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Skye, Talisker House

House (18th Century)

Site Name Skye, Talisker House

Classification House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Tallisker House

Canmore ID 173466

Site Number NG33SW 18

NGR NG 32443 30212

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/173466

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Recording Your Heritage Online

Talisker House, 1717; later remodellings The former house of the Macleods of Talisker, built at the foot of a bald sgurr at the end of the lonely road through Gleann Oraid. The house stands in a few acres of old trees, just west of its 17th century predecessor. The original three-bay house forms its northern half, from the front of which a piend-roofed wing was pushed out west in 1775. This provided an elegant coved drawing room over a dining room, the latter redecorated c.1865, when the house was extended south. By 1881 Talisker had grown to twice its original length, with crenellated projections mostly of c.1865. Good details include surviving lying pane sash windows and timber-cheeked dormers with palmette and scroll motifs. Inside, the staircase and other finishes are of c.1765 and there is some fine late 18th century plasterwork. Still surviving in the forecourt are the 'Blueish-grey pebbles' which prompted James Boswell to declare 'you walk as if upon cannonballs'. (For more on Johnson and Boswell's observations of Talisker, see p.258). The present garden, stretching westwards towards the sea, is the early 20th century successor to that which in 1773 was 'well cultivated, and what is here very rare ' shaded by trees'.

[A visit to Talisker during their Tour of 1773 prompted contrasting reactions from Johnson and Boswell. The former thought it 'The place beyond all that I have seen from which the gay and the jovial seem utterly excluded; ... lofty hills streaming with waterfalls', the latter 'a better place than one commonly finds on Sky. It is situated in a rich bottom ... good many well-grown trees ... extensive farm ...'.]

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press http://www.rias.org.uk

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