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Hestikelday Farm Steading

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

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Latitude: 58.9028 / 58°54'9"N

Longitude: -2.8774 / 2°52'38"W

OS Eastings: 349546

OS Northings: 1002047

OS Grid: HY495020

Mapcode National: GBR M586.6L5

Mapcode Global: WH7CK.RHZF

Plus Code: 9CCVW43F+42

Entry Name: Hestikelday Farm Steading

Listing Name: Hestakelday

Listing Date: 16 September 1999

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 393670

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46380

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Holm

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray

Parish: Holm

Traditional County: Orkney

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Late 18th-early 19th century with later alterations. 2-storey, asymmetrical crowstepped gabled 3-bay house (now derelict) with single bay lean-to projection to W gable and to N wall; detached 2-bay single storey rectangular-plan barn/byre at right angles to rear (N) forming L-plan complex; rectangular-plan store with circular-plan kiln to N gable sited to W of L-plan complex. Harl-pointed roughly coursed rubble; rough long and short quoins to main house.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: window offset to left of centre at ground. Window in bay to outer right; small window at 1st floor above. Boarded door to left at ground. Boarded door in lean-to projection to outer left.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: window offset to right in lean-to projection to right of wall. Blank wall to left.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: small window (blocked) at ground in bay to right of centre; window at 1st floor in bay to left; gablehead stack above. Wide, square-headed opening to lean-to projection set back to outer right.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: blank lean-to wall spanning elevation at ground; blank gablehead above.

Single timber framed window remains. Corrugated-iron roof to W end; old Orkney grey slate with Caithness stone easing course to E end; Caithness stone tiles to lean-to projections; replacement cement skews to centre; central corniced rubble ridge stack; gablehead stack to E end.

INTERIOR: ruinous state. Timber framed doorways; timber staircase (collapsed) at W end; floors divided by timber joists and boards; large central fireplace remains with fixed cast-iron pot rack and chins; large stone chimney breast to fireplace at E end; fireplace with timber framed press to left at 1st floor to E end; timber boards to canted ceiling. Finely laid transverse cobbled floor to W end lean-to projection (now hay store).

BARN/BYRE: harl-pointed rubble 2-bay barn/byre; evenly disposed boarded door in each bay to E (principal) elevation; graded Caithness stone tiled roof with small rooflights to E pitch; stone ridge; replacement concrete skews.

STORE AND KILN: harl-pointed rubble rectangular-plan store and kiln built on ground falling to E. Centred boarded door to W elevation; boarded door, offset to right to E elevation; blank gabled S elevation; circular-plan, bellied kiln to W. Purple Welsh slate with Caithness stone tiled easing course; stone ridge (some sections replaced). INTERIOR: well preserved typical store and kiln; exposed timber rafters and tie beams; low square-plan peat store to left of kiln to W end; typical rectangular kiln entrance, set high above floor-level fire space; small fuel feed hole to fire to right of kiln entrance; narrow stone ledge set low in kiln to accommodate timber drying floor (now missing); small circular smoke hole/chimney at top of kiln.

Statement of Interest

A remarkable and important survivor of a typical high class Orkney farm steading and accompanying outbuildings, displaying good examples of traditional building techniques and forms. The name Hestakelday is probably a development of the Old Norse words, hesta meaning horse, and kelda, meaning well. The second storey on the main dwelling house gives it a degree of grandeur when compared with the more common long, low, single storey steadings which survive. Internally, the fireplaces are large, relatively numerous and have corniced mantelpieces. The grain store and finely fashioned bellied kiln are of particular interest, being comparatively rare survivors. Paul Newman's article in the SVBWG publication goes into considerable detail about the kiln, or kil, as it is called locally. He notes that it is 'a characteristic feature if the traditional Orcadian farm. In particular the round kiln attached to the barn is....an important element in the rural landscape of these islands'. The kiln was used to dry the grain before the grinding process could begin, and such structures were constructed in considerable numbers in the early 19th century in conjunction with farm building in general. The external cone-on-cylinder shape of the kiln at Hestakelday, with a round bottle shape inside seems to be a unique shape combination, according to Paul Newman's 1991 survey of Orkney kilns. It does conform, however, to a general kiln type in that it is basically a vertical tube of stone with a flue at the top and a small fire tube at the bottom, which connects with the bowl-like depression at the base of the kiln. About a metre from the base of the bowl is the kiln ledge on which were laid timber slats to support a permeable straw floor on which was spread the grain to be dried. The ledge at Hestakelday survives as do the steps to the kiln floor doorway. The fire tube remains intact as does the peat store neuk outshot to the side to the kiln.

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