John Rennie was born in 1761 in the small village of Preston Kirk in East Lothian. By the time of his death, he could lay claim to a major professional involvement in the East and West India docks in London, Holyhead Harbour, Hull docks, Ramsgate Harbour, the dockyards at Sheerness and Chatham and Howth and Dun Laoghaire harbours. He was jointly responsible for the tobacco warehouse known as the ‘Skin Floor’ in the London docks, which may have been the inspiration for Stack A. The ‘Skin Floor’ - built between 1811 and 1814 - was a revolutionary structure and helped enhance Rennie’ already considerable reputation for innovative cast iron structures.
The distinguishing characteristics of Rennie’s work, were fimmess and solidity and Stack A encompasses these qualities, standing today as possibly the finest example of nineteenth century industrial architecture in the city.