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Latitude: 56.1667 / 56°10'0"N
Longitude: -4.4925 / 4°29'32"W
OS Eastings: 245331
OS Northings: 699916
OS Grid: NS453999
Mapcode National: GBR 0P.HJQC
Mapcode Global: WH3ML.Y8WB
Entry Name: Couligartan Aqueduct Overflow or Outlet Incorporating Bridge (Former Glasgow Corporation Water Works)
Listing Date: 18 August 2008
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 400013
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51150
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith
Traditional County: Perthshire
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
John F Bateman (engineer), 1856-9; modified James M Gale, 1864-7. Elongated hexagonal masonry basin set into hillside with waterfall steps leading down from centre of S end, under integral round-arched track bridge, to long, paved outlet channel; basin enclosed by cast-iron railings with slightly tapered uprights with splayed tops. Bull-faced red sandstone ashlar; outlet channel paved with local whinstone. Over-hanging saddle-back ashlar cope.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: conduit enters and exits via archway at E and W sides of enclosure with channelled voussoirs and prominent keystones. Steep retaining wall to N; curved overflow steps with cast-iron lip drop under round-arched track bridge to S. Sluices to each side of overflow steps. Metal security cover over entire structure added 2007.
This sturdily-constructed masonry basin with its simple, yet well-considered detailing is a fine piece of civil engineering and one of the principal features on the course of the first phase of the Glasgow Corporation Water Works system (see below for significance of the scheme as a whole), which was built from 1856 onwards. Its purpose is to provide an overflow function when the valves at the nearby Duchray Valve House are closed. It was slightly altered in the 1860s when the capacity of the scheme was increased: a drawing of the overflow survives from that time.
At the time of building the surrounding area was uninhabited, there were no roads and the local stone was unsuitable for building. The logistics of the construction were therefore almost impressive as the engineering achievement.
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. 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 and avoided the Couligartan area.
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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