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Cockenzie Power Station

Power Station (20th Century)

Site Name Cockenzie Power Station

Classification Power Station (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Cockenzie Electricity Generating Station

Canmore ID 53647

Site Number NT37NE 4

NGR NT 39479 75399

NGR Description Centred NT 39479 75399

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

First 100 images shown. See the Collections panel (below) for a link to all digital images.

Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Prestonpans
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT37NE 4 centred 39479 75399

Cockenzie Power Station [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1991.

Cockenzie Power Station at the E end. 1962 by Kennedy and Donkin and Strain and Robertson, consulting engineers and Robert Matthew and Johnson-Marshall and Partners, consulting architects and responible for the service buildings to the E of the site. Colours are soft black and white.

C McWilliam, 1978.

The power station is still in use.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 22nd February 1996.


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)

Cockenzie Power Station, a 1200MW coal-burning power station adjoining the harbour and Prestonlinks Colliery, formerly one of East Lothian’s largest pits, was designed for the South of Scotland Electricity Board by consulting engineers Kennedy & Donkin and Strain & Roberston, and architects Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners. The contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, commenced construction in 1962 and the station was formally opened in May 1968. Coal was supplied by rail from the newly opened National Coal Board superpits at Bilston Glen and Monktonhall. Its main buildings cover an area of 59.3 acres, half of which was reclaimed from the sea. The complex is dominated by a large rectangular steelframed building containing the boilers and superheaters, with an adjoining hall housing the steam pressure turbines. Ash is disposed of in specially-constructed lagoons nearby at Prestonpans and the flue gases are dispersed via two reinforced concrete chimneys nearly 500 ft tall, each lined with heat-resistant brick.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

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

Project (30 April 2013)

RCAHMS Industrial Programme Survey.

Field Visit (2 May 2013 - 3 May 2013)

RCAHMS gained access to Cockenzie Power Station (closed March 2013) in advance of plant being cleared.

Cockenzie Power Station was formally opened on 28 May 1968. The plant has used coal from many local pits such as Monktonhall, Bilston Glen and Blindwells. The coal would come from the remote coal plant travelling along a conveyor in two parallel lines. The coal would then go onto the coal feed system. The travelling tippers feed the Pulverised Fuel Mils (Babcock 10E Ball Mills). This pulverised furl would then be sent to the boiler house where propane gas and fuel oil along with air are burned together. Heat is produced and the furnace ash along with the dust precipitators removing dust from the flue gas go to the ashing system. SO3 is added to the flue gas and an Induced Draught Fan removes the flue gas to the chimney for emission.

Visited by RCAHS (MMD), May 2013.

Change Of Use (2013)

:ockenzie Power Station closed March 2013. The site covers 24 hectares and was originally served with coal from the Midlothian coalfields. There are plans to convert to a combined cycle gas turbine power station.

Information from RCAHMS (MMD), September 2015

(information from contacts at the site and from published sources (Paxton R and Shipway J, 2010)).

Note (21 September 2015)

The chimneys of Cockenzie Power Station are to be demolished on 26th September 2015.

Information from RCAHMS (MMD) 21 September 2015.


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