History of the Hut

Glen Brittle Memorial Hut has offered a base for mountaineers coming to Skye since the 1960s. People are often surprised to learn that the hut was built as a result of a public appeal for donations, with the aim of serving as a War Memorial to mountaineers who died in the Second World War.


The prime mover was Harry Spilsbury, who had been a Prisoner of War in the First World War and he was active in its management until his death on Beinn Alligin in 1970.

The hut was formally opened in 1965 and has been carefully maintained ever since, the latest major renovations and reconfiguration taking place in 2015/16. Financial support for this latest work came from the BMC and the Scottish Mountaineering Trust, with additional support from Mountaineering Scotland and volunteers from the Rucksack Club and Forth Valley Mountaineering Club.

In 2019 a new memorial plaque was installed at the hut, alongside the original, commemorating those who have died in other wars and more recent conflicts.


A memorial plaque in the hut also commemorates Mick Burke, mountaineer and cameraman who was lost near the summit of Everest during the 1975 expedition.


The visitors’ book records Lord Hunt of Everest fame visiting the hut in 1966 and many other well-known names of the past and current climbing scenes. The “climbs” registers filled in by hut users over the years include records of many first ascents and other notable achievements in the hills. Older versions of the climbs register are kept in the Portree library archive. Read more about the history of the hut in an article that appeared some years ago in the Scottish Mountaineer.  View Scottish Mountaineer article