MHG16087 - Caledonian Canal, Muirtown Locks, Lock Keepers Cottages


An early to mid 19th-century lock-keepers cottage.

Type and Period (1)

  • LOCK KEEPERS COTTAGE (Built, 19th Century - 1801 AD to 1866 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Renumbered from NH64NE0710A
Jhooper, 4/2/2002
No NMRS Report Found
See also NH64NE 119.00
NH64NE 119.01
NH64NE 119.02
NH64NE 119.04

This is an excellent example of a lock-keepers cottage and will date at least to the mid 19th-century. Almost all other such cottages along the length of the Caledonian Canal have bee listed - it is not clear why this example has been omitted from the register. The building is considered to be of historic value. <1>

Planning permission has been granted for extensions and alterations to this building to form two flats. A condition survey was carried out of the building and its surroundings in June 2009 comprising internal and external photographs. In addition, a trial hole was excavated (Appendix B of report) which revealed that the cottage had been constructed on free-draining material, most likely that which was used to construct the Caledonian Canal embankments. <2>

At the bottom of Muirtown locks, to the east of the Caledonian Canal stand these two adjoined one and a half storey Gothic Revival cottages built of red sandstone under a gabled slate roof. The main entry for both cottages is from the canal side western elevation with a door at each end set beneath a square stone hood mould. Hood moulds also top the two ground floor windows located towards the centre of the elevation with first floor gabled dormers immediately above.
The northern gable wall displays a single centrally placed rectangular window on both the ground and first floors and each has plain stone surrounds. The southern elevation is a reflection of the northern one, although a modern single storey extension has been added to the south obscuring and perhaps adapting the ground floor window into a doorway. The eastern elevation is largely obscured by the proximity of a rear retaining wall and vegetation but from the car park behind it is possible to identify a blocked rectangular ground floor window at either end of the wall separated by a central single storey extension projecting east beneath a gabled slate roof. The eastern extensions gable wall has another two small windows side by side.
Historical Background:
The buildings relationship with the canal suggests that it was built as a pair of lock keepers cottages but it does not appear upon the 1821 or 1832 maps of Inverness suggesting it may have been a later addition to the canal. By 1875 however the cottages are visible upon the OS map in their present plan form.
From 20th/21st century photographs, including those from the John Hume Collection at RCAHMS, it is evident that the windows on the western elevation were once of three lights on the ground floor and two lights on the first floor, with stone dividing mullions but these have now been replaced by modern casements. Additionally the present casement windows on the northern elevation appear to replace two over two pane sash windows. There was also originally a centrally placed transverse chimney stack with four pots serving both cottages but this has also been removed. The photographs also demonstrate that the cottages were once enclosed within a small garden area, fenced to the west and north.
Visited by Scottish Canals, November 2012

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 65339 45729 (11m by 15m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64NE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (2)

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