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Managers House, Lighthouse Depot, Oban

A Category C Listed Building in Oban, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.411 / 56°24'39"N

Longitude: -5.481 / 5°28'51"W

OS Eastings: 185348

OS Northings: 729740

OS Grid: NM853297

Mapcode National: GBR DCVS.25R

Mapcode Global: WH0GK.S453

Plus Code: 9C8PCG69+9H

Entry Name: Managers House, Lighthouse Depot, Oban

Listing Name: Gallanach Road, Lighthouse Depot Including Gatepiers, Manager's House with Outbuildings to E and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 30 July 2003

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396850

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49357

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200396850

Location: Oban

County: Argyll and Bute

Town: Oban

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Circa 1904; with later alterations. 2-storey rectangular plan warehouse with office accommodation at 1st floor. Coursed granite rubble; harled pointing; raised sandstone ashlar quoins and dressings; corniced eaves course to single storey garages to N. Broad coped crowstepped gables; corner octagonal tower abutting E gable; circular windows to gableheads. 2-storey, rectangular plan manager's house (circa 1904) on imprint of 19th century building; 2 adjacent earlier 19th century single storey, pitched roofed, coursed and pinned rubble outbuildings flanking forecourt to manager's house.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 5 large ground floor windows. Large 1st floor door to centre right with ramp entrance (2001) bridging raised ground.

E ELEVATION: 5-bays. Wide 2-storey gabled section to left, garage door at ground floor (glass brick fanlight directly above), door to left, circular window to gablehead. Central semi-octagonal tower, door at 1st stage, slightly corbelled-out upper stage with 5 windows, ball finial to conical roof. Flat-roofed single storey garage to right, door with oversized glass brick fanlight to penultimate bay right, large garage door (inserted) to far right.

N (SHORE) ELEVATION: 7-bays. Advanced flat-roofed single storey garage at ground floor, 4 evenly spaced segmental-arched windows set close to eaves; 3 double garage entrances set between window openings (that to left now blocked), additional double door entrance below window to far right. Octagonal tower emerging from rear of advanced ground floor section to left, door leading to flat roof. Evenly spaced windows to right above advanced section.

W ELEVATION: external metal stair (2001) leading to door (former window) at 1st floor level of gabled section to right. Window to far right. Circular window to gablehead.

Multi-paned, double-glazed timber tilt-top windows in original splayed openings. Roll shutter garage doors to E; timber boarded garage doors to N. Grey slates to pitched roof and tower; lead covering to flat-roof garage and capping coped crowsteps.

INTERIOR: office accommodation upgraded to modern standard (2001). Warehouse and garage spaces with cast-iron columns and concrete construction; some subdivision in late 20th or early 21st century.

DEPOT GATEPIERS: square-plan coped ashlar gatepiers to SE.

MANAGER'S HOUSE: small 2-storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan house with single storey piended extension to W. Coursed granite rubble; harled pointing; raised sandstone ashlar quoins and dressings. N (shore) elevation: central door; flanking bipartite windows; smaller bipartite window to extension to far right. 2 breaking-eaves gabled dormers with bipartite windows above; 20th century rooflight to centre. W elevation: not seen, 2002. S (entrance) elevation: central stone porch (later addition), pitched roof; surrounding glazing, door to right return; window to extension to far left. Central breaking eaves gabled dormer with bipartite window above porch. Tilt-top plastic windows; plastic doors; pitched roof; overhanging bracketed eaves; grey slates; terracotta ridge tiles; straight stone skews; block skewputts; coped gable head stacks; circular clay cans.

OUTBUILDINGS: Building to W: 3-bay cottage with segmental arched droved and keystoned dressings. Central door with flanking windows to E elevation. Timber sash and case lying pane windows with horns; timber boarded door; grey slates; terracotta ridge tiles; narrow timber bargeboards. Building to E: 2-bay, of similar treatment to that to W. W elevation: arched, 2-leaf timber boarded stable-door to left; timber boarded door to right. Window to S elevation. Single coped rubble stack with circular clay can to S gable head.

BOUNDARY WALLS (to Manager's House): low coped rubble boundary wall with plain-cast iron railings to S; low coped rubble boundary wall to E; high coped rubble boundary wall to E.

Statement of Interest

The Oban Depot is a purpose-built lighthouse depot, of which there are only three in Scotland. This building continues to be used for its original purpose, servicing the Northern Lighthouse Board's western lighthouses. "An important installation at Granton and Oban from 1891, and later at Stromness also, was the NLB's own gas works, where compressed gas for replenishing buoys and beacons was manufactured. At Oban the gas was conveyed to the West Coast stations by ship." (Munro) There is no physical evidence remaining for the production of gas. The first NLB depot was built at Granton in the 1880s (see separate listing) but is no longer owned by the NLB. The other much plainer depot, located in Alfred Street, Stromness, was built around the same time as the Oban depot. The Oban depot is located to the SW of the S pier (1814) and is situated on the coast road to the S of the town. Its immediate neighbour to the W is the c. 1800 Manor House [Hotel] (see separate listing), originally built as a Dower House on the Oban Estate, later used as the office for the National Bank of Scotland as early as 1826. The land on which the Oban depot stands formerly belonged to the Manor House. The depot is set below rising ground and is more prominently viewed from the coast (N elevation) and to the E elevation. There is a new 2-storey warehouse built to the NE of the site. A heli-pad is located to the NW. The NLB also owns the Manager's House and the earlier outbuildings set on higher ground to the E; this is the home of the officer in charge of the depot. The house and the outbuildings were probably first associated with the Manor House; the manager's house was most likely remodelled when the depot was erected. A significant programme to upgrade the depot took place in 2001, when some openings were reoriented and new glass bricks were inserted into the E elevation. The entire building was repointed with cement. A new main entrance was inserted at the top floor of the S elevation with a ramp access from the drive. Also, a side entrance was inserted into a window to the W elevation, access via new metal external staircase. This work has however not compromised the outward appearance of the depot which remains an important component of Oban's S harbour and is significant to Scottish lighthouse history.

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