Cruachan Power Station, Argyll and Bute

Colour photograph, 2006
Survey by RCAHMS

Photographed in 2006 by RCAHMS aerial photographic survey, this image shows the massive buttress dam at the near side of the reservoir in the basin of Ben Cruachan.

Cruachan power station is part of the North of Scotland’s Hydro-Electric Board’s Awe scheme. Work began in 1959 and it was officially opened by the Queen in 1965, although it was not fully operational until 1967.  Due to the limitations of the site, the actual power station is built in the heart of the mountain, approximately one kilometre below ground.  When it was built, Cruachan was the first reversible pump storage system in the world.  James Shearer, consultant architect to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electricity Board from 1944, died in 1962 and the role of consultant architect for Cruachan passed to his son, also James Shearer.

Cruachan has a visitor centre where the public can visit the power station deep inside the mountain.