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Egilsay, Howan House, Including Remains of Service Court

A Category B Listed Building in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 59.1467 / 59°8'48"N

Longitude: -2.9143 / 2°54'51"W

OS Eastings: 347791

OS Northings: 1029239

OS Grid: HY477292

Mapcode National: GBR M45K.7NN

Mapcode Global: WH7BD.6CGD

Entry Name: Egilsay, Howan House, Including Remains of Service Court

Listing Date: 8 November 1995

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354063

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19664

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Rousay and Egilsay

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Parish: Rousay And Egilsay

Traditional County: Orkney

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Description

Late 17th century. 2-storey, 3-bay rectangular-plan traditional laird?s house forming part of S range of U-plan courtyard; roofless single storey service wings forming N and E ranges; W curtain wall to courtyard missing. Harled rubble flagstone. Crowstepped gables; contrasting sandstone quoins; chamfered reveals.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central 2-storey lean-to porch and stairtower (roof missing); double width doorway and window at ground to left return; window at 1st floor above; windows to both floors in right return; 2 doorways at ground and 1st floor behind porch. Single windows irregularly disposed to both floors in flanking bays. 3-bay single storey wing adjoining to outer right; single window to each bay.

N (COURTYARD) ELEVATION: irregular size and disposition of windows to both floors in each of 3 bays; stump of curtain wall and arched gateway between bays to centre and outer right. Single storey wing adjoining to outer left; wall largely collapsed; central crowstepped gable now missing.

W ELEVATION: irregularly disposed windows at ground, 1st floor (blocked) and in gablehead.

E ELEVATION OF MAIN HOUSE: fireplace at ground (see interior below); raggles for flag slate roof; single window set in gablehead.

E RANGE OF COURTYARD: single storey drystone store.

N RANGE OF COURTYARD: roofless remains of gabled wing.

12-pane timber sash and case window to S ground floor outer right and N 1st floor, outer left. Flag slate roof; corniced gablehead stacks;

beaked skewputts; skewputt to NE initialled "WD MM" (William Douglas and wife Marjorie Monteith).

INTERIOR: largely derelict, but timber joists and floor to 1st floor remain. E doorway of S wall architraved with decorative carved lintol inscribed "16.AMICIS.ET.GENIO.81"; badly weathered stone fireplace with fluted jambs to W gable; rollmoulded stone fireplace to W gable of single storey wing (formerly bore the arms and initials of Robert Monteith and Katherine Nisbet, dated 1635).

Statement of Interest

Derelict for over 50 years (1995). As part of the Bishopric estate, the whole of Egilsay was feued to the Monteith family in the 16th century. On the marriage of Majorie Monteith to William Douglas, Chamberlain of Orkney, commemorated in the initialled skewputt, the island passed to the Douglas family.

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