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Lairg Power Station And Dam

Hydroelectric Power Station (Modern)

Site Name Lairg Power Station And Dam

Classification Hydroelectric Power Station (Modern)

Alternative Name(s) Shin Hydro-electric Scheme

Canmore ID 5067

Site Number NC50NE 91

NGR NC 57514 06962

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Lairg
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC50NE 91 575 069

Not to be confused with Little Loch Shin, Dam (NC 582 051), for which see NC50NE 92.

Architecture Notes

For manuscripts relating to the entire Loch Shin scheme see project numbers SA/1950/14/54-56.


Field Visit (2010)

This power station is integrated within the dam which holds back Loch Shin to create the major storage capacity for the Shin scheme. The dam is of gravity type with a fixed spillway and three large control gates. the water level behind the dam is very carefully managed as any flood would totally engulf the village of Lairg which lies directly downstream on the banks of Little Loch Shin. The powerhouse contains a single generator which is powered by the outflow from Loch Shin. The complex is built entirely from coursed rubble and has some baronial influences to the architectural features such as the round stair tower with copper roof and finial. Lairg Dam is a good exampleof an integrated dam and power station and of the design synthesis between modernist and vernacular themes as developed by the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board (NoSHEB). The power station displays a number of architectural details including carved panels and armorials; a high quality design for the dam and station was important as it is located directly opposite the village of Lairg and makes a significant contribution to the immediate landscape of the village and surrounding area. National Archives of Scotland (NAS), Ref: NSE North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board Collection (1943 -1990); NAS, Ref: NSE1 North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board Minutes (1943-1990); NAS, Ref NSE2 North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board Annual Reports (1943-1990); PL Payne ,1988; E Wood, 2002, 112-13; J Miller, 2002, 105:88918; Scottish Hydro Electric, 2000, 8; J Gifford, 1992, 588; RCAHMS, SA/1950/14/54-56, manuscripts and plans for the Shin Scheme (1960).


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