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North Ronaldsay, Rue

A Category B Listed Building in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 59.3863 / 59°23'10"N

Longitude: -2.3818 / 2°22'54"W

OS Eastings: 378408

OS Northings: 1055623

OS Grid: HY784556

Mapcode National: GBR N3GX.RKH

Mapcode Global: XH9S2.BB3N

Plus Code: 9CFV9JP9+G7

Entry Name: North Ronaldsay, Rue

Listing Name: North Ronaldsay, Rue, Including Outbuildings and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 8 November 1995

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 338374

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB6688

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Cross and Burness

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Parish: Cross And Burness

Traditional County: Orkney

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North Ronaldsay

Description

Late 18th to early 19th century with later alterations. Single storey, 7-bay, elongated rectangular-plan asymmetrical crofting longhouse with projecting wing and stable/barn range to NE (rear). Roughly coursed and re-pointed rubble. Aisin stones as eaves course (see Notes). Single storey, 4-bay rectangular-plan rubble barn/byre range standing to SE of main building.

SW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 5-bay house with lower 2-bay byre adjoining to SE. HOUSE: deepset boarded door with letterbox fanlight in bay to penultimate left. Window in each bay flanking. Window in bay to penultimate right. Deep-set boarded door in bay to outer right. BYRE: centred window. Boarded door in bay to outer left.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: HOUSE: window in each of 2 bays to left. Blank wall to centred wing; gablehead stack above; boarded door with window flanking to right in left return. Stepped stable and barn wing to left: doorway with window flanking to left; boarded door in lower block to right. Boarded door set close to re-entrant angle to left.

SE (SIDE) ELEVATION: single-storey lean-to advanced to outer left; small square opening, (formerly muck-hole) to right; dovecote with 2 flight-holes and alighting ledge set in gablehead above.

NW (SIDE) ELEVATION: single window offset to left; gablehead stack above.

4- and 6-pane timber sash and case windows. Overseamed flagstone roof (see Notes); concrete ridge; rubble, corniced gablehead and ridge stacks; replacement uPVC rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: house modernised; main dwelling area as one long space, end on lower level.

OUTBUILDING AND BOUNDARY WALLS: detached, 4-bay, rectangular-plan, drystone barn and cartshed to SE of main building; doorway in each bay; flagstone roof. Small outhouse with flagstone roof adjoining boundary wall immediately to SW of NW gable. Dry rubble boundary walls. Remains of threshing mill to SW.

Statement of Interest

An unusually complete survival of a traditional Orkney longhouse, with living accommodation and integral byre. The height of the skews suggests that the flagstone roofs may have been turf-thatched for additional waterproofing and insulation. The present roof, with the flagstones exposed, can be said to be overseamed although Paul and Alison Newman, in their SVBWG article, mention how, 'this type of roof was often covered with thatch'. Large flagstones were laid onto the timber rafters and their seams were covered with smaller, slimmer overseamers. The joints were subsequently sealed with lime mortar or, latterly, cement. The roof of the adjoining byre is an especially good example of such a roof, the joints between its row of aisin stones at the wallhead are themselves underseamed to throw any runoff rainwater away from the building. The window openings may have been enlarged in the later 19th century, as they appear large in comparison with other longhouses. Records for the apportionment of the common sheep on the island in 1893 show that John Tulloch, the then occupier, was allocated with 25.

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