throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century. However, following the rationalisation of the industry in the 1960s and after, the great majority of these works were closed, and the majority subsequently demolished.

In 1898, the Great North of Scotland Railway began construction of a new locomotive works to replace their works at Kittybrewster, which were considered too small and out-of-date to cope with the company's needs for manufacture and repair of locomotives and rolling stock. The new works were located on a 25-acre site in Inverurie. William Pickersgill, GNSR's locomotive superintendent, designed the complex. The works were completed by 1905.

The works complex consisted of a boiler, erecting and machine shop (demolished), paint shop (demolished), smithy, furnace and foundry (see separate List Description), shop and carriage and wagon shop (see separate List Description) and a smaller double-aisled building (see separate List description) and the managers drawing office. To the north-east of the works, is a small estate of purpose-built workers' housing (once known as 'the Colony'). The works closed in 1969.

The works at Inverurie were, for their time, advanced in terms of layout and equipment and included a 60 ton electric travelling crane for easy movement of locomotives over each other in the erecting shop, and a very wide use of electricity for lighting and powering various machines (electricity, taken from the works' current, was also supplied to the workers' homes, an unusual luxury for houses of this class at the turn of the century).

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