Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.

Ice House, HMP Castle Huntly, Longforgan, near DundeeLB12870

Status: Designated


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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

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). 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 only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 19/04/2019 07:22