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TITLE
Horse Fair, Portree
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_0264
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
DATE OF IMAGE
1921
PERIOD
1920s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
32166
KEYWORDS
horses
ponies
Horse Fairs
crofting
Horse Fair, Portree

This unusual photograph was taken in Somerled Square in Portree on Skye in the early 1920s. It shows a horse fair or market in progress.

Horses were a vital part of crofting life on Skye until well into the 1930s. They were used carrying peat, pulling carts and providing transport on the rough tracks which crossed the island.

The traditional breed of Highland horse was the garron, a sturdy animal and particularly sure footed. It was well suited to working on the hilly land of the Highland crofts and later was very useful in the forestry industry for carrying equipment and supplies to remote areas as well as extracting timber. Smaller ponies were also kept by crofters for less arduous chores while stronger horses were borrowed from neighbours or shared to complete ploughing and harvesting tasks.



Somerled Square, the main civic space in the centre of Portree, takes its name from the 12th century warrior chief of the MacDonalds. The Courthouse, the solid building on the extreme right of the photograph, dates from 1865. It is one of several buildings overlooking the Square which were designed by the architectural firm, Matthews and Lawrie.

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Horse Fair, Portree

INVERNESS: Portree

1920s

horses; ponies; Horse Fairs; crofting

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This unusual photograph was taken in Somerled Square in Portree on Skye in the early 1920s. It shows a horse fair or market in progress. <br /> <br /> Horses were a vital part of crofting life on Skye until well into the 1930s. They were used carrying peat, pulling carts and providing transport on the rough tracks which crossed the island. <br /> <br /> The traditional breed of Highland horse was the garron, a sturdy animal and particularly sure footed. It was well suited to working on the hilly land of the Highland crofts and later was very useful in the forestry industry for carrying equipment and supplies to remote areas as well as extracting timber. Smaller ponies were also kept by crofters for less arduous chores while stronger horses were borrowed from neighbours or shared to complete ploughing and harvesting tasks. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Somerled Square, the main civic space in the centre of Portree, takes its name from the 12th century warrior chief of the MacDonalds. The Courthouse, the solid building on the extreme right of the photograph, dates from 1865. It is one of several buildings overlooking the Square which were designed by the architectural firm, Matthews and Lawrie.