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Weirs And Water Channel (Former Glasgow Corporation Water Works), Loch Arklet To Loch Katrine Aqueduct Outlet, Stronachlachar

A Category B Listed Building in Trossachs and Teith, Stirling

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Latitude: 56.2526 / 56°15'9"N

Longitude: -4.5782 / 4°34'41"W

OS Eastings: 240370

OS Northings: 709663

OS Grid: NN403096

Mapcode National: GBR 0L.B3GH

Mapcode Global: WH3M5.N34J

Plus Code: 9C8Q7C3C+2P

Entry Name: Weirs And Water Channel (Former Glasgow Corporation Water Works), Loch Arklet To Loch Katrine Aqueduct Outlet, Stronachlachar

Listing Name: Stronachlachar, Loch Arklet to Loch Katrine Aqueduct Outlet, Weirs and Water Channel with Railings and Gates (Former Glasgow Corporation Water Works)

Listing Date: 4 May 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398289

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50308

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberfoyle

County: Stirling

Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith

Parish: Aberfoyle

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

James M Gale and J R Sutherland, 1910-1915. Series of settling ponds and weirs leading to outlet channel falling into Loch Katrine. Coursed red sandstone masonry.

TUNNEL EXIT: round-arched tunnel opening with prominent voussoirs set in raised and slightly advanced central section of 3-bay screen wall with crenellated parapet.

SETTLING PONDS: 3 rectangular pools running parallel to screen wall, divided by buttressed barrier walls with sluice openings below water level.

WEIRS: upper pool canted out above 5-sided, steep, 10-step weir. Timber and iron foot bridge crossing pool before weir with steps down to lower section containing sluice valve. Regularly-placed pillars supporting sluice mechanism at head of weir. Quadrant side walls splayed out to accommodate weir. Lower weir of 5 more deeply-spaced steps immediately below.

EXIT CHANNEL: stepped side walls with ashlar copes; boulder base.

RAILINGS AND GATES: standard GCWW cast-iron railings with rose motifs to heads of uprights surrounding settling ponds and upper weir pool. Cast-iron pedestrian gates to each side of exit channel at road bridge.

Statement of Interest

A spectacular series of weirs, designed to control and steady the flow of water as it exits from the Loch Arklet conduit into Loch Katrine. The quality of the engineering achievement and the workmanship is evidenced by the continued crispness of the stonework and the fact that the water still flows evenly across the whole structure of the weir. The surrounding planting of rhododendrons, and use of ornamental crenellations over the exit tunnel indicates that this area was intended for public display and is demonstrative of the civic pride taken in the engineering achievement of the scheme as a whole.

The Glasgow Corporation Water Works system, which brings water down to Glasgow from Loch Katrine, was admired internationally as an engineering marvel when it was opened in 1860. It was one of the most ambitious civil engineering schemes to have been undertaken in Europe since Antiquity, employing the most advanced surveying and construction techniques available, including the use of machine moulding and vertical casting technologies to produce the cast-iron pipes. The scheme represents the golden age of municipal activity in Scotland and not only provided Glasgow with fresh drinking water, thereby paving the way for a significant increase in hygiene and living standards, but also a source of hydraulic power that was indispensable to the growth of Glasgow's industry as a cheap and clean means of lifting and moving heavy plant in docks, shipyards and warehouses. The civic pride in this achievement is visible in every structure connected with the scheme, from the neatly-detailed gates and railings along its route, to the massive masonry structures and iron troughs that carry the conduit and, in most cases, have withstood without failure or noticeable deterioration the daily pressure of many millions of gallons of water for well over 100 years.

Glasgow's Lord Provost, Robert Stewart (1810-66) was the driving force behind the implementation of a municipally-owned water scheme to provide clean water to Glasgow's rapidly increasing population. Loch Katrine was identified as a suitable supply and after some objections from various parties, an Act of Parliament authorising the scheme was passed in 1855. The scheme was built in two main phases following this Act and another 1885. The 1855 scheme, which was opened by Queen Victoria in 1859 and was fully operational by 1860, had been designed to allow for significant expansion as demand increased, and this work was carried in the 20 years following the opening. The 1885 Act allowed a second aqueduct to be built, which followed a slightly shorter course than the earlier scheme. The capacity of the second aqueduct was also expanded during the first half of the 20th century.

The continued expansion of the scheme during the late 19th century meant that a larger supply of water was required to keep Loch Katrine topped up. Loch Arklet was an obvious source of supply and James Gale, who had been Water Engineer to the City of Glasgow since the opening of the scheme in 1859, drew up plans to increase the capacity of the loch and create a connection to Loch Katrine. An Act of 1902 allowed the work to take place and it was carried out by Gale's successor, J R Sutherland from about 1910 onwards. The other structures connected with this scheme, the Loch Arklet dam and intake are listed separately.

List description updated following the thematic review of Loch Katrine water supply system in 2008.

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