Glasshouses at Skibo Castle, Dornoch

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

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Glasshouses at Skibo Castle
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NH 73590 89139
Location Type
HS Reference No


Glasshouses; large range of early 20th century glasshouses to north of castle with thistle motif cast-iron ridge cresting and decorative finials. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
early 20th century

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
01/09/2008, 01/04/2011, 19/09/2018
Development History
September 2008: External inspection finds that although generally in use, the glasshouses are largely in a poor condition with decaying iron and timber frames, damp and crumbling base courses, covered in vegetation and with some corroded ironwork. The glass panes on most of the buildings are intact with the marked exception of the lean-to glasshouse, built against the south elevation of the south range, which is open to the elements and overgrown with ferns.
October 2008: Local planners report consent has been recently granted for partial demolition and repair/reconstruction of the main range of glasshouses at Skibo following negotiations with the owners and Historic Scotland. The range within the walled garden is to be demolished.
April 2011: External inspection finds that the partial demolition has been completed and restoration work is underway.
13 September 2012: Local planners advise whilst the downtakings were completed as per permissions sought, restoration works are not underway. Moved back to At Risk.
19 August 2014: Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for the renovation of thre glasshouses with partial demolition and rebuilding are currently being sought ref: 14/00100/LBC & 14/00100/LBC. The Supporting Planning Statement, submitted as part of the application, notes the owners of the Skibo Estate Carnegie Club have appointed Keppie architects along with a heritage consultant and structural/ civil engineers, to prepare a schedule for repairs across the estate. The Statement notes temporary supports to the 3 principle glass houses (vinery, tomato house and rosewalk) have been proposed in consultation with Highland Council alongside like-for-like repairs to the Melon House, in advance of full restoration of the complex.
The Orangery, subject previously to downtakings, has not been re-erected in line with the original consents with some of the components now damaged. Due to the extent of damage re- building is instead proposed. Retrospective Listed Building Consent for removal of lean-to glasshouses in the walled garden was conditionally granted ref 14/00103/LBC. Local planners report the Skibo Estate is working closely with Highland Council and have recently completed the restoration of the Melon House to a high standard.
19 September 2018: Inspection finds the glasshouses are undergoing restoration work. The Tomato House, Strawberry House and Melon House have all been restored. The Vinery and Rose Walk remain in poor condition but restoration work has commenced. Move to Restoration in Progress.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Skibo Estate
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
William Calder, THE ESTATE AND CASTLE OF SKIBO (1949). National Monuments Record of Scotland.
Online Resources
Ancillary Buildings
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit