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Rosyth Dockyard, Power Station (Building No 333)

A Category B Listed Building in Rosyth, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0254 / 56°1'31"N

Longitude: -3.4461 / 3°26'45"W

OS Eastings: 309970

OS Northings: 682330

OS Grid: NT099823

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.SCS3

Mapcode Global: WH6S3.1T97

Entry Name: Rosyth Dockyard, Power Station (Building No 333)

Listing Date: 19 December 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399298

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50783

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Town: Dunfermline

Electoral Ward: Rosyth

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

Messrs Easton Gibb and Son Ltd of Westminster for Royal Navy, 1910-15. 3-storey and attic/single storey with false attic and 2-storey and attic/single storey and attic and 2-storey; also with concealed basement; overall L-plan power station; comprising 3-storey and attic/single storey and attic main block to N (subdivided longitudinally into 2 separate sections with slight difference in height) and narrower wing of different heights/widths to S. Early 20th century classical freestyle design with pilastered principal (E and W) elevations with frieze with deeply moulded cornice immediately below attic, arched windows (all with keystones), those to ground floor mullioned and transomed, and large pitched rooflights. Coursed rockfaced sandstone with sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course and ground floor cill band to main block; eaves cornice to S section of S wing; pilasters at arrises of main block. Openings architraved throughout; keystones to arched openings (tripartite keystones to ground floor arches of main block).

E ELEVATION: 7 gabled bays (gables shouldered) to main block to right (bays divided by pilasters). Large mullioned and transomed round-arched window (some upper side lights blocked) to ground floor to each bay; all 9-light except for penultimate bay to left with 6-light window over segmental-headed entrance (replacement door). Shallow segmental-headed mullioned tripartite to each bay to attic (outer lights blocked). Slightly lower-height 2-bay section set back to left; left bay gabled and projecting slightly, its inner section recessed slightly beneath segemental arch; 2 tall closely-spaced segmental-headed windows to ground floor; 4-light mullioned window to attic with cill band adjoining right bay. Entrance to ground floor of right bay; mullioned window to 1st floor and one to attic above (that to attic set below decorative round arch). Lower-height 3-bay section adjoins set back slightly to left (bays divided by pilaster strips); mullioned bipartite with louvred vents to each bay to ground and 1st floors; that to outer left of ground shorter with entrance below; lintel and cill bands to each floor. Slightly lower-height 2-bay section set back to outer left (bays divided by pilaster strips); 2-light mullioned bipartite to each bay to 1st floor; cill and lintel bands to each floor.

W ELEVATION: 7 gabled bays (gables shouldered) to main block to left (bays divided by pilasters). Large mullioned and transomed round-arched window to ground floor to each bay; all 12-light, except for penultimate bay to right with 6-light window over entrance; small upper flanking windows and inserted entrance to left to outer right bay. Shallow segmental-headed mullioned tripartite to each bay to attic (outer lights blocked). Taller section of main block projects slightly to right, set back to right; 2-bay section (divided by pilaster) to right return of lower-height section; window to ground and 1st floor to each bay; recessed slightly below round arch; small upper flanking windows. Short blank projecting section set back to right. Slightly lower-height 2-bay section set back to right; right bay gabled and projecting slightly, its inner section recessed slightly beneath segemental arch; opening with louvred vent to ground floor; 2 segmental-headed windows above; 4-light mullioned window to attic with cill band adjoining left bay. Mullioned and transomed quadripartite to 1st floor and mullioned bipartite, set below decorative round arch, to attic above. Lower-height 3-bay section adjoins set back slightly to right (bays divided by pilaster strips); opening with louvred vent to outer left of ground floor; mullioned bipartite to outer right; probably formerly with mullioned bipartite to each bay to ground and 1st floors (windows blocked/partially blocked to central bay and openings altered to that to left); lintel and cill bands to each floor. Slightly lower-height 2-bay section set back to outer right (bays divided by pilaster strips); 2-light mullioned bipartite to each bay to 1st floor; cill and lintel bands to each floor.

N ELEVATION: 4-bay. Large blind round-arched opening to each bay (that to outer right open as entrance to lower part). Small blocked segmental-headed opening below eaves to outer right.

S ELEVATION: 2 gabled bays (gables shouldered) to S section of S wing. Mullioned bipartite to each bay to ground and 1st floors, except segmental-headed entrance to left of ground floor (boarded timber door with multi-pane fanlight). Cill and lintel bands to each floor.

Mainly multi-pane fixed timber frame windows with variously opening sections; some 12 and 8-pane sashes. Grey slate roofs; that to main block multi-pitched; valley roof to S wing. 2 corniced stacks at S end of main block; one to S wing; cans missing.

INTERIOR: steel-framed roof-trusses to main block, which is largely open to roof. Brown glazed tiled dado to ground floor; white glazed bricks to arched basement. Formerly contained steam turbines (since removed). Retains original crane (inscribed 'Marshall Fleming & Co, Motherwell' and dated '1914').

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Rosyth Dockyard, Basin and the Pumping Station. The power station was the earliest building to be completed on the site (it is shown nearing completion in a photograph dated 1912). One of the key buildings at the dockyard, it would have supplied power to the whole complex, including to any ships stationed there. It remains one of the dockyard's landmarks, despite having lost its original industrial chimney, which also served as a clocktower. It is amongst the earliest non-public electric power stations remaining in Scotland. Rosyth dockyard is the largest facility used by the Royal Navy outside southern England. It constitutes the only newlybuilt naval dockyard in the UK since the Napoleonic era.

The decision to construct a major naval base facing Germany was announced in 1903. Subsequently the Admiralty purchased 285 acres of foreshore and 1184 acres of hinterland in Rosyth. Operations did not begin however until March 1909, with Messrs Easton Gibb and Son Ltd of Westminster appointed as contractors. It was intended as a support and heavy repair base for warships of the Grand Fleet.

At the outbreak of the First World War very little of the work had been completed. Work was underway on the main basin and the tidal basin to the east had been constructed (although its entrance was obstructed by a clay dam); the generating station and pumping station had been built but were only in the process of being equipped. More manpower was sent to speed up the construction process and the dockyard was officially opened by George V in June 1915. The main basin however was not entirely completed and flooded to full depth until September. Between March 1916 and the Armistice, 78 capital ships (dreadnoughts, superdreadnoughts and battle cruisers), 82 light cruisers and 37 small craft were docked and refitted at Rosyth. The yard's value soon became apparent, when a number of damaged warships were towed in for repair following an engagement with the German High Seas Fleet off Jutland in June 1916.

The dockyard was run down after the Armistice and closed to naval use between 1928 and 1935. However during this period at least one dry dock was used for breaking up ships salvaged by Cox and Danks after scuttling in Scapa Flow. It came back into full operation during the Second World War. After the war it was kept operational to support forces deployed to counter the Northern and Baltic fleets of the Soviet Navy. In the late 1960's it was designated a major refitting base for the Polaris (strategic ballistic missile) nuclear submarine fleet.

Following the end of the Cold War, operational ships and the majority of uniformed personnel were withdrawn between 1993 and 1996. The dockyard was transferred to commercial management in 1987 and sold to Babcock in 1997 (with limited guarantee of naval contracts). It continues in use as a working dockyard on both naval and commercial contracts.

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