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Skye, Portree, General

Town (19th Century)

Site Name Skye, Portree, General

Classification Town (19th Century)

Canmore ID 166050

Site Number NG44SE 73

NGR NG 4840 4350

NGR Description Centred on NG 4840 4350

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2024.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Portree
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

PORTREE (Port an Righ/Portrigh -the King's Harbour) Portree should really be first encountered by boat, for it is best appreciated when seen from between the rugged shoulders of Trotternish and Ben Tianavaig, which stand sentinel at the mouth of the bay. The anchorage, with wharf and pier planned by Telford, 1818, is overlooked by genteel, curving terraces: Beaumont Crescent, advertised in 1839 as 'neatly furnished, and well adapted for respectable families', with Bosville Terrace above and Douglas Row, slightly later (and extended c.1870s) with lots of dormers along Quay Street. These form the nucleus of the planned village which, from the 1820s, began to replace the small existing settlement.

[The original settlement at Portree was named Kiltaraglen (after the saint, remnants of whose chapel lie nearby). It acquired its present name after James V's army, which landed on 'Creag nam Mor Shluagh' in 1540, and camped on the site of Somerled Square.]

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Architecture Notes

Skye, Portree, general.


National Archives of Scotland

Loan of plans, including one of the village of Portree.

Letters from James MacKintosh to John MacKenzie, Architect.

He has sent John MacKenzie, the roll of plans, enclosed in a tin case. He asks for an acknowledgement and wishes them returned soon.

Letter Book.

1889 GD 221/129/1/page 430 and 436

Expense laid out by Rt. Hon. Alexander, Lord MacDonald on buildings erecting and erected by him on the Island of Skye under the direction of James Gillespie (Architect) 4th March - 11th October as estimated from the Day Book. Includes 285.3.8 pounds spent on the Prison at Portree.

1800 GD 221/73/1

Skye, Portree, Houses.


Scottish Records Office:

Proposed village houses to be built at Portree. They are intended to accommodate Mr Gillespie's workmen and the plough and cartwright.

Noted in 'Buildings to be erected in Skye in 1803'.

1802 GD 221/73/8

Village houses built at Portree.

Letter from James Gillespie, Architect, to John Campbell, W. S. Included in a list of 'work's formerly begun' and finished this year are 'two excellent village houses' at Portree.

1803 GD 221/91

Harling of village houses.

Included in James Gillespie's accounts is an item for harling houses built in 1803 and 1804.

1813 GD 221/48/1

Expense of building houses at Portree 1802-1803.

Note of cost #280.15.11 1/2

Abstract of entailed improvements 1829. Certified by James Gillespie, Architect.

1829 GD 221/43/42

Expense of building houses at Portree:

1803-1804 #47.14.10 1/2

1804-1805 #289.17.5 1/4

1812-1814 #174.19.4 In 1814 this house was fitted up as a stable for the Inn at a cost of #116.7.4 3/4.

Abstract of entailed improvements certified by James Gillespie.

1829 GD 221/43/42


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