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TITLE
Portree from Viewfield, Isle of Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_191
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12978
KEYWORDS
Meall
Portree
Fisherfield
Royal Hotel
crofts
Sir James Macdonald
Skye Gathering Hall
Portree from Viewfield, Isle of Skye

This photograph looks north to the town of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, in 1763, had plans for the economic and agricultural development of the town and the island, but tragically he died young. His grand plans were never fulfilled, but the town gradually grew around the sheltered harbour area which provided the centre to daily life and commerce of the area, and became the largest town on the island.

The shoreline area on the right is called Bayfield, and on the left, Fisherfield. Small croft houses were built along the shoreline of Fisherfield, with the crofts stretching behind in long narrow strips. With gradual improvement to the roads, the pier and harbour played less of a role in the economy of the island. The town stretched inland with construction of houses and businesses away from the harbour, and around the main Somerled Square area. Central in this photograph is the side-on steep roof of the Church of Scotland, central in Somerled Square.

The substantial white painted building, prominent in this photograph is the Royal Hotel. The hotel is renowned for being the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie bade his farewell to Flora MacDonald, and later when 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 all the local fire brigade units assembled, and brigades from Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness were dispatched. 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.

The Meall or Lump is the natural promontory which juts out into Loch Portree. On one side, the lump provided a natural base for the construction of the pier and slipway. In early days, the pier would have been central to the daily life of Portree with fishing and transport of people, mail and goods all being done by sea. The Meall was laid out as a pleasure park in the early 19th century, and stone was quarried from there later, some of it being used to construct the Skye Gathering Hall in 1879.


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Portree from Viewfield, Isle of Skye

INVERNESS: Portree

1940s

Meall; Portree; Fisherfield; Royal Hotel; crofts; Sir James Macdonald; Skye Gathering Hall

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

This photograph looks north to the town of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, in 1763, had plans for the economic and agricultural development of the town and the island, but tragically he died young. His grand plans were never fulfilled, but the town gradually grew around the sheltered harbour area which provided the centre to daily life and commerce of the area, and became the largest town on the island.<br /> <br /> The shoreline area on the right is called Bayfield, and on the left, Fisherfield. Small croft houses were built along the shoreline of Fisherfield, with the crofts stretching behind in long narrow strips. With gradual improvement to the roads, the pier and harbour played less of a role in the economy of the island. The town stretched inland with construction of houses and businesses away from the harbour, and around the main Somerled Square area. Central in this photograph is the side-on steep roof of the Church of Scotland, central in Somerled Square.<br /> <br /> The substantial white painted building, prominent in this photograph is the Royal Hotel. The hotel is renowned for being the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie bade his farewell to Flora MacDonald, and later when 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 all the local fire brigade units assembled, and brigades from Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness were dispatched. 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 /> The Meall or Lump is the natural promontory which juts out into Loch Portree. On one side, the lump provided a natural base for the construction of the pier and slipway. In early days, the pier would have been central to the daily life of Portree with fishing and transport of people, mail and goods all being done by sea. The Meall was laid out as a pleasure park in the early 19th century, and stone was quarried from there later, some of it being used to construct the Skye Gathering Hall in 1879. <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 />