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This building is in the Dumfries And Galloway Council and the Tongland Parish. It is a category A building and was listed on 23/04/1990.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NX 6951 5355.


Sir Alexander Gibb consulting engineer, Merz and McLellan Electrical engineers, Payler and Son (Glasgow) construction engineers; dated 1934. Large symmetrical roughly T-plan Classical Modern power station with detached surge tower and valve-house to N. Painted reinforced concrete.

POWER STATION: 2 storeys, 7 bays. Recessed eaves and blocking course and full-height pilasters. Central lugged doorway with 2-leaf timber doors inscribed above with TONGLAND POWER STATION, 1934. Flanked by pair of bi-partite rectangular small-pane windows. Single narrow round arched windows to outer bays, flanked by lower terminating bays with bipartite windows with pilastered transom.

N (SIDE) ELEVATION: 10 bays with 3-bay return to right (W) with arcaded ground floor to terminal bays at right (S). Slightly advanced porch in re-entrant angle to right (W); large timber door with rectangular top-lights. Continuous run of bi-partite rectangular small-pane windows to centre and left (E) separated by pilasters.

E (END) ELEVATION: 2 bays with deep basement. Windows similar to those to N elevation with two additional rectangular windows to basement.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: similar to that at N with additional tower advanced to left (W) and lower 2-bay block to far left (W). Rectangular small-pane windows to tower (bipartite to 2nd floor).

Flat roof. Cast-iron rainwater goods integrated behind blocking course to roof.

INTERIOR: plain interior to power station with double height space and large travelling crane on steel gantry. Some oak panelling to former administrative areas and entrance hall. Some wooden blockwork flooring.

VALVE-HOUSE AND SURGE TOWER: large steel water tank on continuous arcade of concrete arches to N of power station. Integrated valve-house to S (6 bays by 2 bays). Pilastered ground floor with banded base course above. Rectangular small-pane windows at ground floor with louvered rectangular openings above.

BOUNDARY WALLS: integrated with structure to front (W) elevation. Low painted concrete walls with shallow curved profile to top.


Tongland power station is a key component of the highly influential Galloway scheme, forming the control station for the whole scheme on its completion. The power station is prominently sited next to the A711 road and adjacent to the River Dee. The Galloway scheme was a significant technological achievement and the first example of run of the river technology to be successfully utilised on a large scale in Scotland, going to influence future developments throughout the country. Tongland power station is at the bottom of the scheme and receives water which has already been used by all of the other stations (see separate listings) to generate electricity. The Galloway scheme was a significant technological achievement and the first example of run of the river technology to be successfully utilised on a large scale in Scotland. The architectural design of Tongland is a fusion of the necessary engineering requirements of a large commercial power station and a finely detailed Modernist classical design. The stark roofline and rhythmic articulation of the fa├žade characterise the modern, dynamic attitude with which hydroelectricity was viewed in this period. The development of the Galloway Hydroelectric Scheme predates the 1943 Hydroelectric (Scotland) Act which formalised the development of Hydroelectricity in Scotland and led to the founding of the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board. Those developments which predated the 1943 act were developed by individual companies as a response to particular market and topographic conditions. The completion of a number of schemes (including Galloway, Grampian and those associated with aluminium smelting (see separate listings) without a national strategic policy framework is groundbreaking as is the consistency of high quality aesthetic and engineering design across all of the schemes. The Galloway scheme was influential on the future development of hydropower in Scotland. After initial opposition to the parliamentary act granting powers for the completion of the scheme it was approved with a number of safeguards on the landscape and amenity of the area. This necessitated the high quality design of both power stations and dams which characterises the Galloway scheme. This condition also proved influential during the drafting of the Hydroelectric (Scotland) Act of 1943 where the visual impact of future schemes was a primary concern. Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners was a pioneering engineering company, responsible for a number of high profile works in Scotland, including the Kincardine Bridge (see separate listing). The company was founded by Alexander Gibb in 1921 and quickly became the UK's largest firm of consulting engineers with numerous international clients. Gibb was personally involved in the design and construction of the Galloway scheme, and the pioneering nature of the Galloway development is due, in large part, to his abilities as an engineer. Merz and McLellan were pioneering British electrical engineers and developed a high profile practice, working on a number of power stations across Britain, including Dunstan B, as well as completing hydroelectric work in Italy in the 1980s. (Upgraded B to A July 2002; Reviewed 2011 as part of Hydroelectric Power Thematic Survey)


Peter Payne, The Hydro: a study of the development of the major hydro-electric schemes undertaken by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, 1988, p. 25; Emma Wood, The Hydro Boys,2002, p. 51; Anon The Galloway hydro-electric development, Reprint of papers presented to the Institution of Civil Engineers, 22 February 1938; George Hill, Tunnel and Dam; The Story of the Galloway Hydros, 1984.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).