Part of Historic Environment Scotland

The Engine Shed building



The Engine Shed, part of Historic Environment Scotland, is a transformative space for heritage learning and innovation in Scotland. 

It’s fitting that the home of Scotland’s first dedicated building conservation centre itself uses traditional materials in a contemporary way.

The Engine Shed building, used as a goods transfer shed, was built sometime between 1896 and 1913. The exact details of its construction were subject to an information blackout, and are still unknown, as it was part of an important military complex. The strategic base on the banks of the River Forth was a key resource for the army in the run up to and during both World Wars.

A programme of restoration and development, which began in 2013 and concluded in 2017, revitalised and extended the original building. Since then, we have run over 500 events, held exhibitions, led sessions with school pupils and shaped innovative research.

About the structure

The Engine Shed is a single storey building with sandstone walls and a slate roof, with a glazed clerestory window that runs the full length of the building. Steel roof trusses that span the width of the building support the roof.

Inside the historic building is a single large space, into which the lecture theatre for the building conservation centre has been installed as a pod – similar to the way in which large railway stations house shops and cafés. Originally the train track entered the shed, and elevated platforms ran along one or both sides. As part of the restoration, the floor has been taken down to the original level and the rails and platforms removed.

The original, long, stone Engine Shed building, abandoned and surrounded by vegetation
The Engine Shed in 2014.
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