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Gorn, Graemsay

A Category C Listed Building in Stromness and South Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 58.9214 / 58°55'17"N

Longitude: -3.2813 / 3°16'52"W

OS Eastings: 326319

OS Northings: 1004501

OS Grid: HY263045

Mapcode National: GBR L584.TW3

Mapcode Global: WH6B7.K1P2

Plus Code: 9CCRWPC9+HF

Entry Name: Gorn, Graemsay

Listing Name: Graemsay, Gorn

Listing Date: 16 September 1999

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 393656

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46367

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Hoy and Graemsay

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: Stromness and South Isles

Parish: Hoy And Graemsay

Traditional County: Orkney

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Mid 19th century with later alterations and additions. Single storey 3-bay long-rectangular-plan traditional Orkney farm comprising single bay dwelling house adjoining lower single bay store and lower 2-bay byre, built on ground falling to S; single bay rectangular-plan store/barn at right angles to main group with flat-roofed addition to S, forming T-plan complex; single storey rectangular-plan store/barn with lean-to addition sited to SW of main complex. Roughly coursed rubble.

DWELLING HOUSE RANGE: E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: deep-set boarded door, set to right, in store bay to centre. Deep-set boarded door, set to left, in dwellinghouse bay to right. Deep-set boarded door in each bay to byre block to left.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: 2 evenly disposed windows in bays to centre. 2 evenly disposed windows, widely spaced, in bays to left. Blank bay to right.

N (SIDE) ELEVATION: window, set to left; gablehead stack above.


Fixed and 4-pane timber sash and case windows. Flagstone roofs (see Notes); cement mortar ridge; grey slate to central store; coped skews; rubble corniced gablehead and ridge stacks.

INTERIOR: timber skirting boards and architraves; timber panelled doors; ornate fire surround with half-fluted Corinthian column supports. Flagstone stall divisions to byre; central slurry channel.

STORE/BARN: N ELEVATION: centred deep-set boarded door with small window flanking.

S ELEVATION: blank wall to lean-to addition spanning elevation.

E ELEVATION: sliding boarded door set to left of gabled wall.

W ELEVATION: blank gabled wall to left. 2 evenly disposed boarded doors in lean-to addition to right.

Flagstone roof (see Notes).

STORE/BARN TO SW: N (GABLED) ELEVATION: centred boarded door.

S (GABLED) ELEVATION: boarded, sliding door below gable to left. large boarded sliding door to addition to right.


Corrugated-iron roof.

Statement of Interest

The chief interest in this group of buildings lies in the surviving roof types. The roof is usually the most vulnerable part of a building, being exposed to the weather and therefore the most suceptible to decay, especially if the building is left uninhabited. The fact that Gorn is still inhabited has enabled the roof to survive in such a fine condition. There is considerable variation in the methods of roofing a traditional Orkney building and, if they were not thatched, they were covered with large flagstones or slates with a row of small flagstones (aisins) forming eaves at the wallhead. The flagstone roofs were asembled in one of three ways; overseamed flagstones; underseamed flagstones; overseamed flagstones without asisns. The dwelling house seems to display the underseamed flagstone method; large, misshapen flags were laid onto the timber frame, the seams covered by smaller, narrow flagstones laid on top and the gaps filled with lime mortar and laterly cement mortar. Conversely, the byre, at the S end of the range, and the barn at right angles to the main complex, display the underseamed flagstone method; the main flagstones have straighter edges and fit together better. Beneath the vertical joints of the main stones lie the underseamer stones which do not protrude above the surface giving a smoother finish to the roof. The joints in each roof type are then covered liberally with cement mortar which is also built up to form the roof ridge.

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