MHG54829 - Hydro Scheme - Scatwell House


Hydro Scheme at Scatwell

Type and Period (1)

  • HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION (19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Hydro-scheme - From NH 39345 55071 (SW end) to NH 39783 55709 (NE end/generator shed). The remains of a hydro-scheme (146), surveyed by NOSAS in 2007 as part of the Scotland's Rural Past Project, can be seen on a northeast facing forested hillside above and to the SW of Scatwell House. It comprises an intake/sluice from the Allt a’ Mhuillin which is now diverted to run into the Allt Dubh, a pipe, a cistern and valve, and 2 generator sheds (one older than the other). Some of the remains described are almost certainly those of an original hydroscheme described in the Scottish Highlander of 10th Oct 1889, see appendix, but much too appears to be of an updated version on the same line. If this is one of the earliest examples of a private hydro-scheme then it might warrant more detailed recording and investigation as a separate project.

146A Intake - NH 39345 55071 The old intake is at the foot of a steep rocky gully just above the plantation. The remains comprise an overgrown dry-stone wall across the line of the burn with 2 cast iron valves visible below it. At an angle across the burn on a solid rock shelf is a partial line of dry-stone work, possibly evidence of a one time dam. There is a course iron grill in the burn below and a length of 6” (15cms) cast iron pipe whilst on the bank are the remains of what might have been a timber framed sluice gate and a perforated steel screen. Below the intake the lower side of the Allt a’Mhuilinn has been banked up and faced with stone - this wall extends for c200m downstream. It diverts the flow of water away from the natural line of the Allt a’Mhuilinn and towards the Allt Dubh. Some 100m below the old hydro intake there are the remains of a wooden box in the river embankment, it is thought to be an old intake to a 4” fireclay pipe - a possible drinking water supply.
146B The course of a pipe descends from the intake for 1 kilometre in a NE direction. For the majority of its course the pipe, which is 20 cms in diameter, is buried underground. It crosses the course of the Allt a’ Mhuillin at GR NH 39660 55463, besides a cistern, before traversing a marsh and descending steeply down to the generator house.
146C A valve is seen at the top of the last steep slope. It is located in a stone lined watery pit. From this point to the generator shed there appear to be 2 pipes running parallel.
146D A generator shed - GR NH 39783 55709 of timber and tin and rapidly becoming overwhelmed with rhododendrons. A few metres to the north in the rhododendrons, there is a further collapsed timber shed with a tin roof. From this position Scatwell House lies 200m to the north. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 3956 5539 (450m by 635m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH35NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish CONTIN

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Related Investigations/Events (1)

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