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Endrick Aqueduct Pipe Bridge (Former Glasgow Corporation Water Works)

A Category B Listed Building in Killearn, Stirling

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0609 / 56°3'39"N

Longitude: -4.3641 / 4°21'50"W

OS Eastings: 252899

OS Northings: 687858

OS Grid: NS528878

Mapcode National: GBR 0V.Q3LC

Mapcode Global: WH3N1.YX1J

Entry Name: Endrick Aqueduct Pipe Bridge (Former Glasgow Corporation Water Works)

Listing Date: 18 August 2008

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399998

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51138

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Killearn

County: Stirling

Electoral Ward: Forth and Endrick

Parish: Killearn

Traditional County: Stirlingshire

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Description

James M Gale, 1865. 2-span, skew-arched pipe and road bridge with small additional flood arch at S end. Coursed, red bull-faced sandstone with polished ashlar parapet and dressings. Rounded string course below parapet; flush ashlar voussoirs; rounded cutwaters; pilaster buttresses flanking main arches. Low walled enclosures to each side of N end containing sandstone steps to internal valve chamber.

Statement of Interest

Located just N of Endrick Cottage. A fine skew-arched bridge designed to carry the syphon pipes and public road across the Endrick Water. It was built as part of the Glasgow Corporation Water Works system (see below for significance of the scheme as a whole). The conduit is predominantly subterranean, but the valleys of Duchray, Endrick and Blane, which were too deep and broad for the use of normal aqueduct bridges, necessitated the use of syphon pipes to carry the water across them. The pipes are predominantly carried underground, but at a small number of points bridges were required to carry them over roads or rivers.

The scheme was originally opened with only one syphon pipe, which was buried underneath the Endrick riverbed. However, within a few years of opening it was felt that the difficulty of carrying out repairs to damaged pipes made this solution untenable and it was decided in 1864 to build a pipe bridge, with exposed flange pipes and double girders, similar to the 1885 pipe bridge that lies immediately to the E of this one. At this date the road crossed the river by way of a ford and footbridge, and the road trustees took the opportunity of improving this situation by requesting a full masonry bridge to carry the pipes and road. Masonry pipe bridges also carry the road at Jenny's Glen and over the Blane water, but this is the best example in terms of prominence, size and (because of the use of the skew arch), engineering. In the 1990s a burst pipe damaged the bridge, necessitating the construction of a separate replacement road bridge.

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.

John Frederick Bateman (1810-1889) was chosen as the engineer for the scheme and construction work commenced in 1856. Bateman was to become one of the world's most eminent water engineers, and worked on a number of other water supply schemes in Britain, Europe and Asia. He was assisted by James Morrison Gale (1830-1905), who on the completion of the initial scheme in 1859 was appointed Water Engineer for the City of Glasgow, a post he held till 1902. Gale was responsible for over-seeing the incremental expansion of the first scheme during the 1860s and '70s and the building of the second aqueduct from 1885 onwards.

Listed following the thematic review of Loch Katrine water supply system in 2008.

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