Atholl Demonstration Houses at Neuk Edinburgh

Atholl Demonstration Houses at Neuk Edinburgh 1

Atholl 1945 Variant and the first Prototype at Neuk, Edinburgh..

A large number of Atholl Steel houses were built in Scotland immediately after the first World War.

A prototype Atholl house had already been put into production in England and after receiving several minor modifications it was also selected for production throughout Scotland between 1946 and 1950, as part of the Scottish postwar housing programme .
A block of two-storey, four-apartment semi-detached Atholl cottages was built in 1945 by Atholl Steel Houses for the Scottish Special Housing Association at plots 21 & 23 of the housing demonstration site at SIGHTHILL, Edinburgh. 

It is currently not known if any other semi-detached blocks were built or still exist in Scotland. The Sighthill Demonstration site and the original Atholl House can still be viewed today, although it does appear to have undergone some exterior refurbishment.

Atholl demonstration house at Neuk Edinburgh
One of the original refurbished demonstration houses today

Brief Structural Details – Demonstration House Sighthill

  • Load bearing system consists of a structural steel frame of stanchions and beams, support upper floor, roof and steel cladding.
  • The external steel stanchions are of 4 in. x 4 in. x 3/8 T section on the front and rear walls and 3 in. x 10 lb I section on the gables. All have steel base plates bolted to individual foundations.
  • The stanchions on the gables are at 7 ft. 4 in. centres approximately, and the front and rear walls at 7 ft. 6 in. centres.
  • At  the first floor level the stanchions on the front and rear walls are connected by a continuous beam of 6 inch x 3 inch x 5/16 inch L section which also supports the first floor joists. The latter supported at mid span by a 6 inch x 3 inch x 10lb. RSJ which runs between the gable and party wall and intermediately upon the 3 in. x 3 in. I stanchions —two to each house.
  • Wall beams in the gable are of 5 inch x 2 1/2 inch channel section connected to the stanchions floor level, and also carry the ends of the 6 inch x 3 inch. first floor girder ends.
Image of interwar Atholl House
The former inter war variant of the Atholl house at Lochend Glasgow.

Outer walls consist of an external cladding of painted steel plates with lapped joints, fixed stanchions and an internal lining of plasterboard fixed to prefabricated timber frames.
A glass wool quilt 1 inch thick is draped in the cavity behind the timber frames.

The cladding is of 10 gauge steel plates up to a height of 5 ft. 6 inches and above that of 12 gauge steel plates. At ground level the plates are lapped over a bevelled precast concrete base course.

The separating wall is of cavity construction formed of two leaves of 3 inch thick clinker concreteblockwork with a 2 inch wide cavity and a plaster finish.
Partitions are of timber framing lined with plasterboard.

The roof is constructed of steel trusses with a covering of ‘Trafford Tile’ asbestos cement sheeting fixed to 4 inch x 2inch timber purlins. The ceiling is of plasterboard fixed to prefabricated timber panels supported by theroof trusses.

The Ground floor is formed of 4 inch x 2 inch timber joists and boarding supported on 6 inch x 2inch timber bearers carried on stub piers of brickwork over a treated solum.

The Upper floor is formed of 7 inch x 2 inch timber joists and boarding with a plasterboard ceiling fixed to timber branders.

The Chimney is of brickwork with a render finish.

Additional Atholl House information provided by West Dumbarton Council

Houses built by Atholl Steel Houses were erected at White Street, Clydebank, in 1927. The four-in-a-block flats were part of an order placed by Clydebank Borough Council for 100 such houses in the Whitecrook area.

Each flat consisted of a living room, two bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. Doors at the front of the house gave access to the ground floor flats, with side doors leading to the upper flats. Heavy steel sections were securely bolted to concrete foundation blocks. Horizontal angle irons were attached to carry the ends of the floor and ceiling joists. Floors, ceilings and roofs were of traditional construction.

Hansard Commons Debate 1 Hansard Debate 2

Further Atholl House Reading on BISF House.

Atholl 1945 House Atholl 1926 House

Do you own, live in or had any experience with a Atholl House?
If  you do, then please share your thoughts and experience in the comments section below.