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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
Planning Authority
Orkney Islands
Walls And Flotta
ND 30607 96227
330607, 996227


W R Lethaby, dated 1902. Substantial extension to and remodelling of former croft. 2-storey L-plan main block with smaller single storey orignal range incorporated at S end of S wing. Arts and Crafts house with crowstepped gables, wide low 1st floor windows at eaves and distinctive chimney stacks with deep coping slighly tapered above band course to main block. Harled with stone dressings. Overhanging eaves to main block. Stone cills extended slightly to either side of windows. Coped gable to earlier block.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 4-bay. Entrance with gabled rectangular-plan porch to left of centre (diamond-shaped plaque to gable carved with date '1902' and initial 'M'); entrance set back with panelled part-glazed timber door. Small flanking windows; wide low window above. Windows to each floor to flanking bays (those to 1st floor low/wide). Window to outer right bay to ground floor.

S ELEVATION: 9-bay. Gable end of S wing projects to outer left. Narrow window to left of single storey original range; 4 windows (grouped 1-3) to right return. Gable end of S wing of main block set back; 2-bay right return; 2 small windows to left of ground floor; one to right; low wide window to each bay to 1st floor. 8-bay section set back to right. Gabled bay to centre; entrance with glazed 2-leaf timber door to ground floor; breaking eaves dormer above; carved rectangular plaque to gable. Window to each floor to flanking bays (4 to left, grouped 2-2; 3 to right, grouped 2-1); those to 1st floor low and wide, apart from 2 narrower ones (to central bays to left).

E ELEVATION: central window to each floor of gable end.

W ELEVATION: gable end projects slightly to outer right; window to each floor. 3 service entrances set back slightly to right of S wing of main block; 2 to left with boarded timber doors; 2 to right with 4-light rectangular fanlights. Low wide window above that to centre. Stair window to left. Single storey original range adjoins to right. Projecting gabled bay/porch to left of centre; central window; entrance with boarded timber door to right of right return. Narrow window set back to right.

Mainly 12-pane timber sash and case windows and 8-pane casements. Stone (Caithness) slate roof. 3 ridge stacks and one gablehead stack to main block; all with with deep coping slightly tapered towards apex above band course; round cans.

INTERIOR: good interior with chimney-pieces. Plasterwork cast from moulds used at Melsetter House, although less elaborate.

GARDEN WALL: coursed rubble wall with rubble coping encloses garden area to SE of house. Pair of square-plan gatepiers with slab coping immediately to E.

OUTBUILDINGS TO SW: small single storey, rectangular-plan outhouse (originally containing store rooms) immediately to W of 2-storey rear wing. Coursed rubble with stone slate roof. Entrances to N and S gable ends; one to right of E elevation; all with boarded timber doors. Window to right of E elevation. 3 windows to W elevation. Larger outbuilding with loft to SW; rectangular-plan with small outshot with catslide roof to outer left of E elevation. Formerly stable/coach house. Coursed rubble with stone slate roof. Large entrance with plain 2-leaf timber door to right of E elevation; window to left. Entrance to right return of outshot to left. Entrance to right of W elevation; timber door with glazed diamond-shaped panel; flanking windows (that to right small); large entrance with sliding timber door to left. Loft door to N gable end. Entrance to outshot to right of S gable end.

Statement of Special Interest

A very fine house incorporating vernacular and free Arts and Crafts features by one of the most prominent exponents and promoters of the Arts and Crafts movement. The distinctive chimney stacks with their deep tapered/stepped coping and the low wide attic windows are very much of his style and are found on other buildings of his at Melsetter, e.g. the former factor's house (now The Estate Office) (see separate list descriptions). Lethaby worked on a number of buildings in the parish for Thomas Middlemore, a Birmingham industrialist, who purchased the estate of Melsetter (at that time including the entire island of Hoy) in 1898. Lethaby made every effort to ensure that his buildings were in keeping with the local landscape and traditions and often, as here, incorporated earlier structures into his designs. Rysa Lodge was built for Middlemore as a lodge for guests who wished to go shooting. Only the original croft appears on the 2nd Edition OS Map of 1902.



2nd Editon County Series OS MAP; 1/2500 (1902); Godfrey Rubens, WILLIAM RICHARD LETHABY (1986) pp139-40, p300; P Jones, MELSETTER HOUSE in THE ARCHITECT'S JOURNAL, 10th October 1990 pp50-54; Leslie Burgher, ORKNEY, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991) p78; John Gifford, THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (in the 'Buildings of Scotland' series, 1992) p341.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to WALLS (HOY), RYSA LODGE, INCLUDING GARDEN WALL TO SOUTH AND EAST AND OUTBUILDINGS TO SOUTH WEST

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 17/07/2019 05:29