MHG15342 - 7 Wilson Lane, Thurso


Now demolished, this house was part of the complex of buildings between Shore Street and Wilson's Lane associated with the kipper industry.

Type and Period (2)

  • HOUSE (Built, 19th Century - 1825 AD to 1875 AD)
  • FISH PROCESSING FACTORY? (19th Century - 1825 AD to 1875 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Early 19th century. 2-storey house with full height loft, 3 bays in ground floor. Harled. Centre entrance flanked by
small windows. Tall centre 1st floor loft door. Single end stack; local slate roof. <1>

This building has now been demolished, having been declared unsafe.

The north elevation was recorded as part of a building survey which focusedv on the kippering kiln.. The north evevation of this building is also the south elevation of the kiln, and part of the west gable end, possibly to support the kiln.
The NW corner of the building stands to a height of 4.5m. The quoins are of yellow sandstone, in contrast to the rest of the buildings. Some rebuilding of the uppermost 1m is visible, keying in the wall of the adjacent kiln.
The west gable end contains a small cast iron fire surround within a stone fireplace on the ground floor, demonstrating the domestic nature of the lower storey. The north elevation contains three door openings at ground floor level; these three have wooden lintels and are infilled with breeze blocks. The three openings are irregularly placed: the west doorway is almost flush with the gable wall, while the central doorway is taller than the others. This suggests that not all of the openings are part of the original pre-1896 build. They coincide approximately with the three kilns and would have given access from the ground floor of the house to the floor of the kilns. It is possible that an original central door and window were adapted and a third doorway added at the time of building the kiln. There is evidence of rebuilding in the stonework on the west side of, and above, the east doorway.
The opening in the upper storey of the north elevation is probably a former window rather than a doorway giving access to the kiln: its sill is about 600mm above the floor height. It is infilled with rubble. This suggests that it was a window in the original house which was blocked up at the time of building the kiln. Above the window height, the timber frame, weather boarding and lead flashing of the roof joining onto the kiln roof survive.
Eight sockets for floor joists are visible 2.2m above ground level; another three sockets on the east side appear to have been filled in, probably relatively recently, in an attempt to stabilise the wall.
Photographs of this building, taken in the 1980s, show that the south elevation contained a central loft door but no windows on the upper storey. This indicates that the building was partly used for storage before the construction of the kiln and associated buildings. This storage is likely to have been associated with fish processing.

Seemingly, this is the only building of the kippering kiln complex shown on the 1874 first edition Ordnance Survey map. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 1193 6863 (8m by 7m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND16NW
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.