John Rennie and John Patterson, 1800-1806 (ends only); centre completed in 2 stages 1830-40; W end (Bond 35) with later concrete attic; sundry subsequent additions and alterations.
Unusually long, 31-bay 4-storey and attic warehouse. Squared coursed rubble, ashlar dressings and band courses between floors; some ashlar facing at ground to N; segmental-arched openings, mostly iron-barred, some blocked, some with louvred timber doors. Brick groin-vaulted basements. Low parapets conceal roofs; W block with raised attic storey.
N elevation to docks similarly detailed.
S AND N ELEVATIONS: 30 bays arranged from E in blocks of 4, 10 and 16 bays, with wallheads between; hoists to N. E block slightly taller; hoists in raised wallhead. Double gabled dormer openings and crane hoists to centre block; W block with concrete attic storey. W block with iron lettering to S: MACDONALD & MUIR BONDED STORES and, in italics, HIGHLAND QUEEN.
E ELEVATION: 5-bay; flat-topped gablehead and 1st and 2nd floors united with full-height windows.
W ELEVATION: 5-bay; raised attic, centre openings blocked.
Ashlar coped skews. Grey slates.
INTERIORS: brick groin-vaulted basements supported on stone piers; flanked by access barrel-vaults. Combination of timber post and beam and cast-iron supports for upper floors. Bond 35 rebuilt with concrete beams after bomb damage inflicted by Zeppelin.
GATEPIERS: pair of octagonal ashlar piers with pyramidal caps to W.
Statement of Special Interest
A Group with the East Warehouses (see separate listing). The East dock was built from 1800-06 and the W dock from 1810-1817, to the designs of John Rennie. The warehouses are of national importance as the only dockside development comparable to Rennie's London Docks 1802-5 (demolished in the 1970's), and with the West India Docks of 1802-3 are the oldest surviving regular range of multi-storey harbour warehouses in Britain. The next regular multi-storey dock warhehouses outside London were Albert Dock, Liverpool, in the 1840's, and in Scotland the quite different James Watt Dock, Greenock of 1886.
London Dock warehouses were also 4-storey timber-framed with vaults beneath the quays for wines and spirits, groined at the centres and barrel-vaulted for strength at the ends. The vaults were on similar stone piers that differ slightly in the degree of chamfering at the capitals. The exteriors were brick with band and blocking courses concealing the roofs. Hoists were at 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th bays of each block. The external regularity of the Leith warehouses being compromised by delays in completion and by infilling of the gaps in slightly different styles.
We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/shep-dec2011.pdf, Annex 2, pp74-76.
The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.
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