Howietoun Fishery Summer House and Ponds, Howietoun Fishery, Bannockburn

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Howietoun Fishery Summer House and Ponds
Other Name(s)
Howietoun Fishery, Bannockburn
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 78513 88381
Location Type
HS Reference No


Internationally renowned fishery situated on raised ground comprising a complex of fish ponds and structures associated with the breeding, feeding and transporting of the fish and running of the farm.

SUMMER HOUSE: 1886. Centrally placed within the broodstock pond to N of complex. Elongated octagonal-plan, timber framed structure resting on ashlar band course and plinth of alternating red and yellow brick headers and supported on 6 octagonal brick piers linked by arches. Timber laid in diamond and herring-bone patterns and painted white, separated by green painted timber uprights. Piended central hexagonal-plan roof (with flat top) and pitched gables to E and W, slated. Leaded ladders built into roof. Tripartite window to E; canted window to S angle; entrance door with flanking windows to porch to W. Originally leaded casement, top hung and fixed windows (some replaced by plate glass). Pine lined interior walls and hexagonal roof.

Sir James Maitland has been dubbed the 'father of scientific aquaculture' (Lannon); through scientific experimentation he pioneered fish farming techniques and set the standard for modern fish farming. He also applied marketing and business skills to create a successful operation, making use of improving road, rail and communication networks as well as the fashion for fish ponds on private estates

Following James Maitland's death in 1897, the farm remained in the family until 1967 when the estate was broken up. The fishery fell into disuse until it was bought by the University of Stirling in 1979 for the Institute of Aquaculture and was brought back into operation following a major overhaul. Howietoun is used for the practical training of British and international students in modern aquaculture techniques, as well as operating on a small commercial basis. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
11/06/2008, 19/9/2012, 30/6/2015, 01/08/2018
Development History
June 2008: External inspection finds that this timber building has dilapidated. The paint is failing exposing the timber. One window is broken.
19 September 2012: Limited external inspection possible. From a distance the building appears largely unchanged since the previous site visit. There may have been further loss of window glazings.
30 June 2015: Limited external inspection finds the building appears to remain in much the same condition as seen previously.
1 August 2018: External inspection finds the condition of the structure continues to deteriorate. There are a significant number of slipped roof slates; further deterioration and loss of external cladding exposing the timber lining to the elements. The brick sub-structure has been exposed by a planned reduction in water levels to the ponds. The site is now entirely disused - both ponds and summerhouse are surplus to fishery requirements. The water levels have been dropped in all the ponds. The grounds are now becoming overgrown in places, although minimal maintenance of grassed areas continues. Risk assessment now extends to the ponds as disused structures.

A local community group has been in discussion with owners, Stirling University, with a view to potentially acquiring the former fishery site.
13 September 2018: The former fishery and associated buildings are under marketing for sale through appointed agent Bell Ingram. Offers over £225,000 are being sought.
22 October 2018: Bell Ingram's website notes the site is now under offer.
3 February 2021: Daily Record website reported (31/3/2020) on the sale of the site by the University of Stirling to a new owner.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01786 442453


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
See FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
The University of Stirling holds an extensive archive on Howietoun.
J Maitland, The History of Howietoun (1887); 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map (1899); T Lannon, The Story of Howietoun (1989); additional information courtesy of the Howietoun Fishery and the University of Stirling (2003).
Online Resources
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit