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Deerness, North House

A Category B Listed Building in East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 58.952 / 58°57'7"N

Longitude: -2.7636 / 2°45'49"W

OS Eastings: 356165

OS Northings: 1007451

OS Grid: HY561074

Mapcode National: GBR M5J2.BP9

Mapcode Global: WH7CF.J864

Entry Name: Deerness, North House

Listing Date: 5 May 1999

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 393362

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46148

Building Class: Cultural

Location: St Andrews and Deerness

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray

Parish: St Andrews And Deerness

Traditional County: Orkney

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Earlier to mid 19th century. Single storey, 5-bay rectangular-plan, crowstep-gabled traditional Orkney long house; dwelling house to left (E); barn with circular-plan kiln to W gable end. Remnants of further farm buildings running parallel to S. Harl-pointed, squared rubble. Central mechanism of former horse walk to N of barn.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 4-bay dwelling house to left: boarded door in bay to left of centre. Window in bay to outer left. Window in each bay to right. Doorway in barn bay to outer right.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: window (blocked) to right of centre.

E ELEVATION: window set to right in gabled elevation; wide gablehead stack above.

W ELEVATION: circular-plan kiln abutting gabled elevation.

Fixed timber-framed window to E; remaining windows missing. Predominantly stone slate roof; corrugated-iron roof to E end and to S pitch of barn; rubble, corniced gablehead and ridge stacks.

INTERIOR: DWELLING HOUSE: plain fire surround with bracketed mantleshelf to W side of dividing wall; press to right with some timber shelves extant; plain fireplace to W wall; main fabric of box beds survive; various presses in external walls. MILL/BARN: exposed rafters and tie beams; steps to square-headed entrance to kiln at W end; kiln ledge intact.

Statement of Interest

A good surviving example of a traditional Orkney longhouse, with fine, intact kiln, evidence of a horse walk and internal room divisions and arrangements which remain unaltered. The arrangement here is very simple, consisting of the dwelling-house units and the barn/mill positioned in a line, with a kiln at the W extremity; evidence of further farm buildings which run parallel to these is apparent, conforming the concept that 'the traditional layout of small farms in Orkney would be two lines of building separated by a narrow closs'. The kiln is described by Paul Newman in the SVBWG article as being externally a Bee-skep shape and internally a Round Bottle shape. It shares its relative position (attached, on axis, to the end gable) with the kiln at Scarrataing on Graemsay. The central mechanism of a horse walk, to which 2 or 4 horses, yoked together would have powered a mill housed adjacent, remains, as does the raised circular walking area. Archives show that North House was the property of John Flett, circa 1880.

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