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Bonnington Hydro-electric Power Station

Hydroelectric Power Station (20th Century)

Site Name Bonnington Hydro-electric Power Station

Classification Hydroelectric Power Station (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Bonnington Hydro-electric Scheme; River Clyde; Corra Linn; Bonnington Linn; Falls Of Clyde

Canmore ID 199381

Site Number NS84SE 131

NGR NS 88397 41672

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Lanark
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Clydesdale
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Archaeology Notes

NS84SE 131.00 88397 41672

Location formerly cited as NS 8840 4167, and as centred NS 88397 41672.

Not to be confused with Stonebyres Hydro-electric Power Station (NS 85023 44157), for which see NS84SE 99.00.

NS84SE 131.01 c.NS 8849 4147 to NS c. 8846 4072 Aqueduct

NS84SE 131.02 NS 88496 41447 Surge tank

NS84SE 131.03 c.NS 8849 4147 to NS c. 8841 4166 Pipeline

NS84SE 131.04 NS 88471 40682 Weir; Footbridge

Power Station [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1985.

(Location cited as NS 883 417). Bonnington Power Station, built 1927 by the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Co Ltd. A tall, single-storey, 3- by 7-bay, reinforced-concrete building with round-headed windows, and ancillary 3- and 2-storey blocks in similar style. Stonebyres (NS 850 442) is very similar.

J R Hume 1976.

This power station is situated on the E bank of the River Clyde, about 0.5km downstream from Corra Linn [name: NS 8834 4144] and Bonnington Linn [name: NS 8834 4056].

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 23 February 2006.


Construction (December 1927)

Commissioned mid 1920s and opened December 1927. Intake regulated by tilting weirs. 9.8KW electricity generated on opening.

Project (2007)

This project was undertaken to input site information listed in 'Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' by R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Publication Account (2007)

The Bonnington Hydro scheme on the Clyde, about four miles from Lanark, was constructed in the mid-1920s and opened in December 1927. It was the first major hydroelectric project for the public supply of electricity in Scotland. The scheme utilises the head or height of water provided by two of the Falls of Clyde, Bonnington Linn and Cora Linn. Water is abstracted at intakes above the falls by automatically adjusted tilting weirs, and conveyed by tunnels 10 ft in diameter, totalling some 1200 yards in length, to the power station downstream where twin turbo-alternators produce 9.8MW of electricity. The working head of water in the Bonnington scheme is 189 ft, and for Stonebyres, 98 ft.

The project was designed by Buchan & Partners of Edinburgh, and the contractors were Sir William Arrol & Co., and the English Electric Company.

R Paxton and S Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission of Thomas Telford Publishers.

Field Visit (2010)

Built during 1926 and commissioned in 1927 this is the first of two powerhouses operating as run of the river schemes on the upper reaches of the River Clyde. The technical concept was designed by Edward McColl and the engineering specification produced by Buchan and Partners of Edinburgh. The civil engineering was undertaken by Sir William Arrol and Co. the powerhouse comprises two vertical shaft generators with Francis turbines connected to 11,000 KW generators. The Falls of Clyde scheme is an important example of the earliest large scale application of hydroelectric power for public supply in Scotland The scheme consist of two powerhouse each with an associated weir operating as run of the river schemes. All elements of the scheme are design cohesively in a modern classical style which was very influential over later developments such as the Rannoch / Tummel scheme. Buchan & Partners, Engineers, Ground plans and sections of Lanarkshire hydro-electric power schemes near Bonnington and near Nemphlar and Stonebyres Falls (1923-1924) NAS Reference, RHP 43551. Clyde Valley Electrical Power Co., 1926; J R Hume, 1976; Archive, Issue 14, 1997.


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