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
Hoy And Graemsay
HY 23615 4791
323615, 1004791


Circa 1615 with later alterations and additions. 1 1/2 storey, irregular, 5-bay crowstepped-gabled, rectangular-plan house with crowstepped dormers and entrance porch; detached, 1 1/2 storey, rectangular-plan, crowstepped gabled annex forming L-plan complex to E; single storey ancillary buildings to E and S. Main house harled; harl-pointed, random rubble annex; drystone and harl-pointed random rubble ancillary buildings.

MAIN HOUSE: S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: window at each floor in bay to centre. Entrance porch with window to S in bay to right of centre; boarded door with small-pane fanlight in left return. Window at each floor in bay to outer right. Deep-set door at ground in bay to left of centre. Window at each floor in bay to outer left. N (REAR) ELEVATION: irregular 3-bay. Window, set low, in bays to centre and to right. Small window in bay to left. W (SIDE) ELEVATION: blank; gablehead stack above. E (SIDE) ELEVATION: window at each floor in bay to right; forestair to annex flanking bay to left at ground; gablehead stack above.

INTERIOR: not seen, 1998.

Replacement 4-pane timber sash and case windows; small rooflights to N pitch. Traditional graded stone tiled roof; stone ridge; cavetto-moulded skewputts; SW skewputt with initials 'HH'; harled, corniced gablehead and ridge stacks; predominantly uPVC rainwater goods.

BOUNDARY WALLS: drystone walls with stone cope enclosing garden around house; square-plan piers to N with stepped caps.

ANNEX: E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central boarded door at ground. W (REAR) ELEVATION: central buttress; attic window, breaking eaves, offset to left of centre; window at ground in bay to outer left; lean-to additions with window to W spanning bays to right. N (SIDE) ELEVATION: central door at 1st floor; gablehead stack above. S (SIDE) ELEVATION: lean-to at ground; blank above; gablehead stack.

ANCILLARY BUILDINGS: irregularly fenestrated, later, parallel, 1 1/2 storey ranges disposed E/W, built on ground falling to E; harl-pointed random rubble; corrugated-asbestos and -iron roof; stone ridge; stone skews; gablehead stack to each W gable; centred, pitch-roofed porch to S range. Single storey, 3-bay range to W between; central door with windows flanking to E elevation; traditional stone tiled roof; stone ridge; stone skew; stone slab livestock compartments; central muck trough.

Statement of Special Interest

A significant survival of early 17th century domestic architecture in Orkney, this house was originally built for Hugh Halcro of Halcro (South Ronaldsay), the SW skewputt bearing his initials. He acquired the estate in 1614 and made the Bu his principal seat. The property subsequently passed to his son-in-law, Alexander Mowa of Swinzie (Caithness).



1st edition Ordnance Survey map, (1881), evident; Leslie Burgher, ORKNEY, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991),

p 78; J Gifford, HIGHLAND AND ISLANDS, (Buildings of Scotland Series), (1992), p 309.

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: 21/03/2019 07:38