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This building is in the Argyll And Bute Council and the Dunoon Burgh. It is a category A building and was listed on 13/10/1980.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NS 1765 7648.


Clarke and Bell with Sir William Copland in collaboration with R A Brydon and C J M Mackintosh, 1896-98; incorporating earlier pier to N by Campbell Douglas, 1867-68; later 20th century alterations (see Notes). Rare and exceptional 19th century timber-pile ferry/steamer pier. Large, T-plan pedestrian pier adjoining earlier pier to N (currently used for vehicles - 2011). To pier-head: ornamental Victorian waiting room and pier master's office to centre; rare signal tower incorporating later tearoom to S arm of pier-head. Entrance ticket lodge located at slightly wider foot of pedestrian section.

WAITING ROOMS AND PIER MASTER'S OFFICE: single-storey, rectangular-plan, gable-ended, timber pavilion waiting-rooms including harbour master¿s office. Round-arched windows to ground floor. S Elevation: 2-storey octagonal tower to centre with crowning, ogee-roofed clock cupola and weather vane; flat-roofed verandas flanking with elaborate timber doorpieces to waiting rooms. N Elevation: 3 half-timbered gables with canted window bays and timber details including timber shingles to exterior walls. Red pantiled roofs with cupola ventilators.

SIGNAL TOWER AND ADJOINING TEAROOM: ornate 4-stage, square-plan, timber signal tower (circa 1896-8); pantiled skirt and ogee-roof to 3rd stage; pierced, ogee-roofed cupola and ornamental cast-iron weathervane finial.

Tower adjoins SE corner of single-storey, flat-roofed former waiting room and tearoom building (built 1937).

TICKET LODGE: Single-storey, cruciform-plan ticket lodge (circa 1896-8 with late 20th century alterations - see Notes) at foot of pier. Bowed to E and W elevations with conical, pantiled roof.

PIER AND RAILINGS: greenheart timber piles braced in pairs and further cross-braced by diagonal timbers. Outward facing piers are battered. Rod-iron connections with external bolts. Timber decking, rails and balustrade.


Dunoon Pier is the best surviving example of a timber ferry/steamer pier in Scotland. Now extremely rare, these piers played a key role in the economic and social development of coastal and island communities in the west of Scotland in the 19th and 20th centuries. Substantially retaining its character following its late 19th century programme of enlargement, the pier and its key buildings contribute significantly to the architectural and historic interest of Dunoon and to the wider maritime heritage of the West Coast. The timber waiting room and pier master's office, located at the centre of the pierhead, is of key significance to the character of the pier and an iconic building on the Firth of Clyde coast line. Largely retaining its original form and distinctive detailing, it is the finest Victorian pier building of its type in the country. At the height of its popularity, access to the pier to non-passengers became ticketed which reflects its concurrent function as a `pleasure pier' more commonly associated with resort towns in England. In 1937 a 220 ft long, timber and steel viewing gallery platform was built to connect the buildings on the pierhead assembly area. This structure was removed in the 1980s. The pioneering signalling system was first installed at the pier in 1888. The tower was an early and forward thinking safety mechanism using a system of coloured discs to avoid collision of approaching steamers and to guide the operators to their designated berthing positions on each side of the pier. The signal tower was re-configured in a more decorative form as part of the 1896 rebuilding programme. It became electronically operated in later years and now, no longer in use, forms part of the 1937 tearoom addition to the S arm of the pierhead. Elements of the earlier signalling system mechanism survive inside the tower, adding significantly to the architectural and historic interest. The 1890s entrance ticket lodge was originally an open turnstile building with covered, timber detailed walkways to either side. The building was reworked in the 1980s using a mix of traditional and non-traditional materials and broadly retaining its original cruciform plan and massing. Dunoon was first established in the middle of the eighteenth century, with the earliest stone jetty built around 1767. The first timber pier was constructed by a joint stock company in 1835. The rail link from Glasgow to Gourock opened in 1841 leading to population swell and increasing tourism in and around the Clyde Estuary. A more substantial pier was built at Dunoon in 1845 although this was destroyed by a storm in 1848, rebuilt the following year and extended in 1867 by Douglas Campbell. In 1896, the pier was significantly enlarged to its present, inverted F-plan form. The use of timber piling to form marine structures has a long and significant history in Scotland and on the west coast in particular. Once commonplace, they are now a rare building type. The timber piles of Dunoon Pier are braced in pairs and further braced by diagonal timbers with the outer piers battered to resist the forces of berthing ships. Structually, the pier was purposefully 'over-engineered' to account for the severity of the storms along this particular stretch of coast and the large amount of steamers and other vessels it served. Change of category from B to A and list description revised, 2011.


1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1862). Evident on 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1898). John Hume, The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland Vol 2 (1978) pp149-150. Ian McCrorie, Dunoon Pier - A Celebration (1997). Frank Arnell Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000).

© 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).