Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Ice House, HMP Castle Huntly, Longforgan, near DundeeLB12870

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
NO 30207 29208
330207, 729208


This ice house dates to the late 17th century and is situated to the northeast of the castle. There is a semicircular forecourt set into the hillside with rubble retaining walls and a flight of steps leading down to the entrance. This is surrounded by later metal railings. The interior, seen in 2014, has a brick lined passage leading to the egg-shaped brick-lined ice chamber.

Statement of Special Interest

Probably dating from around 1692, the Castle Huntly Ice House is an exceptionally early example not only for Scotland, but also for the UK. While ice houses from the 18th and 19th centuries are fairly common in an estate context, earlier examples are rare and intact early examples are even scarcer. For a building type which has long ceased to be used and was usually discretely sited, many have been at later risk of collapse. Castle Huntly is therefore also distinguished by its excellent condition with the brick interior in good repair. Although it does not have an 'architectural' treatment to its entrance like some of the finer examples from the 18th century onwards, it is, in our current state of knowledge, amongst Scotland's earliest and best-preserved ice houses.

The storage of food was an important consideration for a large estate with many people to feed. With no mechanical refrigeration, keeping food fresh was vital and a variety of specialist buildings were developed for this critical function, of which ice houses were one such type.

Ice houses are usually freestanding and covered with either turf or thatch and concealed within a natural slope to keep them cool. The majority were built between 1750 and 1875, usually on an estate near a stable block or walled garden. In the winter they were filled with ice collected from nearby ponds or rivers and then used to store a variety of produce, such as fish, meat, and drink throughout the year.

While they are normally less obvious in the landscape than other ancillary estate buildings, ice houses are nevertheless an important building type as they tell us much about our domestic and estate history and they are an integral part of the suite of buildings that are associated with large houses.

E A Urquhart in his article about the ice house at Castle Huntly in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland of 1959-60 notes that 'it would seem to be one of the finest examples extant' (p.248). Urquhart explains that there is a record of work being done at an ice house in 1692 and it is assumed that the record refers to the surviving ice house and that it was therefore built by this date. Urquhart suggests that ice houses were introduced to Britain (London) in around 1650.

Category changed from B to A, statutory address and listed building record revised in 2015 as part of the Scottish Prison Service Listing Review 2014-15. Previously listed as 'Castle Huntly, Ice House'.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 31728

John Adair (1683) The Mappe of Straithern, Stormont, and Cars of Gowrie with the rivers Tay and Ern at

Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1861, published 1867) Perthshire LXXXVIII. 6 inches to 1 mile 1st Edition. London: Ordnance Survey.

John Gifford (2007) Perth and Kinross: The Buildings of Scotland. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p.259-62.

Statistical Account (1791-99) Longforgan – County of Perth, Vol. 19. pp.468, 474-479.

New Statistical Account (1834-45) Longforgan – County of Perth, Vol. 10. pp.409-10.

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Session 1959-60, Vol. 93. pp.202-16.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 28/11/2022 05:49