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Glen Shira Dam
Argyll, Scotland
associated engineer
James Williamson
Babtie, Shaw & Morton
date  completed 1956
UK era  Modern  |  category  Dam/Reservoir  |  reference  NN163202
The mass-concrete Glen Shira Dam is the centrepiece of the Glen Shira Hydro-Electric project. Completed in 1956, the dam harnesses the flows of the Shira and Fyne rivers and adjacent streams between Loch Fyne and Loch Awe.
Glen Shira Dam is of the round-head buttress-type. It stands 40.5m high and is some 686m long. The heads of the buttresses are angular in shape, instead of curved as they are on other similar dams.
Taking advantage of the geography of the catchment area, a smaller concrete and earth-filled dam around 18m high was constructed further downstream than the main dam. The lower dam provides extra water storage (Loch Stron Mor) — its contents are pumped up to the main reservoir (Lochan Shira) when required.
Linking the main dam to the power station is a high pressure tunnel. It's of interest as it is partly sloping. The tunnel was driven almost entirely from the bottom in order to take advantage of the slope for easier removal of the spoil. Little mechanical assistance was required, which no doubt saved the contractor time and effort.
The Glen Shira Hydro-Electric project was conceived by James Williamson, and as a whole generates 45MW. The dam as built was engineered by Babtie, Shaw & Morton.
Main contractor: A.M. Carmichael (Edinburgh)
Research: CB
reference sources   CEH SH

Glen Shira Dam