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Skye, Portree, Quay Street, Ice House

Icehouse (19th Century), Warehouse (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Skye, Portree, Quay Street, Ice House

Classification Icehouse (19th Century), Warehouse (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Warehouse; Quay Brae

Canmore ID 276000

Site Number NG44SE 96

NGR NG 48333 43485

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Recording Your Heritage Online

I In 1763, Sir James Macdonald of Sleat (1741 -66) -the 'Marcellus of Skye' -wrote of his ambitions to create 'a complete city at this place.. I am so full of the scheme that I fancy I see the street and the shops and warehouses on every side'. But he died tragically young, and his vision for the economic development and agricultural reorganisation of Skye remained largely unfulfilled. Above the harbour, where the last surviving 19th century commercial ice house (later raised a storey as a warehouse) can still be seen built into a bank on Quay Brae, the later 19th century village spread out round the new focus of Somerled Square. This unpretentious civic space is now a carpark, with a war memorial of 1922 , overlooking which Matthews and Lawrie have left their stamp in a medley of styles: Courthouse, 1865, a simple pedimented classical villa with parapet urns; Clydesdale Bank, 1866, 'Georgian-survival' with heavily pedimented ground floor windows; and the Bank of Scotland, 1873, gabled and hoodmoulded gothic. The Portree Hotel has a three-storey corner block by Alexander Ross, 1875. Parish Church (originally Free Church), John Hay of Liverpool, 1850-4, hardly grander or larger than its predecessor (now a furnishings warehouse in Bank Street, dating from 1820), but prettier, with latticed gothic lights and cottagey porch. A painted, balustraded parapet gives the solid whinstone frontage of R. J. Macbeth's classical Masonic Hall, 1912 , a quirky charm. Of the other churches on this axis, the Free Presbyterian Church by John Mackenzie, 1895, has gothic hoodmoulds and octagonal flèche; Church of St. Columba, (Episcopal), Alexander Ross,1884, is a rectangular hall with gothic lancets, its saddleback tower removed in 1953. Inside, a window by E. Ingram dedicated to Flora Macdonald, 1896, depicts Esther delivering her countrymen. Linked Rectory, 1891.

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

Site Management (2 October 2013)

Early/mid 19th century single vaulted commercial icehouse, later converted to warehouse, and raised one storey. Rubble; blocked centre door in street gable, and 1st floor hoist entrance above. 2nd floor gable end hoist door; 2 vents to each side elevation. Slate roof. (Historic Scotland)


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