Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
Planning Authority
Orkney Islands
Hoy And Graemsay
HY 23809 4031
323809, 1004031


Re-built, 1798, possibly incorporating earlier fabric; later alterations and additions. 2-storey and attic, 3-bay rectangular-plan, near symmetrical, crowstep-gabled former manse with pitch-roofed entrance porch; single storey and attic crow-stepped projection to left; various additions to rear; single storey rubble, gabled store sited immediately to N of house; single storey ancillary range sited to N of main house; later addition to W end; battered conical kiln to E end. Harled house; harl-pointed squared and coursed rubble to ancillary range.

HOUSE: S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: main 3-bay group: window to entrance porch at ground in bay to centre; modern timber-panelled door in right return; window at 1st floor above. Window at each floor in bay to right. Bipartite (later) window at ground in bay to left; window at 1st floor above. Lean-to modern conservatory addition, set to right, in projection to left; large shed dormer above; window to left.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: main 3-bay group: window at each floor in bay to centre. Window to gabled projection in bay to right. Lean-to projection with window set to left spanning block to right. Pend between main house and projection.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-bay: window at ground in bay to left. Window at each floor in bay to right; gablehead stack above.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-bay projection: modern glazed door at ground in bay to left; attic window above; window at ground in bay to right; gablehead stack above. Attic window, set to left to main house; gablehead stack above.

Variety of glazing patterns, predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Traditional graded stone tiled roof; grey slate roof to store; stone ridges; harled, corniced gablehead stacks to E and W of main house and to W of lower projections; predominantly uPVC rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: not seen, 1998.

BOUNDARY WALLS: drystone rubble walls enclosing large rectangular garden to S of main house; tall, square-plan piers with ball caps to E; replacement iron gate.

ANCILLARY RANGE: 4 irregularly disposed entrances to N; regularly fenestrated to S. Traditional graded stone tiled roof; corrugated-iron to E end; stone ridge; stone skews.

Statement of Special Interest

Originally constructed as Hoy Manse, it remains a good example of a high class Orkney house. It retains its crowstepped gables, its substantial stacks and its traditional graded stone tiled roof. The single storey ancillary range retains a particularly intact example of a typical Orkney kiln. Sir Walter Scott is reported as having stayed at Burra House in 1814, (3rd SA).



1st edition Ordnance Survey map, (1881), evident; NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1841), p 41; 3RD STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1985), p 67; Leslie Burgher, ORKNEY, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991), p 78; J Gifford, HIGHLAND AND ISLANDS, (Buildings of Scotland Series), (1992), p 309; KIRKWALL PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE, 728.8, 2548.

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 statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. 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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see 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 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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