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
Cross And Burness
HY 64180 39332
364180, 1039332


Circa 1863 with later additions. 'Improved' farm complex comprising 2-storey, 3-bay, near-symmetrical rectangular-plan farmhouse; single storey range adjoining to left forming rear (W) range of rectangular-plan farm courtyard to S of farmhouse; further single storey farm building ranges completing yard with 2-storey pyramidal-roof centrepiece to E range; modern detached single storey, 2-bay garage to right (N) of house; 2 large modern corrugated-iron sheds to N of main complex. Roughly coursed, harl-pointed rubble to house; harl-pointed random rubble to ancillary farm buildings; sandstone ashlar dressings to centrepiece.

FARMHOUSE: E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: window at ground in bay to centre; window at 1st floor above. Window at each floor in bay to right. Modern, part-glazed door with rectangular fanlight at ground in bay to left; window at 1st floor above.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: smaller window at each floor in bay to centre. Window t each floor in bays flanking.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof; stone ridge; stone skews; corniced rubble multi-flue gablehead stacks; uPVC rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: timber stair case to S wall; decorative cast-iron balusters; timber handrail; architraved timber panelled doors at ground; not fully seen elsewhere, 1998.

FARM COURTYARD: E (PRINCIPAL) RANGE: E ELEVATION: 7-bay, grouped 3-1-3. Segmental cart-arch at ground to 2-storey centrepiece; 2, evenly disposed windows at 1st floor above; weather vane to pyramidal roof. 3-bay group to right: boarded door in bay to centre; doorway in bay to left; window in bay to right. 3-bay group to left: window in bays to centre and right; large modern sliding door in bay to left.

S (THRESHING BARN) RANGE: S ELEVATION: window at 1st floor in bay to centre. Window at each floor in bay to outer left. Small window at ground in bay to right. Window at each floor in bay to penultimate right. Blocked door at 1st floor to gabled bay to outer right. E (GABLED) ELEVATION: 2 evenly disposed windows at ground; centred window at 1st floor above.

Timber-framed windows. Grey slate roofs; stone ridges; rubble corniced gablehead and ridge stacks to E range; stone skews; uPVC rainwater goods.


Statement of Special Interest

A sizeable Orkney farm steading of typical 'improved' layout. Flanking the substantial 2-storey farmhouse is a fine 19th century open rectangular-plan farmyard with single storey ranges flanking a central pyramidal-roofed entrance tower, originally providing access to the yard within. The former threshing barn, which forms the entire southern range of the yard, boasted an overshot wheel situated below ground level and said to have been the largest for this purpose in Orkney. The threshing machinery has since been removed. The steading was owned by the Earl of Zetland by 1793 and was the main farm in the old Southerbie township, paying one of the largest meal rents on Sanday. Around 1863, the house and steadings in their present form were built and were occupied by John Paul. At this time the farm consisted of around 400 acres, mainly for sheep, but waterlogged land was being reclaimed for cultivation.



OLD STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1791); R O Pringle, ON THE AGRICULTURE OF THE ISLANDS OF ORKNEY, Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society, 4th series, 6, (1874), p 30; 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, (1881), evident; A Goodfellow, SANDAY CHURCH HISTORY (1912), p343; H Marwick, ORKNEY FARM NAMES (1952), p 17; P Bailey, ORKNEY, (1995), p63; RCAHMS, SCOTTISH FARM BUILDINGS SURVEY, VOL 2, ORKNEY (SANDAY), 1998, p14; ORKNEY ARCHIVES, KIRKWALL LIBRARY D2 50/17

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


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to SANDAY, BACKASKAILL MAINS

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 22/04/2019 01:45