Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
Planning Authority
Orkney Islands
HY 49546 2047
349546, 1002047


Late 18th-early 19th century with later alterations. 2-storey, asymmetrical crowstepped gabled 3-bay house (now derelict) with single bay lean-to projection to W gable and to N wall; detached 2-bay single storey rectangular-plan barn/byre at right angles to rear (N) forming L-plan complex; rectangular-plan store with circular-plan kiln to N gable sited to W of L-plan complex. Harl-pointed roughly coursed rubble; rough long and short quoins to main house.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: window offset to left of centre at ground. Window in bay to outer right; small window at 1st floor above. Boarded door to left at ground. Boarded door in lean-to projection to outer left.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: window offset to right in lean-to projection to right of wall. Blank wall to left.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: small window (blocked) at ground in bay to right of centre; window at 1st floor in bay to left; gablehead stack above. Wide, square-headed opening to lean-to projection set back to outer right.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: blank lean-to wall spanning elevation at ground; blank gablehead above.

Single timber framed window remains. Corrugated-iron roof to W end; old Orkney grey slate with Caithness stone easing course to E end; Caithness stone tiles to lean-to projections; replacement cement skews to centre; central corniced rubble ridge stack; gablehead stack to E end.

INTERIOR: ruinous state. Timber framed doorways; timber staircase (collapsed) at W end; floors divided by timber joists and boards; large central fireplace remains with fixed cast-iron pot rack and chins; large stone chimney breast to fireplace at E end; fireplace with timber framed press to left at 1st floor to E end; timber boards to canted ceiling. Finely laid transverse cobbled floor to W end lean-to projection (now hay store).

BARN/BYRE: harl-pointed rubble 2-bay barn/byre; evenly disposed boarded door in each bay to E (principal) elevation; graded Caithness stone tiled roof with small rooflights to E pitch; stone ridge; replacement concrete skews.

STORE AND KILN: harl-pointed rubble rectangular-plan store and kiln built on ground falling to E. Centred boarded door to W elevation; boarded door, offset to right to E elevation; blank gabled S elevation; circular-plan, bellied kiln to W. Purple Welsh slate with Caithness stone tiled easing course; stone ridge (some sections replaced). INTERIOR: well preserved typical store and kiln; exposed timber rafters and tie beams; low square-plan peat store to left of kiln to W end; typical rectangular kiln entrance, set high above floor-level fire space; small fuel feed hole to fire to right of kiln entrance; narrow stone ledge set low in kiln to accommodate timber drying floor (now missing); small circular smoke hole/chimney at top of kiln.

Statement of Special Interest

A remarkable and important survivor of a typical high class Orkney farm steading and accompanying outbuildings, displaying good examples of traditional building techniques and forms. The name Hestakelday is probably a development of the Old Norse words, hesta meaning horse, and kelda, meaning well. The second storey on the main dwelling house gives it a degree of grandeur when compared with the more common long, low, single storey steadings which survive. Internally, the fireplaces are large, relatively numerous and have corniced mantelpieces. The grain store and finely fashioned bellied kiln are of particular interest, being comparatively rare survivors. Paul Newman's article in the SVBWG publication goes into considerable detail about the kiln, or kil, as it is called locally. He notes that it is 'a characteristic feature if the traditional Orcadian farm. In particular the round kiln attached to the barn important element in the rural landscape of these islands'. The kiln was used to dry the grain before the grinding process could begin, and such structures were constructed in considerable numbers in the early 19th century in conjunction with farm building in general. The external cone-on-cylinder shape of the kiln at Hestakelday, with a round bottle shape inside seems to be a unique shape combination, according to Paul Newman's 1991 survey of Orkney kilns. It does conform, however, to a general kiln type in that it is basically a vertical tube of stone with a flue at the top and a small fire tube at the bottom, which connects with the bowl-like depression at the base of the kiln. About a metre from the base of the bowl is the kiln ledge on which were laid timber slats to support a permeable straw floor on which was spread the grain to be dried. The ledge at Hestakelday survives as do the steps to the kiln floor doorway. The fire tube remains intact as does the peat store neuk outshot to the side to the kiln.



Appears on 1st edition OS map (1882); DEAN OF GUILD, KIRKWALL, D7 2/12, copy of plans of Hestakelda, Holm, from plans by

M Heddle, Surveyor, Kirkwall, 1895; H Marwick, ORKNEY FARM NAMES (1952), p 95; SCOTTISH VERNACULAR BUILDINGS WORKING GROUP, VOL 18 (1994) pp48-66.

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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.

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