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South Ronaldsay, the Old School House, Kiln Barn

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 58.7518 / 58°45'6"N

Longitude: -2.9635 / 2°57'48"W

OS Eastings: 344347

OS Northings: 985309

OS Grid: ND443853

Mapcode National: GBR M51L.P5V

Mapcode Global: WH7D9.G913

Entry Name: South Ronaldsay, the Old School House, Kiln Barn

Listing Date: 20 October 2000

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 394738

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB47379

Building Class: Cultural

Location: South Ronaldsay

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray

Traditional County: Orkney

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Description

19th century. Central single storey threshing barn flanked by rectangular kiln and byre. Coursed rubble flagstone.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central threshing door; small window to left. Chamfered corner to left of barn. Later byre addition to outer left; central byre door; window to left (altered openings). Kiln set back to far right.

E ELEVATION: central kiln extends from threshing barn gable.

N ELEVATION: kiln set back to far left. Blocked central threshing door.

W ELEVATION: not seen, 2000.

Pitched roofs throughout; replacement corrugated roofing material to threshing barn; flagstone roof to kiln and byre.

INTERIOR: plastered, circular kiln interior with kiln ledge. Flue and door openings remain; step leads up to kiln door.

Statement of Interest

The kiln is an important survival from early Orkney farming practices. Kilns were used to dry corn before grinding and also for drying malt for making ale. The kiln ledge remains, the large beam (killace) would sit upon the kiln ledge, with smaller slatted timbers resting upon it. Straw covered the timbers and the grain was laid upon this. A peat fire would be lit in the fire-hole and the kiln entrance would be covered to draw the heat from the vent into the kiln. If the flames should rise up into the kiln, the killace could be pulled across so that the drying floor would immediately collapse and smother the fire.

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