MHG89 - Kinlochleven Aluminium Works


C20 aluminium works.

Type and Period (1)

  • ALUMINIUM SMELTER (Modern - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Description contained in the scheduling and list entries.

Kinlochleven Pioneering hydroelectricity plant and (now demolished) aluminium smelter, with good survival of early company housing, dwarfed by the Mamore hills at the head of Loch Leven.

The silos and the remaining part of the carbon factory were listed at Category B in 1991.

The hydro-electric power station, aqueduct and dam were scheduled in 1994.

Opened in 1909, it is now obsolete to its original function, but an ambitious programme of phased regeneration has established part of the site as an outdoor tourism and small business centre. There was an inn here in the 18th century (where Pennant breakfasted on minced stag), and, by about 1900, two lodges - Kinlochmore and Kinlochbeg. In 1904 an Act of Parliament established the Loch Leven Water and Electric Power Co, which merged with the North British Aluminium Co Ltd. (set up in 1894) and built the Aluminium Works, 1905-9. Operated by the largest British hydroelectric power station of its day, works consisted of a large factory block containing rows of 76 smelters (closed in 2000 and now demolished), a warehouse, carbon works and laboratory. The power house, with a dramatic long perspective of 10 pelton wheel turbines by Escherwyss of Zurich and an 11 th of similar design, is still in situ and, as such, almost unique. The water supply was fed by the Blackwater Reservoir four miles away, its mass concrete dam by engineers Thomas Meik & Sons, 1904-9, 1 km wide - the largest in Europe at that time. The carbon silos/bunkers, vast arcaded rubble blocks incorporating structures of early reinforced concrete by T. Meik & Sons and A. H. Roberts, were converted in 2002 by Bruce & Neil Architects for the Kinlochleven Land Development Trust as an outdoor activity/interpretation centre and micro brewery. Most of the rest of the carbon factory was demolished in 1989. <1>

The The hydro-electric power station, aqueduct and dam were de-scheduled by Historic Scotland in 2011.

The statutory address and listed building description were updated and amended by Historic Environment Scotland in March 2016. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NN 1888 6189 (158m by 155m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet NN16SE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

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