The Scottish canals are a historic asset of national importance. This is reflected in their status as Scheduled Monuments.
The Caledonian, Crinan, Forth & Clyde and Union Canals are all scheduled monuments; the Monkland canal is at present not scheduled.
A scheduled monument has been given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, and works that may impinge on the physical remains or the setting of the monument may need approval from Historic Scotland in the form of Scheduled Monument Consent, details of which can be found at Historic Scotland’s website.
Numerous historic buildings can be found along the length of Scotland’s canals. These buildings are an integral part of the canals’ character and heritage.
Their historic importance is recognised through the listing process. The list is compiled by Historic Scotland Inspectors and comprises of buildings which are worthy of statutory protection, of which 92, in 2010, were owned by Scottish Canals, and which require listed building consent for any alterations, extensions or demolition.
Living, Working Monuments
The canals are part of our national and local identity and are a source of pride for the Scottish nation. They are not just a historical resource but a living and working monument and as such are subject to the pressures of use. Scottish Canals is both custodian and promoter of the canals, responsible for their protection, whilst facilitating and encouraging their use by the Scottish public and visitors alike.