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Publication Account

Date 1986

Event ID 1017183

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Built at the mouth of one of the most important salmon rivers in Scotland, this vast icehouse was part of a complex salmon-fIshing station which is a classic example of investment by an improving landowner in a local industry.

Crouched behind grey shingle ramparts are three brick-vaulted blocks that form the icehouse. Each block contains two subterranean chambers which would have been packed with ice collected in winter from ponds near the shore, topped up with ice 'bree' from the river. The ice would have been tipped in through the doors high in the sides of the vaults; each chamber has a sump in the floor for the water melted from the vault-high ice. During the netting season salmon would have been stored in the icehouse, prior to being packed in ice for the journey south, initially by sea, latterly by rail. This was a large operation, employing fishers, overseers, coopers and others to a total of 150 at the end of the 18th century. A substantial manager's house, a store and boiling house (1783) also survive.The icehouse has been restored by Moray District Council and now houses good displays on the salmon fIshing, wildlife and the former boat-building industry of Kingston, north of Garnmouth on the opposite bank, founded by men from Kingston-upon-Hull in 1784, using timber floated down the Spey from the forests of Rothiemurcus, Glenmore and Strathspey.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Grampian’, (1986).

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