History in Structure

Dwelling House Byre Adjoining Farmhouse, Howa

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

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Latitude: 58.9125 / 58°54'45"N

Longitude: -2.9404 / 2°56'25"W

OS Eastings: 345933

OS Northings: 1003183

OS Grid: HY459031

Mapcode National: GBR M535.FQL

Mapcode Global: WH7CJ.S7ZX

Plus Code: 9CCVW375+2R

Entry Name: Dwelling House Byre Adjoining Farmhouse, Howa

Listing Name: Howa, Including Kiln

Listing Date: 16 September 1999

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 393672

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46381

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200393672

Location: Holm

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray

Parish: Holm

Traditional County: Orkney

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Earlier to mid 19th century. Single storey, 2-bay farmhouse, adjoining former dwelling house/byre range, (roofless) on E-W axis, with single storey, barn and kiln range lying parallel to S, built on ground falling to W. Rectangular-plan barn set at right angles, between ranges. Harl-pointed rubble to farmhouse; random rubble elsewhere.

FARMHOUSE RANGE: S ELEVATION: farmhouse to outer right: boarded door with small-pane fanlight in bay to left. Window in bay to right. 2-bay former dwelling house/byre to centre: doorway with window flanking in each bay. Single bay byre to left: doorway to outer left. N ELEVATION: window in each bay, with small window to outer right to farmhouse.

4- and 12-pane timber sash and case windows to farmhouse. Purple slate roof; stone ridge; rubble gablehead stacks.

INTERIOR: not seen, 1998.

BARN AND KILN RANGE: S ELEVATION: barn divided on two levels. Square-headed opening set to left in upper section. Bee-skep-shaped kiln (see Notes) to E gable. N ELEVATION: doorway with small window (blocked) flanking to lower block. Doorway (blocked) set to right to upper block.

Corrugated-asbestos roof.

INTERIOR: fine and complete kiln to E end; square-headed kiln entrance with step intact; kiln ledge and timber killace intact.

CENTRAL BARN RANGE: W ELEVATION: boarded door in bay to right. E ELEVATION: blank. INTERIOR: not seen, 1998.

Statement of Interest

The interest in this group lies chiefly in the kiln which is a fine, relatively rare and characteristic survivor of a traditional Orcadian farm. Paul Newman mentions in his SVBWG article, 'In particular the round kiln attached to the barn is such as important element in the rural landscape of these islands.' The kiln, used to dry grain before milling it, was usually a roughly cylindrical shape with a flue opening at the top and a horizontal duct for the fire at the base. At about a metre from the base is the kiln ledge upon which a centralised timber beam or a killace was fixed to support a slatted timber floor. This was covered with straw and the grain for drying would be placed on top. It is relatively rare for the kiln to be intact to its full height and to include the ledge; the existence of the killace is especially unusual.

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