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Guardbridge, Paper Mill (Former), Boiler House (Mill Building 49) and Stalk

A Category B Listed Building in Leuchars, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3655 / 56°21'55"N

Longitude: -2.8899 / 2°53'23"W

OS Eastings: 345118

OS Northings: 719597

OS Grid: NO451195

Mapcode National: GBR 2M.2YGZ

Mapcode Global: WH7RY.L81H

Entry Name: Guardbridge, Paper Mill (Former), Boiler House (Mill Building 49) and Stalk

Listing Date: 11 November 2009

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400290

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51397

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Civil Parish: Leuchars

Unitary Authority Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

1901 and 1949. Monumental, visually prominent, rectangular-plan, boiler house representative of mill's post-war revitalization (dated 1949), and only surviving industrial stalk (1901). Significant iconic survivors at N end of paper mill site close to Motray Water, forming landmark buildings in flat estuary landscape (partly reclaimed).

BOILER HOUSE: comprising 8-stage, flat-roofed E range and 5-stage gabled W range. Brick clad, steel-framed construction with predominant grid-pattern, multi-pane fenestration divided vertically in brick and horizontally with concrete cills and lintels. E range with 8-bay elevation to E (River Eden) and 3-bay return elevations each with large timber doors at ground. Gabled range adjoining at W with 4-bay elevations to N and S, that to N dated at polychrome gablehead, and almost full-width raised ridge ventilator.

STALK: sole surviving industrial stalk at Guardbridge Paper Mill. Battered, circular stalk of banded polychrome brick with steel ties. Height reduced, and top rebuilt in fireclay brick, banded and corbelled at apex. Stalk reduced in height 2011.

Statement of Interest

B Group with Guardbridge Paper Mill, Former Mill Buildings 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 6, 7, 8, 17 and 26.

The landmark boiler house at Guardbridge Paper Mill was part of a long-term post-war development plan which the company had been considering since 1943. The 1949 boiler house is a significant, traditionally designed structure with a distinctive fenestration pattern which retains its original multi-pane glazing. It houses three Thompson coal-fired boilers. The striking profile is complemented by the earlier stalk, a building type symbolic of industrial manufactories, which was incorporated into the post-war power plant.

Reorganisation of the boilers was partially carried out as early as 1937, but this completely new project was masterminded by the managing director Mr G P Adam, who, together with the mechanical engineer Mr G Thomson and the electrical engineer Mr W T Laird, 'considered themselves to be quite capable of planning the completely new power plant. They agreed on details for the plant and consulted Thomsons of Wolverhampton for the boilers and associated plant and British Thomson Houston of Rugby for the turbine and ancillary equipment. Neither firm suggested anything better than their proposals' (Weatherill, p102). The new power plant was critical for the success of the planned expansion and the introduction of new paper making machines. A complete replacement system was introduced, comprising 'new turbine, new steam boilers, new switchgear, sub-stations, ring-mains, feeder cables and power station buildings. ' By the end of 1951 the three high pressure water-tube boilers, complete with mechanical stokers, mechanical coaling plant and automatic ash-handling plant, were producing steam at a much lower cost than formerly' (Weatherill, p101).

The boilers continued to be fuelled by coal until the late 1970s when they were converted to heavy fuel oil. Subsequently, two boilers were again converted to dual fuel, oil and natural gas. The third was not required because of the reduction in steam capacity. The fine industrial stalk is the last of four stalks which once served the site. A photograph dating from about 1888 shows two stalks and later photographs show a total of four.

The remaining stalk was reduced in height in 2011.

For further information on the history and interest of the site, see separate listing of further mill buildings with which the boiler house and stalk are grouped.

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