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Naval Base Mansions, Ferryhills Road, Jamestown

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0228 / 56°1'21"N

Longitude: -3.4033 / 3°24'11"W

OS Eastings: 312627

OS Northings: 681982

OS Grid: NT126819

Mapcode National: GBR 20.SHCX

Mapcode Global: WH6S3.PWK8

Plus Code: 9C8R2HFW+4M

Entry Name: Naval Base Mansions, Ferryhills Road, Jamestown

Listing Name: Jamestown, Ferryhills Road, Naval Base Mansions

Listing Date: 9 March 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399782

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51009

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Parish: Inverkeithing

Traditional County: Fife

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William Williamson, circa 1909; J A Mactaggart and Co (65 Bath Street, Glasgow), contractors. 3-storey and basement, 11-bay U-plan former boarding house. Main and secondary beams, stairways, landings and columns in Hennebique reinforced concrete. Basement and ground floor level brick-faced with single ashlar courses (above basement windows and below ground floor windows to principal elevation); rendered upper levels and rear elevations. Painted ashlar central advanced full-height entrance bay with segmental pediment. String course; moulded eaves course and cornice. Plain pilasters and strip pilasters (with surmounting chimneystacks) at regular intervals; large segmental-arched windows to ground floor.

W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical elevation, arranged 5-1-5. Advanced entrance bay, round-arched and keystoned doorway with raised stone letters directly above 'NAVAL BASE MANSIONS'; 2 large windows at 1st floor; 2 bipartite windows at 2nd floor. Flanking bays divided by slightly advanced pilasters and strip pilasters (central pilasters forming chimneystacks above roofline); large segmental arched windows at ground floor; rectangular windows to 1st floor (with slight segmental arch); circular windows to bays immediately flanking central entrance bay at 2nd floor; rectangular windows and small segmental-arched windows to remaining 2nd floor bays. Sunk basement windows now blocked with bricks.

S ELEVATION: 11 bays. Fenestration similar to principal elevation; sunk basement windows also blocked.

E (REAR) ELEVATION: arranged 8-6-8. 3-storey advanced flat-roof (with later additional floor) section to E to central section. Advanced outer wings with projecting full-height timber stair towers to ends. Fenestration similar to outward elevations; tripartite basement windows basement windows to N wing.

N ELEVATION: 11 bays. Fenestration similar to principal elevation. Later advanced full-height square lift shaft to penultimate bay right.

Almost all windows to front elevations blocked from exterior by timber panels (many original frames set behind); windows to rear elevations blocked from interior. Windows predominantly 15-pane timber sash and case; large segmental-arched windows 18-pane, timber-framed. Flat roof; coped wallhead chimneystacks; some circular clay cans remaining.

INTERIOR: central concrete staircase with former lavatories (now used as store rooms) to either side of stair. Majority of floor space adapted to open warehousing; basement still subdivided with brick walls. Centre of W (front) section adapted to office space. Typical Hennebique concrete framing seen in distinctive deep narrow beams with chamfered edges.

Statement of Interest

This building, originally built to house the labourers of Rosyth Naval Dockyard (see separate listing), is B-listed for its historic interest and its use of Hennebique technique reinforced concrete construction. As well as an economic choice, the Hennebique method of construction was considered to best fulfil the required safety conditions for this high-occupancy building providing fire-resistance. Naval Base Mansions is unique in its relationship to the Rosyth Naval Base (operations begun 1909; officially opened 1915), as it was specifically built to house 600 of its labourers. The most noteworthy feature of the building at the time was the recreational hall which measured 39m long and 10m wide without intermediary supports of any kind; the entire building offers 3344 square metres of accommodation. The early modern history of Jamestown (an industrial area just S of Inverkeithing) is closely associated with this building. The sheer number of dockworkers, many of whom were Irish migrants, led to the naming of Shamrock Terrace, the tenements directly across from the Mansions. A Roman Catholic chapel was also established temporarily to accommodate the new inhabitants whose presence would have increased the local population between a third to a half. Further contributing to the economy as well as the density of the area, in 1921 Thomas Ward and Sons Shipbreakers took over the old brick works which had been previously acquired by the Admiralty during World War I. These works were located near the Naval Base Mansions along the SW area of Inverkeithing Bay. In recent years, the building has been used as warehousing and retail space operating as The Comfort Store and Bathroom Planet.

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