Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
Planning Authority
Orkney Islands
HY 51042 638
351042, 1000638


Rebuilt, 1781, renovated (or rebuilt again) 1816-1818. 5-bay, symmetrical, rectangular-plan, crowstepped gabled, plain hall church with low 2-bay rectangular-plan vestry to E end. Harled. Walled churchyard extending around church with outbuilding to northern wall.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: squat, round-arched window with horizontally aligned oval niche above in bay to centre. Tall round-arched window (blocked) in each bay flanking. Window in each bay of vestry set back to outer right.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: deep-set round-arched door at ground with blocked fanlight in full-height, slightly advanced narrow bay to centre. Round-arched window, set high, below gable in each bay flanking.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: blank wall.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: vertically disposed sandstone heraldic panel centred below gablehead stack to advanced vestry in bay to centre; stone crucifix to gable apex of main block above.

Small-pane timber-framed window with simple intersecting tracery to S; other church windows blocked; 12-pane timber sash and case windows to vestry. Caithness stone tiled roof; central square-plan timber vent; old Orkney grey slate to vestry; corniced harled stack to vestry gable.

INTERIOR: not seen, 1997.

WALLED CHURCHYARD, GATEPIERS AND OUTBUILDING: rubble wall with rubble cope enclosing rectangular-plan graveyard surrounding church containing predominantly 19th century headstones; small, rectangular-plan shed with boarded door to W gable; graded Caithness stone tiled roof; stone ridge; replacement square-plan squared rubble gatepiers sited to S; shallow domed concrete caps; timber gates.

Statement of Special Interest

No longer in ecclesiastical use. Records in the Kirkwall Archives note how the reverend James Grahame was minister of

St Nicholas, Church, Holm, from 1688-1721; the Old Statistical Account records that the church was rebuilt in 1781; it was subsequently rebuilt in 1816. Photographs taken in 1975 show the existence of a simple, ball-finialled, pyramidal capped bellcote to the W gable.



O S A, (1793), p 412; Appears on 1st edition OS map (1882); Groome, ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND (1892) p 271; 3RD S A, (1953), p 61; KIRKWALL ARCHIVES, MISCELLANEOUS VOL I/28 (1977), HISTORY OF HOLM; L Burgher, ORKNEY, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991), p 33; J Gifford, HIGHLAND AND ISLANDS (1992), p 307; NMRS Photographic Records, AZ 6472,

AZ 6473.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 20/03/2019 07:21