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Galloway Hydroelectric Power Scheme, Kendoon North Dam

A Category B Listed Building in Carsphairn, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.1898 / 55°11'23"N

Longitude: -4.1914 / 4°11'29"W

OS Eastings: 260585

OS Northings: 590581

OS Grid: NX605905

Mapcode National: GBR 4V.H19K

Mapcode Global: WH4TJ.LT99

Entry Name: Galloway Hydroelectric Power Scheme, Kendoon North Dam

Listing Date: 11 February 2011

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400602

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51691

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Carsphairn

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Dee and Glenkens

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire

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James Williamson with Sir Alexander Gibb consulting engineers; Merz and McLellan, electrical engineers, 1936. Long shallow V-section concrete arch and gravity dam with single control tower to left (N) and elevated roadway to crest on piers over fixed spillway to right (S) ensuite with stepped eaves course to left (N). Concrete parapet to roadway, with some larger piers forming buttress to downstream (E) face. Control tower spanning walkway to left (S) with chamfered upper corners tall narrow round headed opening to base with single rounded headed window above, metal covering to doorway (2009). Small valve-house directly beneath to base (E) of dam in reinforced concrete.

Statement of Interest

Kendoon North Dam is an important component of phase II of the highly influential Galloway scheme, providing water storage capacity for Kendoon power station (see separate listing). The dam regulates the flow of the Water of Deugh to create Kendoon Loch by diverting water from the Deugh back over the watershed to the outlet at the South Dam (see separate listing) from where water is conveyed to Kendoon power station (see separate listing). The shallow curved-plan form of the dam is part of a striking Modernist design and is echoed in the curved top to the spillway. The modern appearance of the dam clearly ties it stylistically and functionally to the power station at Kendoon (see separate listing). The design is a clear synthesis between functional and aesthetic concerns and is characteristic of the view of hydroelectricity in this period as a modern and dynamic industry.

The development of the Galloway Hydroelectric Scheme predates the 1943 Hydroelectric (Scotland) Act which formalised the development of Hydroelectricity in Scotland and led to the founding of the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board. Those developments which predated the 1943 act were developed by individual companies as a response to particular market and topographic conditions. The completion of a number of schemes (including Galloway, Grampian and those associated with Alcan ' see separate listings) without a national strategic policy framework is groundbreaking as is the consistency of high quality aesthetic and engineering design across all of the schemes.

The Galloway scheme was influential on the future development of hydropower in Scotland. After initial opposition to the parliamentary act granting powers for the completion of the scheme it was approved with a number of safeguards on the landscape and amenity of the area. This necessitated the high quality design of both power stations and dams which characterises the Galloway scheme. This condition also proved influential during the drafting of the Hydroelectric (Scotland) Act of 1943 where the visual impact of future schemes was a primary concern.

Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners was a pioneering engineering company, responsible for a number of high profile works in Scotland, including the Kincardine Bridge (see separate listing). The company was founded by Alexander Gibb in 1921 and quickly became the UK's largest firm of consulting engineers with numerous international clients. Gibb was personally involved in the design and construction of the Galloway scheme, and the pioneering nature of the Galloway development is due, in large part, to his abilities as an engineer. Merz and McLellan were pioneering British electrical engineers and developed a high profile practice, working on a number of power stations across Britain, including Dunstan B, as well as completing hydroelectric work in Italy in the 1980s.

(Listed 2011 as part of Hydroelectric Power Thematic Survey)

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