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TITLE
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_170
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12962
KEYWORDS
Portree
boats
harbour
Royal Hotel
Bonnie Prince Charlie
Flora MacDonald
Johnson and Boswell
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye

This sepia photograph shows a crowd gathered at the slipway at Portree harbour. Whether there was a special occasion or just the normal daily activities around the pier there is little indication. Sir James Macdonald of Sleat had a great vision for Portree, which would see industry and shops, a bustling centre with increasing population and advancement of the quality of lives of the islanders. Unfortunately he died at a young age, and his plans never materialized. However, the town of Portree did grow from the pier and harbour area which would have been central to the daily life and activities of the town. Until the late 1950s there were daily steamers arriving in Portree carrying passengers, cargo and mail. With the upgrading of roads throughout the island, which took considerable time, the pier became less important for transport to the town and the island. Over the years the pier has seen very busy times with herring fleets packed into the harbour.

As the harbour grew, houses were built fronting the pier, and along the natural curve of the waterfront to Beaumont Crescent, on the right. These substantial houses were advertised in 1839 as 'neatly furnished and well adapted for respectable families'. Behind this row of houses is Quay Brae leading into the centre of the town. Rising stately above the crescent in this photograph is the Royal Hotel which replaced the original McNab's Inn. The hotel is renowned for being the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie bade his farewell to Flora MacDonald, and later where Johnson and Boswell dined in 1773.

In February 1963, the Royal Hotel was severely damaged by fire, which broke out in an unoccupied wing of the building likely due to faulty wiring. Quickly the local fire brigade assembled, and brigades from Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness were dispatched as well as all local units. For some time it was thought that the whole block which included shops and houses would be lost, and people and goods were quickly evacuated. However, the wind dropped, and the fire was contained to one wing of the hotel. The hotel was rebuilt, not to the original design, but still remains a busy, central hotel in the town.


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Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye

INVERNESS: Portree

1950s

Portree; boats; harbour; Royal Hotel; Bonnie Prince Charlie; Flora MacDonald; Johnson and Boswell

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

This sepia photograph shows a crowd gathered at the slipway at Portree harbour. Whether there was a special occasion or just the normal daily activities around the pier there is little indication. Sir James Macdonald of Sleat had a great vision for Portree, which would see industry and shops, a bustling centre with increasing population and advancement of the quality of lives of the islanders. Unfortunately he died at a young age, and his plans never materialized. However, the town of Portree did grow from the pier and harbour area which would have been central to the daily life and activities of the town. Until the late 1950s there were daily steamers arriving in Portree carrying passengers, cargo and mail. With the upgrading of roads throughout the island, which took considerable time, the pier became less important for transport to the town and the island. Over the years the pier has seen very busy times with herring fleets packed into the harbour.<br /> <br /> As the harbour grew, houses were built fronting the pier, and along the natural curve of the waterfront to Beaumont Crescent, on the right. These substantial houses were advertised in 1839 as 'neatly furnished and well adapted for respectable families'. Behind this row of houses is Quay Brae leading into the centre of the town. Rising stately above the crescent in this photograph is the Royal Hotel which replaced the original McNab's Inn. The hotel is renowned for being the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie bade his farewell to Flora MacDonald, and later where Johnson and Boswell dined in 1773.<br /> <br /> In February 1963, the Royal Hotel was severely damaged by fire, which broke out in an unoccupied wing of the building likely due to faulty wiring. Quickly the local fire brigade assembled, and brigades from Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness were dispatched as well as all local units. For some time it was thought that the whole block which included shops and houses would be lost, and people and goods were quickly evacuated. However, the wind dropped, and the fire was contained to one wing of the hotel. The hotel was rebuilt, not to the original design, but still remains a busy, central hotel in the town. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />