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Milngavie Reservoirs and Barrachan


The site is dominated by the water bodies and architecture of the two 19th-century reservoirs built to secure Glasgow's water supply. There are public walkways and some open areas for recreation. Tree planting includes screening belts and one large group featuring mixed ornamental conifers dating from the mid-19th century.

About half of the site (60 hectares) is taken up with the water bodies. Water from the aqueduct discharges into the reservoirs via an outlet through crescent-shaped screen walls and then enters gauge basins and measuring ponds. The gauge basin associated with Craigmaddie Reservoir is divided into five sections by dividing walls in the pattern of a palmate leaf. The 19th-century Barrachan Farm features policy woodland to the west and areas of former parkland to the south, which are now somewhat neglected.

The whole area has high recreational and amenity value and forms a significant feature in views of the area from the south, with the water bodies and tree planting seen against a backdrop of hills.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

Public paths run around both reservoirs and through the woods to the north of Mugdock Reservoir and Barrachan.


Scottish Water

Castle House, 6 Castle Drive, Carnegie Campus, Dunfermline, KY11 8GG

Water was transported to the reservoirs at Milngavie by a 26-mile aqueduct from Loch Katrine in the Trossachs to secure a clean drinking water supply for Glasgow, following the passing of a Water-Works Act in 1855.


Victorian (1837-1901)

Features & Designations


  • Historic Environment Scotland Listed Building

  • Reference: Milngavie Reservoirs and Barrachan


  • Dam
  • Description: Mugdock and Craigmaddie Reservoirs.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Causeway
  • Description: A raised berm between Mugdock and Craigmaddie Reservoirs.
  • Drinking Fountain
  • Description: An art nouveau-style fountain erected in honour of J M Gale, one of the chief engineers of the project.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
Key Information


Designed Rural Space



Principal Building



Victorian (1837-1901)





Open to the public




  • East Dunbartonshire Council, `Milngavie Reservoirs?, {Survey of Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes in East Dunbartonshire}, [accessed 6 August 2008]