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
Planning Authority
ND 35988 50496
335988, 950496


D and J R McMillan, 1909 (with later additions and alterations by Sinclair MacDonald and Son, 1935-37 (see Notes). Symmetrical, 2-storey, 6-bay, rectangular-plan, multi-gabled school with Tudor and Scottish Domestic detailing. Crowstepped gables with arrowhead coping stones. Coursed squared sandstone rubble with raised pale sandstone ashlar dressings. Rusticated base course. Long L-plan addition to right (NW) using similar treatment. Later additions to rear.

PRINCIPAL (NE) ELEVATION: set back from road with broad flight of steps to front. Single-storey double gable to centre with pair of Venetian windows flanked by pupil entrances and 2-storey, gable-end wings at outer bays with ball finials at corner angles. Castellated, octagonal towers within re-entrant angles and further double crowstepped gable to central drill hall, flanked by taller gables with bracketed stacks.

INTERIOR: Simple drill hall to centre with cantilevered balcony on three sides. Curved moulded timber panelling to main spaces and stairs, rising to dado height. Moulded cast-iron banisters with timber hand rails to stairs and balconies.

Predominantly timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Sandstone ashlar gable head and some ridge stacks. Cast-iron rain water goods.

Statement of Special Interest

Wick High School is a distinctive and well-detailed example of its building type with an unusual mix of Tudor and Scottish Domestic elements making a significant and positive contribution to both the streetscape and the wider townscape. Extended in a similar style to the NW in 1935, the robust form and massing of the original 1909 block predominantly retains its original character with prominent octagonal towers and a wealth of crowstepped gables.

The flat-roofed pupil entrances to the principal elevation are later additions and were formerly canted windows. Separate Boys and Girls entrances were located at the side elevations although only the SE entrance now survives following the addition of the extension to NW. There is a range of 1960s modular classroom blocks to the rear.

Inverness born Duncan McMillan was apprenticed to the eminent highland architect Alexander Ross from 1855 until 1861. McMillan's son, John Ross was articled to his father in 1885. The practice were prolific covering a broad range of building types including civic and eclesiastic and in the later stages of their career, specialised in housing estates. Their church buildings include the Beechgrove and Ferryhill Free Churches in Aberdeen (see separate listings).



3rd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1923). RCAHMS, Drawings - Foundation, Floor and Roof Plans, Sections and Elevations of Existing Building, D and R J MacMillan (12/1908) Ref: SM 1930/127/5; Sinclair MacDonald and Son, Ref: SM 1930/127/1-24). John Gifford, Buildings of Scotland - Highlands and Islands (1992) p142. Elizabeth Beaton, Caithness, An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1996) p36.

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. 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: 08/07/2020 06:36