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

BETTYHILL FORMER FISHING STATION INCLUDING ICE HOUSE, RUINED DWELLING HOUSE AND BOILHOUSELB49634

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
27/01/2004
Local Authority
Highland
Planning Authority
Highland
Parish
Farr
NGR
NC 69979 62100
Coordinates
269979, 962100

Description

Multi-phase early to mid 19th century former fishing station complex comprising: ice house built into steep bank to S, gabled range to N including substantially ruinous 2-storey 3-bay dwelling house with long single storey boilhouse range extending from N gable. Harled and harl-pointed random rubble walls with ladder pinnings and brick repairs. Turf overlay to ice house roof, graded grey slab roof to boilhouse.

ICE HOUSE: asymmetrical W gable with entrance door centred on gablehead and retaining wing-wall at right. Interior; flagstone floors, barrel-vaulted entrance chamber leading to barrel-vaulted main space with 2 ice-loading doors to vault; modern refrigeration plant to rear of main space (2003).

RUINED DWELLING HOUSE: surviving left bay of W (principal) elevation, N gable with rubble apex stack, corresponding S end wall missing gablehead with modern roofless single storey lean-to.

BOILHOUSE: asymmetrical W (principal) elevation with vertically-boarded door at centre flanked by windows (infilled at right). Widened door opening to left with window to outer right. Blank harled red brick N gable; brick infill to former openings in E (rear) elevation. Interior: exposed timber beams; one inscribed "5th September 1840 Duke and Duchess of Sutherland hear visited".

Statement of Special Interest

Simple and partly ruinous, this grouping of buildings are valuable survivors of a once thriving local industry which operated on the River Naver during the 19th and 20th centuries. Salmon was caught by means of a sweep net and transported the small distance from the shore to the fishing station. Each day's catch was washed, gutted, and cooked in the boilhouse before being salted and packed into wooden barrels, or sealed in large tins. The packed fish was taken along a track to a natural port at the nearby headland and dispatched by sea. A plan of 1810 shows the boilhouse in existence, it is thought that the present boilhouse follows this footprint and contains original fabric (the brick gable ends demonstrate later 19th re-build). In 1846 it is recorded that the ice house was built marking an increase in productivity, it is possible that the 2-storey dwelling house was constructed in response to this. The ice house enabled salmon to be stored before transportation and probably allowed

fresh salmon to be packed on ice and dispatched on fast ships to London and other ports. Between the icehouse and the village is a shallow depression in the ground (formerly a pond) which was used to stock the icehouse with fresh ice in cold weather, otherwise the ice would have been collected and transported from further inland. The Ordnance Survey maps show that there was an outshot to the rear of the boilhouse, this is no longer, however former access to it is indicated by bricked up openings in the rear wall. Due to conservation measures the fishery completely ceased operation in 1992. The ice house and boilhouse are at present (2003) without their doors and windows, it is noted that the roof of the boilhouse is beginning to fail, with slabs slipping. The nearby concrete pier does not appear on the 1st or 2nd edition Ordnance survey maps, most likely being built as a more direct means of dispatching the fish, replacing the short journey up to the headland. It is interesting to note that one can discern a considerable amount of blasting to have taken place at the rocky foreshore, some time in the 19th century. This enabled the fish to be landed and carried up to the station with greater ease.

References

Bibliography

Rev J Dingwall, The Statistical Account of Scotland (1792) Vol 3 p. 539; Sutherland Estate Plan (1810); 1st edition (Sutherland) Ordnance Survey Map (1878); Elizabeth Beaton, Sutherland - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1995) p.41

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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 26/02/2024 16:54