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


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


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

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.

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Printed: 19/08/2022 18:00