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West Aith

A Category B Listed Building in West Mainland, Orkney Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 59.0397 / 59°2'23"N

Longitude: -3.3114 / 3°18'41"W

OS Eastings: 324841

OS Northings: 1017707

OS Grid: HY248177

Mapcode National: GBR L45V.5SQ

Mapcode Global: WH69N.31DW

Entry Name: West Aith

Listing Date: 30 March 1994

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 352614

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB18552

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Sandwick

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: West Mainland

Parish: Sandwick

Traditional County: Orkney

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Description

19th century. Single storey, long low crofting range comprising two three-bay cottages and adjoining barn/byre to west. Rubble-built. Gabled end walls.

Cottage to east: south (entrance) elevation: central gabled porch with door in east return and window in south gable. Porch flanked by windows. Window opening in east gable wall and north elevation. Flagstone roof with remnants of turf thatch.

Central cottage: south (entrance) elevation: central door flanked by single windows. Flagstone roof with turf thatch.

Four-pane glazing in sash and case windows. Broad gablehead chimneystacks to cottages.

Byre/Barn: two doors in south elevation. Replacement roof.

Statement of Interest

West Aith is an unaltered example of a traditional type of Orkney building.

The previous listed building record (written in 1994) describes the byre/barn as having the remains of a flagstone roof.

It is among a relatively small number of traditional buildings with a surviving thatched or turf roof found across Scotland. A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland, published in 2016 by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), found there were only around 200 buildings of this type remaining, most of which are found in small rural communities. Thatched buildings are often traditionally built, showing distinctive local and regional building methods and materials. Those that survive are important in helping us understand these traditional skills and an earlier way of life.

Listed building record revised in 2019 as part of the Thatched Buildings Listing Review 2017-19.

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