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Rosyth Dockyard, Pumping Station (Building No 500)

A Category B Listed Building in Rosyth, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0243 / 56°1'27"N

Longitude: -3.4467 / 3°26'47"W

OS Eastings: 309930

OS Northings: 682210

OS Grid: NT099822

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.SKN3

Mapcode Global: WH6S3.1V02

Entry Name: Rosyth Dockyard, Pumping Station (Building No 500)

Listing Date: 19 December 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399299

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50784

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Town: Dunfermline

Electoral Ward: Rosyth

Traditional County: Fife

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Rosyth

Description

Messrs Easton Gibb and Son Ltd of Westminster for Royal Navy, 1910-15. Single storey with false attic and concealed basement and single storey, overall rectangular-plan pumping station; comprising single storey and attic main block with lower-height single storey sections to N and W. Early 20th century classical freestyle design with pilastered elevations, frieze with moulded cornice along eaves and arched/lunette windows, some with keystones; large pitched rooflights. Coursed rockfaced sandstone with sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course; partial ground floor cill band; eaves course continued as band course across gables. Pilasters at arrises.

S ELEVATION: large segmental-headed entrance with keystone to left of centre to main block; multi-pane fanlight and replacement door. Mullioned bipartite with lunette above to each of flanking bays (2 to left, 3 to right); each bay recessed slightly beneath lunette with concave moulded voussoirs. Wide lower-height single storey bay adjoins to left; large entrance with segmental-headed fanlight with keystone.

N ELEVATION: single storey projecting section (bunkers); 3 large blocked segmental-headed openings to to left (each with keystone and moulded concave voussoirs); one to right; blocked round-arched opening with keystone to outer right.

E ELEVATION: 2 gabled sections (gables shouldered); both with central lunette with tripartite keystone to gable/at head of flanking pilaster strips with carved niches at apex. Right section projecting with large inserted entrance below lunette/to right; standard entrance to left. Left section wider/set back; 2 inner bays with blocked/partially blocked segmental-headed opening with keystone to each (divided by pilaster strip). High segmental-headed windows with keystones and moulded concave voussoirs to outer flanking bays. Pair of cylindrical rivetted domed water tanks at junction between 2 gabled sections. Round-arched window with keystone to single-storey section (bunkers) to outer right of main block.

W ELEVATION: 2 gabed sections (gables shouldered); both with central lunette with tripartite keystone to gable/at head of flanking pilaster strips with carved niches at apex. Gable of right section set back slightly; projecting flat-roofed section to ground floor supports large metal tank; 4 regularly disposed windows below. Large inserted entrance to left of ground floor to left section. Round-arched window with keystone to single-storey section (bunkers) to outer left of main block (partially obscured by late 20th century brick addition).

Mainly multi-pane fixed timber frame windows with opening vent and some multi-pane casements. Grey slate valley roof to main block, each section with long raised rooflight with pitched grey slate roof. 3 large cylindrical metal stacks to centre of main block.

INTERIOR: boiler house to N section; pump house to S. Original steam pumps replaced by gas-fired pumps (boilers also replaced). Open to roof with steel-framed roof trusses. Brown glazed tiled dado to ground floor. Large rivetted subterranean pipes descend from pump house towards base level of dry docks.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Rosyth Dockyard, Basin and the Power Station. One of the key buildings at the dockyard, its purpose is to pump water in and out of the vast adjacent dry docks. Together with the power station to the N, it is one of the landmarks of the complex. Its former main industrial chimney has been removed. Rosyth dockyard is the largest facility used by the Royal Navy outside southern England. It constitutes the only newly-built 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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