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 63704 30347
363704, 1030347


Probably 18th century. Tall 2-storey and attic, 3-bay, symmetrical, single-pile gabled farm house with gabled dormers, advanced gabled porch, single storey 2-bay wing adjoining N gable, and associated walled garden, domestic ancillaries and steading buildings. Roughcast-rendered masonry. Regular fenestration set in deep, unmargined, window reveals. Timber-boarded front door in side (S) elevation of gabled porch. Stumpy finials to dormers and porch.

Predominantly 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; some 12-pane glazing. Ashlar-coped skews to gables, dormers and porch. Corniced and coped wallhead stacks with yellow clay cans. Grey stone slates.

INTERIOR: retains original room layout of two rooms per floor on either side of central staircase with smaller room behind. Original timber fittings still in situ.

Statement of Special Interest

A very prominently-sited farmhouse with associated buildings, located on the approach to the sheltered anchorage at Papa Sound. The date of the house is not easily established, but it is believed to date from the mid 18th century, and may even be earlier. A substantial 2 storey house (one of 9 on the island) is shown at Huip on William Aberdeen's map of 1769. A similar house is shown on Thomson's map. The house itself bears a striking similarity to Haa houses of the Shetland Islands, which are typically of two or three storeys with a symmetrical frontage and only one room deep. This is explained by the lack of timber of sufficient size for floor joists for large rooms; extra floor space was obtained by extending upwards.

The Huip estate, which itself dates at least to the mid 17th century, was purchased by David Balfour in the 1760s, who, according to the Statistical Account, set about improving his land, and encouraged other local farmers to adopt Improvement methods (apparently without much success). It is possible that he was responsible for the building of the house and steading buildings. According to the previous list description and RIAS guide, Huip was subsequently owned by David Drever, who was responsible for promoting herring fishing in 1814.



shown on William Aberdeen, Chart of Orkney Islands (1769) and J Thomson, Orkney Islands (1820). Shown on 1st edition OS map (1882). Statistical Account (1795), Vol 15, p400. Leslie Burgher, Orkney (RIAS, 1991), p88. Canmore Database,, accessed on 14.05.07.

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 21:54