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.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
Planning Authority
Orkney Islands
HY 45206 9474
345206, 1009474


Established, 1798; present buildings, 19th and 20th century, W range restored, 1987. Distillery complex distributed along E side of Holm road, arranged around triangular courtyard, built on ground rising to E. Entrance, former manager's house range (now Visitor's Centre and shop) to W, (along Holm Road); 2 malting barns in V-plan arrangement extending E; double, square-plan, pagoda-roofed kilns to apex; adjoining grain stores flanking S arm of V; detached grainstore range parallel to N arm of V; rectangular-plan still-house terminating N arm; series of long, low rectangular-plan bonded warehouses with gabled ends along to road, extending N along Holm Road; further series of later, similar bonded warehouses to W of Holm Road, opposite. Re-pointed roughly coursed rubble with concrete cills and lintels.

ENTRANCE (W) RANGE: W (HOLM ROAD) ELEVATION: range comprising former houses, stores and gabled end of grain store to E. 2-storey 3-bay house to left of entrance, (W): central, modern timber door with rectangular fanlight at ground; window at each floor in each bay flanking. 2-storey, 4-bay house with lower 2-bay block to right, (visitor centre), to right of entrance: window at each floor in each bay. Single storey store range adjoining house to E: 2 small windows set close under eaves to left; doorway to slightly raised block to right. 2-storey and attic, 4-bay, gabled end of grain store to extreme E of range: window in each bay at ground and 1st floors; attic window to gablehead above.

E (COURTYARD) ELEVATION: visitor centre to left of entrance (E): irregular single and 2-storey, 5-bay complex, divided 1-2-2. 2-bay block to centre: forestair to modern boarded door at 1st floor over deep-set doorway at ground in bay to right; window at 1st floor in bay to left. 2-bay block to right: single storey addition spanning bays at ground with central door with narrow lights flanking; window in each bay to right and left; window in canted bay to outer right; 2, evenly disposed windows at 1st floor. Advanced, gabled entrance porch, offset to right, of centre, to single storey block to left; modern, 2-leaf part-glazed doors.

INTERIOR: converted to various offices, a lecture hall to centre and shop to left block.

V-plan, regularly fenestrated MALTING BARNS: narrow barn, circa (1840-60) of 2 aisles, separated by cast-iron columnar supports and brace beam to malting floor at ground; stone floor; exposed timber A-frame roof over grain loft above; timber floor. Wide barn, (probably post 1890) of 4 aisles divided by similar columnar supports to malting floor at ground; stone floor; exposed timber A-frame roof over 1st floor malting floor (no aisle divisions). Corrugated-iron roofs; timber-framed windows; some lower halves shuttered; uPVC rainwater goods.

2 square-plan, KILNS with pagoda-roofed ventilation towers at apex with square-headed entrances at ground and 2 evenly disposed windows set close under eaves, forming triangular courtyard to E; coke and peat-fed furnaces with cast-iron doors; perforated metal kiln floors; timber corn hoppers. Grey slate roof; timber framed windows; uPVC rainwater goods.

Tall, corrugated-iron ELEVATOR HOUSE between kiln and NW malting barn.

2 later rectangular-plan harled, MASH HOUSES/TUNN-ROOMS flanking malting barn to S. Cast-iron 'Porteus' mash tunns, riveted at base; further, later aluminium mash tunns; 20th century riveted steel 'Porteus' processing machinery, (grist hoppers); timber wash backs rising through 2 levels. Corrugated asbestos roof.

Regularly fenestrated rubble GRAINSTORE range parallel to NW malting barn. Timber-framed windows; cast-iron rainwater goods.

20th century, gabled, rectangular-plan STILLHOUSE to N angle of complex; square-headed, sliding boarded doors; 3 large windows to each (N and S) gables. 4 copper stills; traditional copper and brass wine safe; steel walkways and access stairs. Replacement timber-framed, small-pane windows; uPVC rainwater goods.

Series of single storey BONDED WAREHOUSES to N of main complex and to E of Holm Road, opposite. Central boarded doors with windows flanking and to gablehead above to gabled ends. Purple slate roofs; stone skews; uPVC rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

Established in 1798 on the site of an infamous smugglers' bothy, the Highland Park Distillery is the northernmost in Scotland. It is distinguished by the fact that it remains one of only five distilleries which carry out their own malting process. It comprises structures of varying dates, the two fine malting barns and the double kilns with their pagoda-roofed ventilation towers being some of the most interesting. Highland Park whisky acquires its unique taste from the flavours imparted by the local peat, added in measured amounts to fire the kiln for each malting. Much of the grain processing machinery has been updated, a large amount having been manufactured by the Leeds-based Porteus company. Traditional timber wash backs remain, as do the fine copper stills. The former manager's house range to the west was restored in 1987 and now serves as a visitor's centre, offices and a lecture room.



A Barnard, THE WHISKY DISTILLERIES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, (1887), pp 97-101 (reprint); M S Moss & J R Hume, THE MAKING OF SCOTCH WHISKY (1981), p 263; G D Hay & G P Stell, RCAHMS, MONUMENTS OF INDUSTRY (1986), pp 31-62; J Hume THE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF SCOTLAND, VOL II (1977), p245; Leslie Burgher, ORKNEY, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991), p 28; J Gifford, HIGHLAND AND ISLANDS, (Buildings of Scotland Series), (1992), p 338; RCAHMS AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION, B788 (Clyde Coastal Colour), 7343, 21.6.1975.

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 01:44