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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 857685

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NS27SW 24.00 2472 7208 to 2696 7488

NS27SW 24.01 NS 23940 72125 Sluice (House)

See also NS27SW 40.00, NS27SE 57.00 and NS27SE 58.00.

For (associated) Loch Thom, Reservoir (NS 26300 72319) and Loch Thom, Compensation Reservoir (NS 25038 72264), see NS27SE 58.00 and NS27SE 58.01 respectively.

For (associated) Overton Reservoirs, see NS27SW 40.00 and NS27SE 57.00, and sub-numbers.

NS 2472 7208 to NS 2696 7488. The main aqueduct made by Robert Thom in 1827 to supply Greenock's mills.

J Ferrier 1966

No longer used for water supply, but preserved by the Lower Clyde Water Board.

J R Hume 1976.

NS27SW 69 2467 7204 to 2664 7481

See also NS27SE 58.00.

Structures related to aqueduct (Inverkip and Greenock parishes)

NS 2467 7204 to NS 2664 7481 A survey was carried out of the upstanding remains along the 8km Greenock Cut, constructed by Robert Thom in 1827 to provide water power to mills at Greenock. The scheme is well-documented historically, but despite being Scheduled many of the physical remains are now in very poor condition.

The features fall into two main types: bridges and sluice buildings. The former are standard rubble-built hump-back bridges spanning the 3m wide lade, c 3.5m wide, with parapets 1m high with distinctive rounded ends. Some bridges incorporate cast-iron sluice runners on their upstream side, with an ashlar course in the bed of the lade below, which allowed temporary damming of the lade for maintenance.

The flow in the lade was controlled by a row of sluices at the head of the cut at NS 2467 7204, but water from various burns contributing to the cut along its length could cause overtopping when in spate. Thus the need for the second main group of features along the cut, the rubble sluice buildings with vaulted roofs. These are located on the downslope side of the cut, with walls 0.6m thick and a square door with the sluice exit vertically below it. Originally each building enclosed an automated overflow mechanism or 'waster' invented by Thom, first used at his Rothesay cotton mills in 1817, but few now remain.

Working downstream, the features are:

NS 2467 7204 Timber sluices at entry to cut from compensation reservoir. Much modern alteration in this area.

NS 2421 7189 Bridge, upstream parapet ruined.

NS 2407 7204 Road bridge over lade with flat deck.

NS 2394 7212 Waster house near Shielhill farm (NS27SW 24.01).

NS 2376 7227 Bridge, upstream parapet ruined.

NS 2356 7243 Rubble bothy, 4.3 x 3.3m, with fireplace, pipe flue and plastered walls. Monopitch steel joist and concrete infill roof.

NS 2352 7245 Bridge, intact; 20m downstream of bridge, lade wall is breached allowing complete loss of water.

NS 2337 7263 Rubble waster house, 3.7 x 3.2m, set into lade bank on edge of gorge. Doorway on downhill side, accessed by steel access platform. Inside house, iron sluice mechanism largely intact, including cast-iron flap valve with lever and chain attached, pulley wheel in roof, and float cylinder.

NS 2331 7270 Bridge, loose parapet masonry.

NS 2309 7285 Bridge, intact.

NS 2297 7305 Bridge, upstream parapet partly ruined.

NS 2309 7328 Bridge, upstream parapet missing.

NS 2313 7337 Ruined roofless rubble waster house, 2.5 x 1.7m, set into lade bank, walls reduced to 1.5m height. Cast-iron flap valve in situ on wall adjacent to lade.

NS 2320 7358 Bridge, upstream parapet ruined.

NS 2339 7373 Bridge, downstream parapet missing.

NS 2366 7387 Bridge, upstream parapet missing.

NS 2383 7378 Roofless ruined rubble bothy, 4 x 3.7m, partly set into lade bank, with fireplace in pitched gable facing door. Walls reduced to 1.6m height.

NS 2382 7382 Timber sluice gate in iron frame, largely intact.

NS 2383 7390 Overflow passing through ashlar-lined culvert under lade path with vaulted concrete deck.

NS 2385 7405 Bridge, keystone of arch missing.

NS 2404 7431 Bridge, intact.

NS 2417 7441 Bridge, intact.

NS 2469 7460 Timber sluice gate in iron frame, largely intact. Overflow passes through ashlar-lined culvert under lade path with cast-iron beam edging concrete deck.

NS 2465 7461 Rubble waster house, back wall missing exposing rubble arch of roof vault. Front wall ruined, partly repaired in brick.

NS 2475 7479 Bridge, parapets partly collapsed.

NS 2501 7486 Bridge, parapets partly collapsed.

NS 2517 7491 Bridge, intact.

NS 2544 7494 Stone banks indicate former bridge site.

NS 2597 7478 Bridge, deck completely collapsed into lade, parapets ruined but still free-spanning across lade.

NS 2601 7469 Rubble waster house, 3.8 x 3.6m, vaulted roof crumbling at rear, interior floor concreted over. Iron frame and ashlar tunnel of former sluice gate under lade path 17m to E. Overflow channel leads to concrete dam (breached) directly downstream.

NS 2647 7484 Stone banks, 3m long, indicate former bridge site.

NS 2664 7481 Overton Bridge; wider than standard bridge to carry road traffic. Cast-iron memorial drinking fountain in upstream parapet marking centenary of opening (1927). Lade then enters Long Dam before commencing descent into Greenock.

Sponsor: Renfrewshire Local History Forum.

S Nisbet 2004.

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