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Galloway Hydroelectric Power Scheme, Kendoon South Dam

A Category C Listed Building in Carsphairn, Dumfries and Galloway

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.1786 / 55°10'42"N

Longitude: -4.1793 / 4°10'45"W

OS Eastings: 261317

OS Northings: 589312

OS Grid: NX613893

Mapcode National: GBR 4V.HXRM

Mapcode Global: WH4TQ.S31B

Entry Name: Galloway Hydroelectric Power Scheme, Kendoon South Dam

Listing Date: 11 February 2011

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400603

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51692

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Carsphairn

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Civil Parish: Carsphairn

Unitary Authority Ward: Castle Douglas and Glenkens

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire

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Carsphairn

Description

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 centre and elevated roadway to crest on piers over fixed spillway to right (E) and ensuite with stepped eaves course to left (W). Concrete parapet to roadway, with larger piers to terminal bays forming buttress to downstream (S) face and curved wave-wall to base of dam. Control tower spanning walkway with chamfered upper corners tall narrow round headed opening to base with single rounded headed window above, metal covering to doorway (2009).

Statement of Interest

Kendoon South 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 curved plan form of the dam is part of a striking modern design and is echoed in the curved top to the spillway and sweeping curves of wave-walls. 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 Development (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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